Betty Ford Alpine Gardens announces winter programming | VailDaily.com

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens announces winter programming

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens' winter programming includes showshoeing options for beginners and the intermediate, as well as a scavenger hunt and cheese-making workshop.
Special to the Daily

Families, garden enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers will be among the many who enjoy the sanctuary of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens this winter. The Gardens recently announced a winter calendar packed with a diverse array of activities and events aimed to let you learn, grow and explore. In the heart of winter, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens’ spring and summertime beauty is transformed into an entirely new world highlighted by ice-covered trees along snow-covered paths. This contrast spotlights the power and fragility of nature and allows people of all ages to develop a deeper relationship with the majestic mountain world. Some highlights include:

Snowshoeing in the Gardens

Snowshoeing is a great way to beat the winter blues, enjoy the sunshine and enhance your engagement with the winter world. Removed from the crowds of town, the tranquil world comes to life as you tread through the Gardens and along the banks of Gore Creek. Take a moment to reflect upon the natural beauty of the Vail Valley while snowshoeing through the awe-inspiring winter landscape. Snowshoe tours are great for the whole family. Choose a guided tour or explore on your own.

Hour-long snowshoe tours are offered for all skill levels and depart from the Education Center at 10:30 a.m. There is a suggested donation of $10 for each tour, and guests can reserve their spot online through the Gardens website. Beginner tours are offered on Tuesdays with conifer identification being the focus, and intermediate tours will be offered on Wednesdays with a “Winter Web of Life” theme.

Trail guides and equipment are available at the Education Center for self-guided experience any time. Use snowshoes for free on self-guided tours, with donations appreciated.

Project Feeder Watch

Observe the local birds and build feeders to hang on the trees outside the Education Center. Help record feathered visitors for a citizen science project. Cost is free.

Sensory Winter Scavenger Hunt

Colder temperatures and fallen snow unveil new opportunities to explore how nature changes and adapts to each season. The Gardens are now offering a winter scavenger hunt that encourages kids to get in touch with their senses as they walk or snowshoe through the landscape. This scavenger hunt was designed to keep little ones entertained during self-guided snowshoe tours. Stop by the Education Center and pick up the at-your-own-pace scavenger hunt to discover the secrets of nature hidden when a blanket of snow covers the gardens. It is free to participate in this activity.

Drop in Activities

Stop by the Education Center to enjoy a complimentary cup of hot chocolate or tea, where you can gain a better understanding of the alpine tundra and our fragile mountain environment. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, the state-of-the art building features an alpine greenhouse, exhibits of alpine ecosystems, bird watching and hands-on activities for people of all ages.

Alpine Treasures Holiday Party

Join Betty Ford Alpine Treasures for its annual holiday party on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy in-store specials, light appetizers and giveaways from Mywalit, Kinross Cashmere, Maruca more at the store. The party continues at Mountain Standard and Sweet Basil with 20 percent off your bill if you bring in your receipt from your purchase from Alpine Treasures (offer only valid on Wednesday, Dec. 5). All proceeds from Alpine Treasures benefit Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Support a local nonprofit by shopping at Alpine Treasures, located at 183 Gore Creek Drive, Suite 7 in Vail.

The Gardens Present: Winter Weather and Climate for the Colorado Skier and Explorer featuring a Climb of Mount Everest without Supplemental Oxygen: Jon Kedrowski, PhD.

On Thursday, Dec. 20, at 5:30 p.m., the Gardens is hosting Dr. Jon Kedrowski, local author and veteran of over 20 international expeditions for a Gardens Presents evening at the Education Center. Kedrowski’s talk will demystify winter weather and climate in Colorado and will spotlight an attempt of Everest this past spring without supplemental oxygen. Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for members and can be purchased on the Gardens website. Admission includes light appetizers, beer and wine.

Evening Workshop: The Roots of Cheese: Pollyanna and Chris, of Eat! Drink!

Discover the roots of cheese making and different international styles by taste with accompanying wines. Thursday, March 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for members.