Layer up, pack the kids and enjoy the beauty Mother Nature brings to the Northland. Jay Cooke State Park offers several free events in January including several snowshoe opportunities, as well as a fun and educational class for children.

The annual First Day Snowshoe hike kicks off the year from 1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1 with an educational hike through the park.

“The First Day hike has become popular,” Kristine Hiller, park naturalist, said.

Other snowshoe events are Full Moon Snowshoe, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, and Nature's Patterns Snowshoe from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.

Hiller said many hikes average around 25 people, but the number fluctuates depending on the weather and day of the week.

“Sometimes we get 75-100 people for the Full Moon hike on a real nice night,” she said.

The park has various sizes of snowshoes available for hikers to borrow. For more information or to sign up for a snowshoe event call the park at 218-673-7000. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.

Signing up in advance allows staff to organize enough volunteers for each event, Hiller said.

Another fun event geared toward children ages 2-5 years is Lil’ PEEPS. The event is 10:30-11:30 a.m. the first Thursday of each month. Children explore different topics each month through stories, songs and activities.

On Thursday, Jan. 2 children will study snow. The event is free and no sign up is required. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.