Bob Downing

Toboggan fun

Cleveland Metroparks will kick off its toboggan season on Friday.

Special hours will be in place at the Chalet Recreation Area in the Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville on opening day from noon to 10:30 p.m.

The twin refrigerated chutes are 700 feet long with 70-foot vertical drops. They produce speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. They are the only public ice chutes in Ohio.

They operate with or without snow. But sliding may be canceled if the temperatures top 50 degrees or if there is heavy rain. Check conditions before heading there.

The tobogganing-on-ice season runs through March 6.

Children must be 42 inches high and accompanied by adults.

All riders on the Chalet Toboggan Chutes must wear gloves or mittens.

The area is at 16200 Valley Parkway between state Route 82 and U.S. Route 42.

Normal hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays (Jan. 3 to March 3), 6 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

There will be extended holiday hours around Christmas and New Year’s.

Personal toboggans are not allowed.

Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children 11 and under. The fees include unlimited rides and use of toboggans. The fee for a one-time ride is $6.

Season passes are available: $60 for adults, $50 for children 11 and under and a family pass for up to four people is $150.

Group discounts are also available.

For more information, call 440-572-9990 or go to www.clevelandmetroparks.com/tchutes.

Black Friday hike

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is hosting a 7.5-mile Black Friday hike.

It will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

The hike will be along the Buckeye and Valley trails.

Meet at park headquarters at Vaughn and Riverview roads in Brecksville.

For more information, call 330-657-2752.

Friday

Astronomy meet-up — The Wilderness Center near Wilmot is hosting a meet-up of its Astronomy Club at 7:30 p.m. The center is at 9877 Alabama Ave. SW, Sugar Creek Township. 877-359-5235 or www.?wildernesscenter.org.

Holiday doings — Beech Creek Gardens in Washington Township is presenting youngsters make-and-take workshops from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The fee is $4 per project or three for $10. The Candyland Train will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. There will be Williamsburg wreath workshop for adults from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The fee is $28. There will be a scented potpourri class at 2 p.m. Sunday. The fee is $15. The facility is at 11929 Beech St. NE. 330-829-7050.

Saturday

Healthy Strides — Summit Metro Parks and Akron General Medical Center are sponsoring a Healthy Strides hike from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Liberty Park. Meet at the Liberty Park Nature Center at 9999 Liberty Road, Twinsburg. The hike will cover 1 to 3 miles. 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetroparks.org.

Fall secrets — Summit Metro Parks is conducting a hike to see how nature is getting ready for winter. The hike will run from 1 to 3 p.m. at O’Neil Woods Metro Park. Meet the trailhead at 2550 Martin Road, Bath Township. 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetroparks.org.

American Indians — Summit Metro Parks is presenting a program of American Indians of the Sand Run area from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron. 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetroparks.org.

Critter crafts — The Medina County Park District is presenting a walk-in program on critter crafts from noon to 5 p.m. at the Susan Hambley Nature Center, 4173 Parschen Blvd., Brunswick. The program will continue from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For all ages. Free. 330-722-9364 or www.medinacountyparks.com.

Stark hike — The Stark County Park District is staging a high-mileage hike at 9 a.m. on the Olde Muskingum Trail. Meet at the Cherry Street Trailhead in Canal Fulton. 330-409-8096 or www.starkparks.com.

Knap-In — The Wilderness Center at 9877 Alabama Ave. SW in Sugar Creek Township, is hosting a flint knap-in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 877-359-5235 or www.wildernesscenter.org.

Sunday

Front yard birding — Summit Metro Parks will present a program on tips, tricks and ideas to enhance your wildlife viewing of birds at 12:30 p.m. Meet at the Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron. 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetro?parks.org.

Nature drawing — Summit Metro Parks is offering nature-drawing classes for youngsters 6 to 12 years old from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron. Paper and pencils will be provided. Advance sign up is required. 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetro?parks.org.

Wreath workshop — University of Mount Union’s John T. Huston-Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center will host a wreath-making workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. For ages 12 and older. Advance sign up is required. The center is off Dan Street in Washington Township. 330-823-7487.

Monday

Last hike — Summit Metro Parks is holding an under-the-stars hike at Liberty Park. It will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Meet at the Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road, Twinsburg. It will be the last hike of the Fall Hiking Spree. 330-865-8065 or www.summit?metroparks.org.

Pioneer hike — The Stark County Park District is staging a pioneer hike at 11 a.m. on the Olde Muskingum Trail. Meet at the Cherry Street Trailhead in Canal Fulton. 330-409-8096 or www.starkparks.com.

Wednesday

Hike the hills — Summit Metro Parks is holding a hilly hike from 10:30 a.m. to noon at O’Neil Woods Metro Park, 2550 Martin Road, Bath Township. 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetro?parks.org.

Handmade gifts — The Medina County Park District will hold a class for youngsters to make handmade holiday gifts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wolf Creek Environmental Center, 6100 Ridge Road (state Route 94), Sharon Township. For ages 3 to 6 years old. All supplies will be provided. Free but donations of nonperishable food items or paper products for St. Paul Lutheran Church’s food pantry will be accepted. 330-722-9364 or www.medinacountyparks.com.

Exploration hike — The Stark County Park District is holding an exploration hike on the West Branch Trail. Meet at 6 p.m. at the Timken Gatehouse. 330-409-8096 or www.starkparks.com.

Reel science — The Cleveland Museum of Natural History will present the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Theater, 1390 W. 65th St. Admission is $7.50. The film includes a talk by Dr. Brian Redmond, curator of archaeology at the museum. Tickets are available at www.clevelandcinemas.?com.

For a complete list, go to www.ohio.com.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning at the beaconjournal.com.