Visit a state park on the first free day of 2017, celebrate the new year at noon, make a cool felted penguin.
Ski into 2017
Make good on your resolution to stay in shape for 2017 and join the Nooksack Nordic Ski Club. The year’s first meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 5 at Garden Street United Methodist Church, 1326 N. Garden St. The club supports all things cross-country skiing in Whatcom County, such as where to ski and what to expect, plus you can find information on overnight ski trips to destination ski areas and grooming reports for our local trails. Club members also lead a number of ski trips throughout the season to locations in Washington and British Columbia. Info: 360-922-7065, 360-734-8246, nooksacknordicskiclub.org.
State Parks Free Day
Washington state parks will offer free admission the first day of 2017. Day-use visitors won’t need a seasonal Discover Pass or $10 day-use fee at state parks across Washington, including Whatcom County’s Larrabee, Birch Bay and Peace Arch parks. The fee waiver includes only day-use activities at state parks. Other state lands, including those managed by the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, still require special passes. Info: findyourpark.com, discoverpass.wa.gov/136/State-Parks-Free-Days. In addition, the American Hiking Society will offer free, guided First Day Hikes programs in all 50 states. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year by getting outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature. Info: americanhiking.org/first-day-hikes.
New Year’s Day at noon for the younger set
Celebrate the new year from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Lynden Library, 216 Front St., with crafts, refreshments, music and a glorious balloon drop at high noon. All ages are welcome at the free event. Info: 360-354-4883, wcls.org.
Local businesses are bringing a festive air to downtowns all over Whatcom and Skagit counties this year by decorating their storefronts in holiday, window and seasonal themes of their choosing. Vote for your favorite business window by Dec. 31. Pick up information at participating businesses for a chance to win a $15 Village Books gift certificate and a copy of a “Where The Locals Go” coupon book. Vote for your favorite decorated window at these business: Acme Farms + Kitchens, 230 Cornwall Ave.; Backcountry Essentials, 214 W. Holly St., BBay Running, 1431 N. State St.; Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress, 112 Grand Ave.; Bellingham Pet Supply, 1701 N. State St.; Fringe, 1147 N. State St.; Greenhouse, 1235 Cornwall Ave.; Heroine Clothing, 1328 Commercial St.; Ideal, 1227 Cornwall Ave.; Kids Northwest, 1319 Cornwall Ave.; Mi Shoes, 1315 Railroad Ave.; Modsock, 1323 Cornwall Ave.; Pure Bliss Desserts, 1424 Cornwall Ave.; Ragfinery, 1421 N. Forest St.; Spruce, 1422 Cornwall Ave.; Social Fabric, 1302 N. Commercial St.; The Atomic Kitten, 1305 Commercial St.; The Bureau of Historical Investigation, 217 W. Holly St.; The Leopold, 1224 Cornwall Ave.; Wise Buys, 1224 N. State St.; Ormolulu, 301 W. Holly St.; and Fairhaven Toy Garden, 909 Harris Ave. Info: sustainableconnections.org.
Penguin craft time
Kids 10 and older can make adorable felted penguins from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Fairhaven Toy Garden, 909 Harris Ave. Workshops start again after the holidays with this little guy. He (or she) is so fun because you can make accessories, such as scarves and hats. Cost is $10 per person. Register by calling 360-714-8552. Payment is requested when registering. Info: fairhaventoygarden.com.