By Christopher Gordon

If you are looking for a great place to enjoy fun activities while getting a great view of nature’s beauty, then there are few places in Western New York greater than Reinstein Woods on Honorine Drive in Cheektowaga.

As children enjoy the presents they received from Santa Claus, the last thing many of them want to think about is the break ending and returning to school. However, Reinstein Woods offers children something to look forward to as it offers its after school escape each Thursday throughout the month of January.

Starting Jan. 5, children and their parents from kindergarten through grade 5 have the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor activity each week. It will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. No registration is required.

One of the great things about enjoying nature is the ability to exercise while taking in the amazing scenery. You never know what kind of woodland creatures you will see. If you are interested in taking a nature walk, a tour guide will be offering a chance to take you through the woods.

“Woods Walk: Nature Guide’s Choice” will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 for those interested in a guided walk through the woods. There is no registration required.

For those who enjoy taking a snowshoe walk, Reinstein Woods is offering “A Family Full Moon Snowshoe Walk” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12. The guide will offer a view on the moon’s features as you enjoy a moonlit walk through the woods. The cost is $5 per rental for snowshoes or $2 per rental if you are a Friend of Reinstein member.

If you are interested in learning how to snowshoe but never have, there will be a beginner’s course called “Snowshoeing 101” at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14. This will allow beginners to learn the basics of snowshoeing before going on a guided tour. The cost to attend is a $5 rental fee or a $2 rental fee for Friends of Reinstein members.

A Senior Stroll will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18. This guided tour will allow seniors to walk through the park at their own pace while enjoying nature’s beauty. You can bring a lunch with you if you choose to that you can eat indoors after the walk. It is adults only.

For children ages 3 to 7, there will be “Stories in the Woods” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21. After listening to a nature story, children then enjoy a guided walk through the woods.

If you are interested in learning more about the eating habits of many of the animals who roam through the woods, “Woods Walk: Winter Food for Wildlife” will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21. There is no registration required for this as a guided nature walk will show you what the eating habits are and what animals eat during this time of the year.

For those who want to learn more about birds, a class called “Birding 101: Class 1” will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21. The class, for ages 8 and up, will help those interested in bird watching a way to help identify them, as well as how to properly use binoculars.

Education about nature would not be complete without an adventure geared toward white tail deer. For those who want to learn more about how the deer survive in the winter and what they eat, “White Tail Winter Walk” will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28. After discussing facts on the deer, a guided walk will be held to go in search for them in the woods. The program is for those ages 12 and older.

Finally, those who are interested in learning how to cross-country ski will have a chance to learn the basics of cross-country skiing at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. The cost to rent ski’s is $8 or $5 for members of the Friends of Reinstein.