2:52 PM EST, December 9, 2013
A group of 175 descended on Cromwell Valley Park Saturday for the annual Holiday Open House event.
In the Willow Grove Barn, youngsters and adults made edible ornaments for wildlife rolling pine cones in lard then sunflower seeds and stringing cranberries, raisins and Cheerios that can be hung from trees for birds, squirrels and other animals.
Meanwhile in the Willow Grove Nature Education Center, participants had the chance to bake and decorate holiday cookies, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy hot mulled apple cider and Christmas music.
Park Manager Leo Rebetsky said his favorite activity of the event is watching the children bake and decorate the cookies in the center's first-floor kitchen.
"It gives kids a chance to be a part of the baking process, something they might not get a chance to do at home," Rebetsky said.
The day before the event Rebetsky collects pinecones and all the greenery from around the park including white pine, hemlock, juniper and pussywillows.
For a list of other upcoming events at Cromwell Valley Park, go to cromwellvalleypark.org or call 410-887-2503.