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River Bend Nature Center is hosting its annual “Chili Winter Evening and Candlelight Trails” night on Friday, Jan. 28 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Enjoy a candlelight trail walk, hot cocoa, campfires, and chili dinner while embracing a Wisconsin winter evening.

This special event will take place on the trails at River Bend Nature Center, 3600 North Green Bay Rd. If you haven’t been to River Bend Nature Center yet, this is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with one of Racine’s finest treasures. Head north on Highway 31/Green Bay Road and about one mile past Highway 38, the nature center will be on the left, or west, side of the highway.

Winter Event

Not only can you walk through the forest, but you can also rent snowshoes and cross-country skis for the evening as well. The weather conditions, however, must be right in order to rent. You can rent the equipment and have access to the trails for just $12 (+ tax) per person.

Executive Director Jeanne Dernehl says, “Ask us to recommend trails when you rent the equipment, and we’ll guide you to your best options.”

Chili Dinner

Before or after taking a stroll through the nature center, gather around the fire for a cup of hot cocoa. Enjoy a home-cooked batch of chili that will be simmering in a kettle over the open fire for a truly unique outdoor experience. River Bend Nature Center is offering 3 dinner times happening at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Reservations are required to partake in the dinner and can be done on the event page on the Center’s website.

If you would like to attend the event, the prices are as follow:

  • Walking the Candlelight trail: free
    • donations encouraged
  • Adult (ages 10 and up) chili dinner: $18
  • Child (ages 4 – 9) chili dinner: $10
  • Babies/Toddlers (up to age 3) chili dinner: free

The hearty chili dinner includes a soft drink and s’mores. For those who would prefer a meatless option, there will be a vegetarian chili dinner available as well. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at River Bend Nature Center. No reservation is needed for beer or wine.

The event is sponsored by local area businesses. Milegars is sponsoring the hot cocoa and candlelight walk. The chili dinner is sponsored by Danny’s Meats & Catering and Texas Roadhouse.

Opt for the Outside

Can’t make it to the event? River Bend Nature Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. If you are looking for activities to do outside, read 5 Fun Winter Activities to do in Racine County. In addition, check out River Bend’s newest equipment. Read Christensen’s Kicksleds Available for Rental at River Bend to learn more.


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