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Thursday storytimes, Valentine's activities planned at Interstate State Park

A popular program for pre-school children and their parents has started up again at Wisconsin Interstate Park.

The group gathers Thursdays at 10 a.m., January through March.

Naturalist Julie Fox will share a story and activity with pre-schoolers and their parents at the Ice Age Center. A short activity following the story will reinforce the story's nature-related theme.

Nature story time will generally last between 30-45 minutes, depending on the participants.

"It is a great opportunity for parents to get out to the park with their little ones during this time of the year," said Fox.

Participants will spend time indoors and outdoors, weather permitting, so parents should dress their children accordingly.

Interstate Park is located in St. Croix Falls on Highway 35 a half mile south of Highway 8. Nature story time is free of charge, but a Wisconsin State park sticker is required to enter the park. Annual passes for 2009 are $25 for Wisconsin residents or $35 for non-residents.

For more information call Fox at 715-483-3747.

Also upcoming, mark your calendars for a special Valentine's Candlelight Night at Interstate Park on Saturday, Feb. 14, from 6-9 p.m.

Join the Friends of Interstate Park and experience a Valentine's evening by candlelight as hundreds of candles are lit to guide skiers, snowshoers and hikers on separate trails. Come when you can, ski at your own pace on the Quarry Cross-Country Ski Trail. Snowshoers will discover the winter solitude of Lake O' the Dalles (snowshoes are available for use free of charge for ages 6 and up). Hikers can enjoy a candlelit walk beside the St. Croix River.

Or perhaps you would prefer a romantic ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Riders can hop aboard a wagon pulled by the horses of Victory Farms for a ride past river and lake. (Rides $4 per person, children under 5 free; tickets available for purchase at the event). Live music by The Harvesters, refreshments and warming fires are available at the trailheads near the Camp Interstate Shelter building.