Sands Point Preserve in Sands Point is marking the winter season...

Sands Point Preserve in Sands Point is marking the winter season with a Woodland Holiday Walk. Credit: Sands Point Preserve

The Sands Point Preserve may be best-known for its mansions, but this weekend, it’s going to point observant eyes along one of its nature trails for an introduction to the ways holidays are celebrated around the globe.

Once the private home of both the Gould and Guggenheim families, the preserve is now a facility owned by Nassau County and is operated by a conservancy. In the past, guests attending this time of the year could expect to experience the facility’s annual Holiday Tales at the Hearth, which would take place inside the Great Hall of the Castle Gould.

This year, "we've reinvented many of our traditions, so our visitors can experience them safely during the pandemic," says Beth Horn, the preserve's executive director. Noting that the Holiday Tales at the Hearth event typically "draws hundreds of visitors inside our mansions," Horn notes the preserve will instead host a Woodland Holiday Walk. "[It] isn't a gathering," says Horn. "Instead, guests continuously walk through the outdoor exhibition," during which social distancing and face masks are required.

The walk begins at the Phil Dejana Learning Center, where visitors will find a display of plush animals dressed for the holiday season. From there, visitors can stroll down the preserve’s Trail One for a quarter-mile while learning how the holidays are celebrated across five continents.

"The Woodland Holiday Walk is great for families," adds Horn. She says that children seeing the plush animal displays can also "learn about wildlife in our environment" and "can discover diverse holiday traditions that are celebrated in our community and around the world."

INFO 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point; 516-571-7901, The Woodland Holiday Walk will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 19-20; available for no additional charge. Admission to the preserve is $15 per car or $4 per person for walk-ins; the walk will be canceled come inclement weather, so check before arrival.

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