L.L.Bean Winter Sports Weekend, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, demonstrations and clinics on ice fishing, layering, ski waxing, footwear selection, winter camping and more, plus the chance to try out snowshoes and sleds on a demo track made of real snow; 20 percent off many products; kids activities. L.L.Bean, Main Street, Freeport. For more information, go towww.llbean.com/events.

Handgun safety course, Sportsman’s BARR in Gardiner, 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. This class fulfills the requirements for a safety course before applying for a concealed firearms permit. Cost is $50. For more information, call 588-0888.

Tin Mountain Mammal Project, 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Tin Mountain Nature Learning Center, Albany, N.H. Naturalists will give an overview of tracking and animal signs. $15 for members, $20 for non-members. For more information or to sign up, call 603-447-6991 or e-mail [email protected]

Saco River Salmon Club, dinner meeting, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Trinity Episcopal Church meeting hall, 15 Cleveland St., Saco. Donation of $8 per person is appreciated. For more information, e-mail [email protected]

Winter Bird Ecology, 7 p.m. Thursday, Tin Mountain Nature Learning Center, Albany, N.H. Refresh your birding skills for the upcoming Christmas bird count. Donations of $3 per person and $5 per family are appreciated. To learn more, go to www.tinmountain.org or call 603-447-6991.

Handgun safety course, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Maine-ly Outdoors Ministry of Daystar Chapel in Madison. This course satisfies the requirement to apply for concealed weapons permit. Call Dell at 399-9717 to register.

Christmas at Viles, 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, the Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., Augusta. Santa Claus will arrive at 5 p.m. and will give each child a spruce tree to take home. Tree lighting will take place at dusk, and there will be Christmas songs, snacks and mulled cider. For more information, go online to www.vilesarboretum.org or call 626-7989.

Winter Hike at Mayberry Hill Preserve in Casco at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, sponsored by Loon Echo Land Trust. Meet at the Mayberry Hill trailhead. If there’s snow, the group will look for animal tracks as well as learn about sustainable forestry practices on this 1.2-mile hike over easy terrain. For more information, contact Jon Evans at [email protected] or call 647-4352.

Looking ahead

Portland Trails benefit night, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14, Flatbread Company on Portland’s waterfront. Flatbread donates $3 for each large pizza (phone orders count too). Portland Trails staff and board members will be on hand to answer questions about the trails, upcoming events and current projects.

South Portland Land Trust annual meeting, for members and supporters, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 16, at the South Portland Community Center. To attend, please RSVP to [email protected] or go online to www.splandtrust.com.

Family Sled, Ride and Walk through Pondicherry Park in Bridgton, 10 a.m. Dec. 31, with the Lakes Environmental Association. Good physical shape and appropriate winter gear are requirements for this hour-long trek. To reserve your place, call 647-8580 or e-mail [email protected]

NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 5, Cabela’s, Scarborough. Sponsored by Western Maine Property Protection. Shooting will take place in indoor heated range. Cost is $125 per person, or $100 for a couple, which includes all course materials and the use of all firearms and ammunition. Lunch will be provided. This course meets concealed weapon permit requirements. Register by Jan. 29; call 739-9774 or e-mail [email protected]


Youth Archery League, sponsored by Sportsman’s BARR in Gardiner, for ages 7-14 years old, 11 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Cost is $5 per child. For more information, call 588-0888 or go to www.sportsmansbarr.com/

The Portland Water District invites preschoolers to join it for environmentally themed stories, activities and crafts. The sessions include: Forest Friends, Dec. 17; the Wonders of Water, Jan. 21; Incredible Insects, Feb. 18; Plants and Their Parts, March 18; Fun with Frogs, April 15. Programs run from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sebago Lake Ecology Center in Standish. To register, e-mail [email protected] or call 774-5961 ext. 3319 or 3320. Donation supports local loon preservation. Scholarships available and snacks are provided.

Weekly Bird Walk, 7 a.m. Thursdays at Gilsland Farm, off Route One, Falmouth, $5 for Maine Audubon members, $8 for nonmembers. All skill levels. Bring binoculars and a field guide and meet in the visitor center parking lot. Call 781-2330, ext. 209 to learn more.