Potential for some wintry mix blech headed our way, but today is downright gorgeous! Here are our top picks for family-fun in and around Baltimore this long weekend. For a full listing of area family activities, check out our calendar.

The Great Backyard Bird Count: Gather at the park to help Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society collect valuable information on winter birds. Information from this national bird count will help to create a real time snapshot of where birds are across the continent. No experience needed, just the desire for a wintry birding experience. Experienced birders and members of the Baltimore Bird Club will be on hand to assist, educate, and fascinate individuals and families alike. Naturalists will be on hand to share up close birding encounters with several live birds. Children can enjoy bird themed crafts and games and everyone can enjoy warming up by the fire and sipping hot chocolate or coffee. Happens Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Robert E. Lee Park.

Fun With Our Forefathers: Nice Day ahead for an afternoon hike at Carrie Murray Nature Center and “Fun With Our Forefathers,” from noon to 2 PM. (Yes, that means it happens today — Saturday). Learn about and explore beautiful Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park and the ruins (photo) dating to the days of James Madison and Crimea Mansion’s heyday. Bring a paper bag and make an Old Glory flag pennant, too! Preregistration requested. Fee: $4. Call 410-396-0808 for details.

Family Music Series: ‘American Odyssey’ with Ray Owen: Grammy nominated songwriter Ray Owen will entertain audiences of all ages with his wide range of musical instruments and vocals today at The Chesapeake Arts Center. It all happens at 4:00 PM and tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children.

Maple Magic at Irvine: There’s magic in Irvine’s trees! Walk through Irvine’s woods in a quest to make delicious maple syrup. Learn how to identify maple trees, properly tap a tree to collect its sugary sap, and convert the sticky fluid into syrup using Irvine’s enormous evaporator. It’s the perfect way to follow up a great pancake breakfast! All ages. Free for members, $10 for non-members. Space in Saturday’s program is sold-out, but you can catch the magic on Sunday from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM. Registration is strongly recommended since this program is so darn popular.

Kosher/Soul: African American-Jewish Identity Cooking: Join culinary historian and Judaics teacher Michael W. Twitty for a cooking demonstration and discussion of how he blends his African American roots in the Deep South with his adopted Jewish culture and faith. Kosher/Soul is about how cooking can reflect personal identity while honoring family, faith, and our common future in food. Join Mr. Twitty as we nosh on soul food that “answers to a Higher Authority.” Check out this event on Sunday at 1:00 PM at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

Maple Magic at Ladew Topiary Gardens: Can you smell it in the air? It’s maple sugaring time when maple tree sap begins to flow freely and we can make one of nature’s sweetest treats—maple syrup. Come experience the process of maple sugaring as we head out to Ladew’s Nature Walk to identify trees, observe tapped maple trees and collect some sap! Learn how to boil down the sap to make yummy, golden brown syrup. Tasty maple snacks will be provided! Sunday from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. $10 for adults and $5 for children (student and senior rates, too!)

Special President’s Day Ice Skating Sessions at Mt. Pleasant Ice Arena: Mt. Pleasant Ice Arena is offering special President’s Day Ice Skating Sessions on Monday: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Admission $4, Skate Rental $2

Image of Maple Sugar Event courtesy of The Irvine Nature Center.