Make your own reindeer ornament at Pioneer Christmas for Kids.
Make your own reindeer ornament at Pioneer Christmas for Kids.
ELKO — Learn about female prospectors of the West and enjoy Pioneer Christmas at the California Trail Interpretive Center.

The Trail Center is presenting a variety of family friendly programs throughout December. The following programs are free and open to everyone:

Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Pioneer Christmas for Kids

 Pioneer Christmas for Kids is the Trail Center’s annual holiday celebration. Create a reindeer ornament, design your own Christmas cards, and make other holiday arts and crafts. Southwind will play live holiday music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to benefit F.I.S.H (Friends in Service Helping) and families of Elko County.

Dec. 14, 10 a.m.:  'No Women Need Apply': Women Doctors of the West

 Anybody in the old west could be a doctor, including women. Women doctors had to withstand many trials and tribulations in order to be taken seriously, even though their work was just as effective as the work of their male counterparts; they had to be tough, determined, and ready to face the plethora of challenges that lay ahead, and in doing so, they paved the way for future generations of female health care providers.

Dec. 22, 2 p.m.: Junior Ranger Program: Scout the Way

 Pioneers often hired scouts to help them find their way safely along the trail.

A good scout needed a sharp eye, attention to detail, patience and endurance to locate the best places for wagons to cross water, camp, and find food for themselves and their animals. 

Join Park Ranger Steven Owens for this junior ranger program. Go on a scavenger hunt through the Trail Center and see if you have the observation skills a scout would need!

Dec. 28, 10 a.m.:  The Petticoat Prospectors: Female Prospectors of the American West 

For many people, the word prospector conjures an image of tough, rowdy men panning for gold in boom towns across the west.

 However, many daring and determined women caught the gold fever and set out hoping to strike their fortune. From Josie Pearl staking her first claim at age 13 to Anna Rechel mining to support her family through the Great Depression, these women made their mark on the American West. 

The California Trail Interpretive Center is located eight miles west of Elko on I-80, Hunter exit 292. The Center is open Thursday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.