A horse-drawn wagon takes visitors in front of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library during a past Old World Christmas Market. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – Today’s chilly weather makes the holiday season seem close at hand, and with it, events that have become holiday traditions.

Two of those are happening the first weekend in December.

Nature’s Noel, at the Indian Creek Nature Center, 5300 Otis Rd. SE, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 2.

Nature’s Noel features wreaths and other decor made of fresh greenery. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

To get the best selection of the centerpieces, wreaths, swags and other décor made of fresh greenery, a line begins forming before the doors open.

This year, Nature’s Noel is expanding with family activities taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring children’s crafts, naturalist-guided activities, winter nature walks and more.

Nature’s Noel also features frozen soups and appetizers; vendors with various handmade wares; cookie dough and baked goods, as well as live music. Brewhemia will be onsite with coffee and hot chocolate available for purchase, along with The Grateful Crepe food truck.

That same day, on Saturday, Dec. 2, the Old World Christmas Market takes place at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market  continues on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vendors sell specialty imports and handmade gifts during the market and customers can also stop by for seasonal treats, see live music and dance performances, and enjoy free family activities. The museum is offering free gallery admission to exhibits that day.

New this year, the Czech Heritage Foundation will not only have a wide variety of wreaths in its popular drawing, but will offer tabletop trees and centerpieces, as well.

Nature’s Noel takes place at the Nature Center’s new Amazing Space. See photos from its opening last year.