Watch majestic, wild creatures play in the snow at a special two-day Wild Winter Weekend at Animal Ark, a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary and education center just north of Reno that offers injured or abandoned animals (think big cats, bear, wolves, owls and others) a safe place to live. Attendees are encouraged to dress warmly – the Ark’s 38 acres are at 6,000 feet – and to call on the event day, just in case weather conditions force a cancellation. The event lasts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Feb. 16; tickets cost $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for children ages 3 to 12 (it’s free for children 2 and under). The Ark is located at 1265 Deerlodge Road, Reno. Bring comfortable walking shoes for the one-mile dirt trail. Visit www.animalark.org for more information, or call (775) 970-3111.
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What: Celebrate Valentine’s Day in an elaborate, vintage style. There will be burlesque dancers, vaudeville comedy acts, live jazz and tasty libations.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Empire Opera House, 120 Joerschke Drive, Grass Valley
Cost: $25, includes one drink ticket
What: Check out an organic farm’s animals, learn about the ranchers’ daily routines and enjoy afternoon tea in the old wood barn. In addition to tasting plenty of Weirauch Creamery cheeses and sweet Valentine’s Day treats, other products will be up for sale.
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Tully Dolci Organic Farm, 300 Hardin Lane, Petaluma
Cost: $55 adults, $21 children under 12
Food writing lessons
What: Love food and dream of one day writing for Bon Appetit magazine? This class delivers a taste of many forms of food writing: essays, blogs, recipes and freelance work for magazines and newspapers among them. Dianne Jacob, author of “Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Restaurant Reviews, Articles, Memoir, Fiction, and More” will lead the classroom.
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Writing Salon, 2121 Bonar St., Berkeley
Cost: $110, $95 members
What: Discover the stories behind the 30,000-acre Don Edwards Refuge, the nation’s first urban national wildlife refuge and home to millions of migratory birds and endangered species. GPS coordinates will bring you to two landmarks that display the history of the wildlife lands.
When: 2-3:30 p.m. next Sunday
Where: Visitors Center at Don Edwards Refuge, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont
Cost: Free, registration required
Information: (510) 792-0222 ext. 362; www.donedwardsfamilybird.eventbrite.com
– Bee staff