Mother Nature has seen fit to give us a taste of Spring early this season, flying in the face of 180 years of groundhog based tradition. And while on the whole this has been a relatively mild winter with the occasional fit of cold and snow, we know winter will rear its frostbitten head one or two more times to remind us why we appreciate the summer so much, regardless of how hot and humid it is.

But let us not dwell on the bitter cold, like when we had a high of two, and instead focus on the pleasant times to be had in Spring, the magical time when we're out of the "Santa's Beer Cooler" cold of winter, yet the "Satan's Easy Bake Oven" heat of summer is still far off on the horizon. Hannibal Parks & Recreation has set up a few Springtime events to get us ready for days we can spend largely out-of-doors.

First up, right on March 23rd, the Vernal Equinox (not to be confused with the Autumnal Equinox in September or Chevrolet Equinox in your local dealership), is the Equinox Night Hike through the Sodalis Nature Preserve. It's a two mile night time hike to the bat caves that will be child friendly, so you can bring the kids along to see where Batman parks his car. It's a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Hannibal area.

A month later, on Sunday April 22nd, Hannibal Parks & Recreation is hosting the first Kite Festival out at Hannibal LaGrange University. You can bring your own kites if you're a current kite enthusiast or hobbyist, but they will have a kite construction station so you can build your own right there at the festival.

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