MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - Embrace winter by celebrating cross-country skiing at the Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener.

Skiers of all abilities and ages are invited to kick off winter with free skiing, free rental equipment and free mini lessons.

Participate in the Ski Tour with routes for the whole family and check out the Nordic Ski Expo with reps from 50 Nordic ski suppliers, resorts, retailers and clubs. Activities are on and off the snow, so dress for the weather.

The opener takes place on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area in Elm Creek Park Reserve, 12400 James Dean Parkway, Maple Grove. Admission is free.

More information is available online.