Santa and Mrs. Claus wait for children to arrive during Breakfast with Santa at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Santa and Mrs. Claus wait for children to arrive during Breakfast with Santa at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Making the most of winter break

Holiday festivities include crafting, caroling, scavenger hunts and a whole lot of Santa

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s winter break starts this weekend, with no school until Jan. 3. As students spend two weeks outside of classrooms and holiday celebrations near, seasonal events, performances and festivities are scheduled around the central Kenai Peninsula to fill the time.

The Yo! Tacos Merry ProCraftinator’s Bazaar will be held at the Peninsula Center Mall on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be live Christmas caroling, and a Santa appearance from noon to 2:30 p.m. both days.

The Soldotna Public Library will hold a “winter scavenger hunt” available “for all ages” throughout winter break. The scavenger hunt will be available starting Friday, Dec. 15 until Jan. 2.

The Kenai Extreme Fun Center will host “Lunch with Santa” on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nikiski Hardware will again host its “Christmas Extravaganza” with appearances by Santa Claus and his reindeer, a bonfire and more. Saturday, Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For children aged 6 or older, the Kenai Community Library will host a crafting session for “melty bead ornaments” on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m.

The Kenai Performers’ Victorian Carolers will host holiday caroling at the Kenai Community Library fireplace on Saturday, Dec. 16, starting at 3:30 p.m.

The Kenai Peninsula Orchestra will host “Evening of Christmas” in the Kenai Central High School Auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets are free for students 18 years or younger. Adult admission is $15. The orchestra says that the concert will feature “seasonal classics, new arrangements, and sing-alongs” by local artists.

The City of Kenai, through the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Kenai Senior Center and the Kenai Community Library, will again celebrate “A Day with the Clauses” on Monday, Dec. 18. The day’s festivities will span three events at three locations, opening with breakfast at the Kenai Senior Center from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. — pancakes served alongside a visit with Santa. Next, Mrs. Claus will host a special themed story time at the Kenai Community Library, running from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Finally, there will be ice skating at Daubenspeck Pond — again featuring appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ice skates and hot cocoa will be provided “while supplies last.”

The Nikiski Pool will host a “teen splash party” for teenagers in the sixth through 12th grades on Monday, Dec. 18 from 3-6 p.m. There will be log rolling, the water slide, the hot tub, a cannonball contest and more. For details, contact Nikiski Pool at 776-8800.

The Kenai Community Library will launch “The Puzzling Polar Bear Scavenger Hunt” on Monday, Dec. 18, “a library-wide search to find all the polar bears and solve the puzzling pun.” The scavenger hunt will be available anytime during library open hours until Jan. 3.

A special holiday-themed trivia night will be held at the Kenai Community Library on Tuesday, Dec. 19 starting at 4 p.m. Teams are limited to five members or less, and should be registered at the main desk in advance. There will be hot cocoa and cookies, and those in ugly holiday sweaters will receive bonus points.

A free screening of “The Polar Express” will be held at the Orca Theater with Kelly Griebel and Century 21. Children must be accompanied by an adult; tickets are free. The showing is set for Saturday, Dec. 23 at 10 a.m.

A craft session for toddlers and preschoolers will be held at the Soldotna Public Library on Friday, Jan. 5 at 10:30 a.m. The library asks participants to register in advance online — the link can be found at “Soldotna Library” on Facebook.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at

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