Santa Claus gives a young fan a high five Friday, Nov. 29 at the Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Santa Claus gives a young fan a high five Friday, Nov. 29 at the Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Plenty of ways to keep kids entertained during break

Libraries, rec center offer a number of events.

Winter break starts next week for Kenai Peninsula schools, and some parents might be scrambling for a way to keep their kids busy while they’re not in class. Here’s a list of youth events happening around the peninsula during the holidays. Schools will be closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3.

On Monday, Dec. 23, the Kenai Community Library will be kicking off the break with a Santa-themed Story Time session featuring a special appearance from Mrs. Claus. From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., kids and parents can stop by the library for songs, games and arts and crafts. Kids can also get their photo taken with Mrs. Claus. No registration is required.

Starting the day after Christmas, the Kenai Library will also be hosting a Winter Fun Scavenger Hunt. Kids can come in any time from Thursday, Dec. 26 to Monday, Dec. 30 to follow clues hidden throughout the library, complete a puzzle and a prize. No registration is necessary, but children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

The Kenai Library will be closed at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and closed all day for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The Soldotna Public Library will also be hosting a number of events over winter break, including a holiday-themed story time taking place on Christmas Eve at 10:30 a.m. Toddler Story Time takes place every Tuesday at this time, and every Thursday is a story time geared towards preschool-aged kids.

On New Year’s Eve, parents can bring their kids to the Soldotna Library to ring in the new year without making them stay up all night. Starting at 11:15 a.m., the library will be hosting their fourth annual Noon Year’s Eve Story Time, which will feature stories, crafts and a balloon drop after counting down to noon, rather than midnight.

On Jan. 3, kids aged 10 to 14 are invited to the Soldotna Library for their Tween Tie-Dye event. Starting at 1:30 p.m. kids can bring whatever item of clothing they’d like to be tie-dyed with the help of library staff.

The Soldotna Library will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day, but on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve the library will be open until 6 p.m.

For residents of Nikiski, the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area has plenty of activities planned throughout the break. A Winter Break Camp will take place at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Dec. 31, Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring arts and crafts, gym activities and swimming at the Nikiski Pool. The camp will be divided into two age groups, one group for kindergarten through fifth grade and another geared towards middle school-aged kids. NCRC Shift Supervisor Teri Langston said that they will even break out the sleds and hit the hills outside, if weather permits.

The camp is $10 per day to participate, and parents can either pre-register at the community center or arrive before the start of each day to sign up. For more information, call 907-776-8800.

Langston said that the community center also still has a lot of children’s winter coats leftover from their winter coat giveaway earlier this year, and anyone in need can still pick up the coats through winter break. The community center will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

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