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Looking to keep kids busy over winter break? We've got a few ideas

Ruby Walker, 8, left, and Sarah Whittaker, 9, Lawrence, play a "Find It Game" as they visit The Festival of Nativities at Centenary United Methodist Church, 245 N. Fourth St., Saturday, December 19, 2015.

Tomorrow, Christmas will be over, as will much of the holiday pomp and circumstance that tends to whip little ones into frenzies. Perhaps unluckily for parents, Lawrence Public Schools students will still have plenty of time on their hands before classes resume Jan. 5. So, what’s a frazzled mom or dad to do?

Turns out, there’s lots to keep kids busy and entertained in Lawrence until then. We’ve rounded up a few of those options here, but you can always check out the Journal-World’s Datebook and online events throughout the week for more ideas.

Parks and Recreation activities



Six-year-old Zoey Hixon, of Lawrence, looks out from a wall she built during Lawrence Parks ...

Lawrence’s Parks and Recreation Department, always a popular choice for kid-friendly fun, still had some open spots for a handful of workshops as of press time Friday evening. First, “rid the winter blues with the thrill of gymnastics” and sign up for Parks and Rec’s coed camp, running Tuesday through Friday at Sports Pavilion Lawrence.

This program, for ages 5 through 12, is open to little gymnasts of all abilities, with a focus on improving and learning new skills, increasing physical fitness and building a healthy self-image. Other activities will include volleyball, basketball, soccer, arts and crafts, board games and movies.

Classes take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. all four days at SPL, 100 Rock Chalk Lane.

Also up for grabs: the ever-popular Lego camp, slated to run from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at SPL. The latest installment will have a “Star Wars” theme, with participants (ages 5 through 12) using Lego blocks to build their own Pod Racers, cloud cities, settlements, fortresses and “other complex machines and structures from a galaxy far, far away.”

Prices are $112 for gymnastics camp and $148 for Lego camp. For more information, including online registration, visit or call 832-3450.

Christmas in Lecompton

Not ready to say goodbye to Christmas just yet? Festivities continue in nearby Lecompton straight through New Year’s Day. The Territorial Capital Museum, 640 E. Woodson Ave., boasts a collection of more than 120 Christmas trees decked out in antique, vintage and themed decorations. There’s also a 15-foot live cedar tree to admire in the museum’s chapel.

Special holiday hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.



An ornament commemorating President Abraham Lincoln sits within an American-themed Christmas tree on Wednesday, Nov. ...

Festival of Nativities

Centenary United Methodist Church’s annual Festival of Nativities lasts until Dec. 30, allowing admirers one last chance to visit the church’s extensive collection of crèche sets from across the globe.

More than 400 nativity scenes go on display each year Centenary United Methodist, 245 N. Fourth St., creating a softly lit metropolis of nativities representing New Zealand, Italy, Russia, France and some 30 other countries.

The festival itself is free, though the church does generate modest funds from its gift shop, stocked with homemade cookies, candies and other holiday and gift items. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

After Christmas Gaming at GameNut

Got a new board game for Christmas? Take it for a spin — and maybe make some friends in the process — Tuesday at Astrokitty at GameNut, 844 Massachusetts St.

The laid-back fun lasts from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bring your games or try your hand at some of the selections at GameNut.

First Day Hike

Take the kids for a much-needed spot of exercise New Year’s Day at Clinton State Park, where staff is hosting a family-friendly “First Day Hike.” Pets are welcome at this approximately 2-mile trek, though be sure to bring a leash.

Check in at noon at the park office, 798 North 1415 Road. The hike should last until about 2 p.m.

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