It’s that most wonderful time of year! The trees are decorated, cookies baked, presents bought and the tiny humans are anxiously awaiting Santa’s arrival.  It’s warm and cozy, but what happens when the 26th rolls around? Let’s face it:  two solid weeks with your children on break in the dead of winter isn’t all lollipops and roses.  That’s a cold, hard fact in my world.  Mostly, it’s parents trying to juggle work duties with sitters or simply trying to keep the kids occupied until that glorious parental liberation day, January 3, rolls around.   

I did some looking around for you and compiled a list of things for the kids to do while you’re trying to stay sane and avoid “comfort eating” the holiday treats.

The Spokane Parks Department has a plethora of ideas:

Holiday Film Festival
Riverfront Park, IMAX Theater
The city of Spokane will show four holiday movies a day through January 1.  The best part? It’s FREE. The Parks Department does ask that you bring a food donation for 2nd Harvest Food Bank.  Check their site for show times.

Riverfront Park Ice Palace
It’s your last chance to skate under the Pavilion! The rink is about to become an “ice ribbon” on the west end of the park once renovations are done.  The rink is closed on Mondays, but every other day is fair game. $3.50 for kids ages 3-12, $5 for everyone else.

Youth Winter Adventure
Mt. Spokane Selkirk Nordic Area
December 27, 28

The City of Spokane is also offering kids ages 9-12 a chance to learn how to cross country ski and snowshoe.  It’s a day-long affair that’s sure to leave the youngsters exhausted. $69, 9am-4pm

The Spokane County Library District and the City of Spokane Library system are about more than just books.  Both offer activities for kids.  They’re all FREE!

Lego Club
Airway Heights Library, 3-4pm
December 28 (and every Wednesday, if you want to get technical)

Let the little ones go crazy with Legos and sharpen your child’s engineering skills.

Gingerbread House Building
December 29, 4pm
North Spokane Library on 44 E Hawthorne Road

You supply the children, the library supplies the building materials.

Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party
December 29, 4pm
East Side Library, 524 S. Stone  

Children will learn about New Year’s celebrations around the world and do crafts.

Noon Year’s Eve Party
December 31, 11 a.m.
Shadle Library, 2111 W Wellesley and Indian Trail Library, 4909 W Barnes Rd

Countdown to noon with balloons and snacks without having to stay up late!

Just a reminder: all the events at the libraries are FREE!

If you’re truly struggling with what to do with your children while you’re at work, the City of Spokane Valley is offering day camps with extended care.

Winter Break Cool Camp
December 21-23, December 27-30
This is for children ages 6-11 only. The camps go from 8am-5pm with an extended care option! City of Spokane Valley is putting on these day camps at CenterPlace Regional Event Center. Prices vary.

If you do have the time off and want to find some fun family outings to enjoy, try the following:

Winter Glow Spectacular
This holiday light show runs until December 30 at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. It’s $7 Adults, while kids under 6 are free.

First Night Spokane
It’s the annual arts & entertainment festival on December 31 in downtown Spokane. Get your comfy shoes and warm clothes on for this event.  It’s an all-day affair that culminates in a fireworks show at midnight. Buttons are $15.00 before December 31, $18.00 the day of.

Frozen Sing Along
This takes place at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane December 30-31. It’s $20 for adults, $15 ages 12 and under. The musical experience invites audiences of all ages to sing along with this special interactive screening of Disney’s beloved musical, Frozen, one of the “coolest” animated hits of all-time!

Mobius Science Center
Multiple day camps are available over the winter break. From Snowman Spray Dough to Liquid Nitrogen Cooking, your child will be plenty entertained.  Classes are FREE with price of admission, which is $8.00 (unless you’re a member, then it’s all “free”).

Honor Point Military & Aerospace Museum
Open Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Honor Point is a newly opened museum at Felts Field in Spokane Valley. It’s small, but mighty. It celebrates the hard work and sacrifice by veterans of all services. Multiple historic planes are on display. It’s a pretty cool way to spend an afternoon and it’s FREE!

Enjoy the holiday season and don’t worry, January 3 will be here in no time.