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Things to Do with School Aged Kids During Winter Break


By Dinah Torres Castro

As the holidays approach, many parents become exhausted with all the details. So much planning goes into making the holidays successful that we often forget about the days afterwards. If you are like me, you’re probably fantasizing about finally getting to sleep late each morning, and hoping that the kids will keep themselves busy with the new toys and gadgets they received for the holidays. But, let’s be real. This only lasts for a few days—if you are lucky.

What we need to do is check out what is going on in our local communities during winter break. A good place to start is your community library. Most libraries schedule children’s events that vacation week which are entertaining for children and spark their creativity. Activities range from crafts to science experiments, book readings to movies, and even special trips.

If the holidays provide you with some extra money, you may want to spend it on classes or winter break camps at local museums. The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, the Science Museum of Long Island, and the Sweet Briar Nature Center are some places that offer fun, interesting activities for one to three days during the school break.

On a snowy day, add a twist to your children’s snowman-making fun by having them paint the snowman with bright Kool-Aid packets in a squeezable Ketchup-type bottle with a spout, or an empty spray bottle. If you’re looking for other “staycation” ideas, you can find ways to entertain the kids without emptying your wallet. Try a winter walk through some of the state parks for a fun afternoon of fresh air and exercise. You can take advantage of free parking at parks such as Robert Moses State Park. So bundle up, pack a thermos of hot cocoa and some snacks or sandwiches, and have fun!

For a complete list of State Parks located in Suffolk County click on the link below:

Dinah Castro is a Bilingual Family Well-Being Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. She can be reached at 631-727-7850 ext. 351 or at


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