St. Charles Park District keeps families busy with flurry of winter activities

With a line-up of activities this holiday season, the St. Charles Park District can help you finish your shopping, entertain your children and make memories with the entire family.

If you have last minute shopping to finish, drop your children off at Pottawatomie Community Center from 11:30am-2:30 p.m. Dec. 19. While staff members engage your little ones in holiday games, crafts and play, you can check off gifts on your list or put your feet up and take a nap.

“It’s a busy time of year; parents deserve a break,” said Early Childhood Supervisor Kara Guizzetti. “Kids feel the excitement of the season and this program allows them to direct their energy in a positive, fun environment.”

Mom’s Holiday Break is for ages 3-5. All children must be potty-trained. The fee is $28 per child for residents and $42 per child for nonresidents.

When you’re ready to step away from the hustle and bustle, stop by Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles. Together, you and your children can visit and pet animals such as snakes, rabbits and turtles; explore the Native American wigwam and other interactive play stations; read and color; and if weather allows, explore the Hideout, a natural outdoor playground.

Additionally, Hickory Knolls will provide supplies for special, drop-in activities on Thursdays in December including Snow Much Fun on December 20 and a Winter Scavenger Hunt Dec. 27. The activities are self-guided, but staff is available for questions. No registration is required.

Families also can ring in the New Year at Hickory Knolls during the Wild New Year’s Eve Celebration from 11a.m.-12:15 p.m. Dec. 31. All ages will learn about which critters hibernate and which do not during an animal program; make New Year’s Eve hats with recycled materials; enjoy refreshments and ring in the “new year” at noon.

Advance registration is required. The fee is $5 per child for residents and $8 per child for nonresidents. Adults are free.

The fun and games will continue at Hickory Knolls for children interested in the Frozen Fun Camp from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 2-4.

This interactive camp for ages 4-10 is loosely based on the Frozen movie characters Elsa and Anna and will include hands-on science experiments, outdoor hikes and activities, animal programs, games and crafts.

“We really want children to have fun away from screens during winter break and this camp serves to do just that,” said Laura McCoy, Hickory Knolls Nature Education Supervisor. “Whether they’re learning about native animals, getting messy with crafts or conducting snow and ice experiments we want them to have so much fun they don’t even know they’re learning.”

The fee for Frozen Fun Camp is $60 for residents and $90 for nonresidents.

Before the reality of school and work settles back in, end the winter break with one more family event, Ultimate Family Fun at the Sportsplex. Stop by from 12-3 p.m. Jan. 5, for bouncing, jumping and running activities for the whole family. The fee is $5 per person.

To register for programs or for more information, visit www.stcparks.org