Pekin organizations are offering a variety of activities this December and January for central Illinois children looking for something to do during winter break.
The Pekin Park District is offering Winter Break Adventure Camp from Dec. 26 to 28 and Jan. 2 to 4. Shawn Powers, superintendent of Recreation for Pekin Park District, said that for the second year, each day features its own theme. Drop-off time starts at 7 a.m. and children must be picked up by 6 p.m.
December 26 is “Mad Scientist” day, when campers are encouraged to have crazy hair when the attend. On Dec. 27, campers will go ice skating at Veterans Memorial Ice Arena. That Friday also features a pajama party theme where children may wear pajamas to camp.
The following week’s themes are New Year’s Party, Movie Star Party and Snow Day. Lunch will be provided on Jan. 2, but campers need to bring a sack lunch the other days they attend. Children will take a field trip to the movie theater for the Movie Star Party on Jan. 3.
Winter Break Adventure Camp Director Andrew Ritchey hopes for snow for the final Friday of camp for their Snow Day.
“I’m looking forward to the field trips, going out and enjoying nature,” Ritchey said. “We’ll go sledding and build snow forts. When we have days like this, we can keep the kids busy and active all day.”
Ritchey will hire four or five counselors depending on the number of children registered.
Registration may be done online or at the Recreation Reception Office located in the Veterans Memorial Ice Arena. Camp is $30 per child per day for Pekin residents or $31 per child per day for non-residents. All activities featured are included in the price. The other option is to register for the week at $72 per child regardless of residency.
“We did it this way so parents can pick and choose what works best for them,” Powers said. “There might be one camp their kids want to do so they only sign-up for one day. Parents might want to do both weeks because of their schedules or because they want something for the kids to do. We enroll kids currently in kindergarten through sixth grade.”
Pekin Park District also offers School’s Out Adventure Camp on planned school holidays. The next will be on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is Monday, Jan. 21. That day, children will go swimming at the RiverPlex Recreation and Wellness Center.
The Pekin Public Library will also offer additional programs during the January portion of winter break. At 2 p.m. on Jan. 3, there will be a collaborative art piece for grandparents and grandchildren to create. Registration is not required. Laura Wilson, head of Youth Services at the Pekin Public Library, said that once the piece is complete it will be displayed inside the library.
A program called Get Gaming will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 3 and 4 for students currently in third through sixth grades. Although it is free, registration is required because there is a maximum 10 children per session. During those hours, children may play online games that are appropriate for the library with friends.
There will be a free movie for the community at 2 p.m. on Jan. 5 in the library’s Storytime Room. Registration is not required for this event. Wilson said there will be a movie event, called Movie Snark, for teens at the same time in the Community Room on the library’s upper floor. The movie will be an older, not trendy movie. Snacks will be provided.
Students in fourth through sixth grades may attend Paper Crafting with Cricut from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7. Registration is required, and there is a maximum number of 10 for the event. Supplies will be provided.
Wilson said the regularly scheduled programs at the library will continue to run during winter break.
“We do like to do some extra things over break,” said Wilson. “Parents are usually looking for something for the kids to do.”
The YWCA of Pekin has Finally Friday every Friday, which is a community swim event open to anyone regardless of membership. The pool is open from 5:30 to 8 p.m. There is a fee of $5 per person. Aquatic and Fitness Director Dylan Broombaugh said he recommends calling 347-2104 to pre-register for Finally Friday because they do cap attendance at 25.