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Break It Up! Children’s Week Off From School For Spring Break Is Filled With Opportunities To Keep Boredom At Bay

A week off this time of year sounds pretty good to us working stiffs. But to kids, spring break is an excuse to pull out that ever-popular phrase: “There’s nothing to do. I’m bored.”

Well, Mom and Dad, we’re here to help.

We’ve put together a list of fun activities that should keep Junior occupied until school’s back in session. There’s everything from mastering the art of tie-dye to learning how to saddle up during a half-day horse camp. Most Spokane County schools are off next week, with Coeur d’Alene’s break this week.

The following list should help provide some spring break alternatives to renting a big pile of videos and vegging out in front of the TV:

This week, the Coeur d’Alene Cultural Center is hosting a hands-on workshop with renowned puppeteer Bruce Cheese from the Oregon Puppet Theater. He will be teaching elementary school students how to create their own puppets between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the center, 414 1/2 Mullan Ave.

The free workshops are preparation for a student puppet show that will be part of this summer’s Spirit of Coeur d’Alene Aviation Days. For additional information, call the cultural center at (208) 664-3177.

The Spokane YMCA will sponsor low-cost swimming lessons April 6-10 for kindergartners through sixth-graders. The five 30-minute lessons can be scheduled either in the morning, afternoon or evening and are geared for non-swimmers and beginners. The $7.50 charge for non-members or $5 fee for Y members includes a T-shirt for participants. To register, call 838-3577, ext. 22.

Spokane’s Cheney Cowles Museum will have a couple of events that are designed to make learning fun.

The first Saturday of each month, the museum sets up hands-on art projects that often relate to the current exhibit. This Saturday, Family Fest will tie into the pop art exhibit, so you can take your best shot at being a budding Andy Warhol in designing whimsical alphabet letters, making fake food and creating pop-up cards. Don’t forget to pick up your lolli-“pop” on the way out.

Family Fest is free with museum admission. And during this exhibit, admission is free on the first Saturday of the month when you bring at least three cans of food. Contributions are donated to the Spokane Food Bank.

On April 8-10, you can give children a glimpse into pre-Nintendo lifestyles during Living History Days.

More than a dozen people will demonstrate such fading feats as tatting (making those pretty little borders on pillows and handkerchiefs), butter churning, making beeswax candles and quilting. Members of the Spokane Spinners Guild will turn wool into yarn.

And, a Coeur d’Alene group called American Mountain Men will set up a fur trade camp on the museum grounds.

Living History Days runs from 1 until 8 p.m. on April 8 and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. April 9-10.

The Cheney Cowles Museum is located 2316 W. First. For additional information, call 456-3931.

The Urban Coyote Bush Band will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday at Franklin Park Mall. It’s part of the KPBX Kid’s Concerts. The show is free.

Spring Break Workshops at the Spokane Art School are designed to appeal to a wide range of ages - from pre-school to junior high and high school students, who can try their hand at nature photography, face painting or calligraphy.

Among the classes geared for grades four to six are cartooning, mask design and tie dye.

Younger kids can try paper-bowl making, wood sculpture and putting together mobiles.

Each two-hour class is $12 plus lab fees, if they apply. Or, a full day is $30. Classes run April 6-9 starting each morning at 9:30 and running throughout the day, ending at 4:30. For a full schedule or to register, call the Spokane Art School at 328-0900.

Rides at Riverfront Park open this Saturday, and that is supposed to include the Looff Carousel, which has been refurbished. Season passes are available at a discount price until May 31. They’re now $25.95, but in June, the price goes up to $45. For information, call 625-6600.

Kids ages 8-15 can learn about horses from the ground up during a half-day camp at Indian Canyon Riding Stables. The course covers why horses need to wear shoes, proper grooming and feeding. The “final exam” will be a ride at the end of the lesson. The camp runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. April 7-9. It costs $44. To register, call 625-6200.

The Mukogawa Cultural Center will give children 6 and up a glimpse of Japanese lifestyles on April 7. Between 1 and 3 p.m., kids will tour the center, hear some Japanese stories and learn a few games. There will be snacks and a demonstration of origami, the Japanese art of paper-folding.

A more in-depth, hands-on origami workshop will follow between 3 and 5 p.m. There is a $5 fee for the origami class, but the first event is free.

For both, you must register by Thursday. To sign up, call the cultural center at 328-2971. The Mukogawa Cultural Center is located at Fort Wright, near Spokane Falls Community College.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Staff illustration by Molly Quinn



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