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Home for the holidays: How to keep kids entertained

Draft horses pull a group on a sleigh ride through Viking Ship Park at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. The rides are offered through Friday, from 1 to 4 p.m. Forum file photo1 / 4
Kids can show off their LEGO creations at a LEGO Mania Design Contest, Thursday at the Main Fargo Public Library. Forum file photo2 / 4
Keep kids busy for hours with a paper airplane throwing contest. Make a scoreboard on the floor with masking tape. Danielle Teigen / The Forum3 / 4
Have kids create "snakes" using squares of fabric, felt or leftover wrapping paper strung along a ribbon. Danielle Teigen / The Forum4 / 4

FARGO — Now that Christmas is over, parents are breathing a sign of relief and looking forward to getting back to a normal routine.

Except that won't happen until kids go back to school after the holiday break.

For those families whose children are home, here are a few ideas to keep them busy during the time off from school.

The great outdoors

A variety of events geared toward children are scheduled for this week. Here are a few options you might want to consider:

  • Open Skate: Lace up your skates and glide through the holidays with skating sessions. While outdoor rinks are open all the time, indoor open skate is offered at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, at Southwest Youth Ice Arena, 44014 23rd Ave. S., Fargo; 1:30 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Coliseum, 807 17th Ave., N., Fargo; 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sports Arena, 2001 17th Ave., S., Fargo; 2:15 to 4:15 p.m., Sunday, on the north rink at Moorhead Sports Center, 324 24th St., S.; 7 to 8:30 p.m., Sunday, Veteran's Memorial Arena, 1201 7th Ave., E., West Fargo. Check with each facility for admission and skate rentals.
  • Sleigh Rides: If you want to go all in on old-timey holiday traditions, why not pony up for a horse-drawn sleigh ride. See Moorhead's Viking Ship Park through a unique perspective from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Tickets are available at the Hjemkomst Center, 202 1st Ave., N., Moorhead, on a first come, first served basis for $4 per person, no advance sales. All riders will receive $1 off of the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County museum admission.

Out and about

If being outside in frigid temperatures doesn't sound appealing, here are a few other events that will get everyone out of the house but keep the chill at bay:

  • Family Skate New Year's Party: Roll out of 2017 with an early New Year's Eve party at Skate City, 3302 Interstate Blvd S, Fargo. From 9:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, enjoy party favors, a balloon drop, door prizes and more. Admission is $7, free for parents skating with their kids. Visit Skatecitynd.com, or call (701) 235-0555 for more information.
  • Mary Poppins Sing Along and Tea Party: The last thing your child may need is a spoonful of sugar to help Christmas break go down, but you can always trust Mary Poppins when it comes to handling kids. The Main Fargo Public Library, 102 3rd St., N., screens the Disney film at 2 p.m. on Wednesday with crafts, tea and treats also available. Children of all ages are welcome to attend and no pre-registration is required. All materials provided.
  • Nature Movie of the Month: Christmas in Yellowstone: Even if you're not travelling this holiday season, you can get a look at the majestic winter wonderland that is one of the greatest national parks. The movie "Christmas in Yellowstone" shows off a snowy Yellowstone National Park and how nature affects the animal habitat. The film starts at 1 p.m. on Thursday at West Fargo Public Library, 109 3rd St. E. Free popcorn is available.
  • LEGO Mania Design Contest: LEGOs are a popular holiday gift. Show off what you can make with your colorful building blocks at LEGO Mania Design Contest, Thursday at the Main Fargo Public Library, 102 3rd St., N. Kids 12 and younger can bring in their clickable constructions between 2 and 3 p.m. Judging starts at 3 p.m., and winners announced at 4 p.m. Games and other activities will also be available. Pre-register at (701) 241-1495. Don't forget to check out the contest rules at Fargond.gov.

 Forum file photo

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

In the event that venturing out of your house just isn't an option, but the kids have already tired of their new Christmas toys, these activities require only a few supplies but will keep kids busy for at least an afternoon:

  • Scavenger hunt: Create a list using items you already have in your home (think shampoo, a spoon, magazine, colored bowl, etc.) and divide children into teams (or play as individuals depending on the age of your kids). Give everyone a list and set them loose collecting the items. You can even award bonus points for the least amount of bickering.
  • Paper airplane flying contest: All this activity requires is a roll of masking or painters tape and some paper. Create a scoreboard on the floor by taping numbers down a line, and let everyone create a paper airplane to fly. Points are awarded based on where the plane lands. Depending on the age of your children, you can use this activity as addition practice. 
  • Mini ice hockey: This activity requires a bit of planning because you need to freeze water in a pan (you can even freeze small toys in the water for additional fun). Use a checker piece or bottle cap for the puck and spoons as sticks. You can build a goal using blocks or simply mark off the goal with some tape. Keep in mind that this activity has a shelf life and could create a mess once the ice melts.
  • Button snake: Use old craft and sewing supplies you have around the house as materials for a snake kids create themselves. Cut fabric or felt into small squares, then cut a circle or slit in the center. Glue or sewing a button on one end of a ribbon, then have kids string the squares along the ribbon to create the snake. Once the snake is at its desired length, tie a knot on the end to keep the fabric from slipping off the ribbon. This is also a great activity for fine motor development as well as color and counting practice. You can make this activity even better by using squares of leftover wrapping paper and ribbon from the gift-opening extravaganza.

Have kids create "snakes" using squares of fabric, felt or leftover wrapping paper strung along a ribbon. Danielle Teigen

Danielle Teigen

Danielle Teigen is from South Dakota, but she headed north to attend North Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and management communication. She worked for Forum Communications first in 2007 as an intern and part-time reporter. Later, she served as editor for two local magazines before switching gears for marketing and public relations roles for an engineering firm and the chamber of commerce.  She returned to Forum Communications in May 2015 as a digital content manager and is currently the Life section editor.  She is originally from Turton, S.D., and is the author of "Hidden History of Fargo".

(701) 451-5709
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