Where kids can spend days of holiday break

As area schoolchildren start a two-week holiday break Friday, some organizations are offering day camps or other programs aimed at filling those winter days.

* Several YMCA branches will hold supervised day camps where children in kindergarten through fifth grade can swim, play games and take field trips.

"It's winter break, and there's no school so the kids are naturally excited," said Cat Palmer, school-age program director for the YMCA. "Our staff and the kids really have a lot of fun."

The camps are Dec. 21-24 and 28-31 at the East, Northwest, South and Andover branches. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day except Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, when the program ends early (1 p.m. Dec. 24, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 31).

Cost is $20 a day for YMCA members, school-age child care participants and district teachers; $25 a day for others. Register by today for next week's camps and by Dec. 22 for the following week's. For more information, call 316-264-1610, ext. 252.

* Several Wichita recreation centers will host day camp programs or open-rec sessions for school-age children.

Edgemoor Recreation Center, 5815 E. Ninth St., will hold its in-service program for children from kindergarten to age 13. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 21-22 and 28-30. Cost is $13 a day and includes a morning and afternoon snack.

Boston Recreation Center, 6655 E. Zimmerly, will have free open-rec sessions from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-30 for school-age children. Kids are invited in to play basketball, board games, air hockey and other games.

Doug Kupper, city parks director, said programs vary so it's best to contact your local recreation center for times, dates and details.

* The Derby Recreation Commission will host "Recreation Station" for children 5-12 and "Camp Whatever" for kids 12-16 at the Derby Recreation Center. Both programs start Friday.

Recreation Station is 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and costs $17 a day for Derby residents; $25.50 for those outside the district. Camp Whatever is 1 to 5:30 p.m. and features field trips to the movies, ice skating, laser tag and more. The fee is $18 a day for Derby residents; $27 for others.

For more information, call 316-788-3781, or visit

* The GoZones After School Program, a collaborative effort among Inter-Faith Ministries, local congregations and AmeriCorps, will host activities at several area churches over winter break.

For dates, times and details, call Shontina Tipton at 316-264-9303, ext. 142.