How to beat boredom on break

Many area schoolchildren have already started their holiday break — today is the last day of school for Wichita students — and several 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.

"The kids are going to have a great time, and parents can rest assured that they aren't going to be zoned out in front of the TV for two weeks," said Jon McReynolds, camping director for the YMCA.

The camps are Monday through Dec. 31 at the East, Northwest, South and Andover branches. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 31.

Cost for one to three days is $75 for members, $100 for nonmembers; for four to five days, $125 for members, $150 for nonmembers. Today is the deadline to register. For more information, call 316-264-1610, ext. 251, or visit

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

Orchard Recreation Center, 4808 W. Ninth St., and Edgemoor Recreation Center, 5815 E. Ninth St., will hold holiday camps for children ages 6 to 13 this week and next. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday and Monday through Dec. 30. Cost is $13 a day and includes a morning and afternoon snack. For more information, call the Orchard center, 316-337-9244, or Edgemoor center, 316-688-9392.

Other centers also offer classes or programs for children during the school break. Programs vary, so it's best to contact your local recreation center for times, dates and details.

* The Derby Recreation Commission is hosting "Recreation Station" for children 5 to 12 at the Derby Recreation Center.

The program runs 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, Wednesday and Dec. 27-29. It costs $17 a day for Derby residents; $25.50 for those outside the district. For more information, call 316-788-3781 or visit

* Exploration Place, Wichita's science center and children's museum, is offering several holiday- or winter-themed workshops starting today. The 45-minute workshops are designed for families. Topics include creating mini gingerbread houses, making snowflakes and ice crystals, building bird feeders or turning a pinecone into a skiing snowman.

Cost, which includes museum admission, is $9 for children 3 to 11 and $14.50 for adults without a membership. Members pay $3.50 for children, $5.50 for adults. For more information, call 316-660-0620.