The Franklin County Children’s Coalition is again providing numerous opportunities for students to enjoy their holiday vacations through its “Winter Adventures” program.

“The reason we hold these events is so that those families who are unable to travel out of town can stay in town and enjoy time with their family and children with the activities we have provided,” Rebecca McFarland, family and consumer sciences extension agent for Frontier Extension District No. 11, which serves Franklin County, said.

Winter Adventures began Friday with a Christmas cookie workshop at Grace Community Fellowship Church, 501 S. Poplar St., and the first day of Schools Out Camp for kindergartners through sixth-graders from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ottawa Community Recreation Center/Goppert Building, 705 W. 15th St.

“In the Schools Out Camp, they do activities, crafts, play games ... basically it just keeps them busy all day,” Korey Calhoun, ORC recreation supervisor, said.

The Schools Out Camp returns Thursday and Friday.

The first featured activity for Thursday is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. with Make and Take Craft at the Ottawa Public Library, 105 S. Hickory St. The next event will be the showing of “Ice Age: Continental Drift” at 10 a.m. at Ottawa Church of the Nazarene, Seventh and Elm streets.

Thursday afternoon’s activities are expected to commence with two films presented by the Kansas City Zoo at Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St. The first show, “Operation Perfect Pet,” is set for 1 p.m., followed by “Food Chain Mystery” at 2 p.m.

Winter Adventures then moves to the Don Woodward Community Center, 515 E. Third St., for Imagination Playground.  

“(Imagination Playground) is a large box that they can open up that is filled with what I think is mostly foam and different shapes and different sizes of blocks and the kids can just use those to build things,” McFarland said. “They can basically use their imagination to do what they want.”

Children will be able to experience the Imagination Playground at 3 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday.

The final event scheduled for Thursday was roller skating at The Rink, 222 E. Second St.. Skating was open to children 10 years and younger from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and then people of all ages 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $1 per person, or attendees may bring a canned good to benefit Hope House.

The first musical event of Winter Adventures is expected to showcase kid-rocker Mr. Stinky Feet, who will perform at 10 a.m. Friday in Ottawa Municipal Auditorium.

“He has been here in the past, but I haven’t actually seen him,” McFarland said. “I think he is just a really good entertainer for young kids and makes them laugh a lot. He may have some life lessons to incorporate, too.”

Children will then be able to get a workout as Ottawa Jazzercise will play host to two sessions of Jazzercise for Kids at 205 S. Main St. The first session will be for ages 4 through second grade at 11 a.m. Friday. The second session will start at 1 p.m. for children who are in third grade and up.

The ORC also is planning bingo for 1 p.m. Friday at the Goppert Building. After an hour of bingo, children will be able to play dodgeball at 2 p.m. Friday’s final event will offer another opportunity for children to make crafts from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Ottawa Church of the Nazarene.

The final three days of Winter Adventures will feature one event each.

From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 29, Zumba for Kids will be offered for ages 4-15 at the Goppert Building. The primary sponsor of Winter Adventures, American Eagle Outfitters, will allow children to make crafts from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 31 at its distribution center, 1529 N. Davis Avenue Park. The closing event of Winter Adventures will be another opportunity to go roller skating for those 10 and younger from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 2 at the Rink.

“We really appreciate American Eagle for providing us with the funds to do this because without them, a lot of this wouldn’t be possible,” McFarland said. “We appreciate all of the business and organization agency partners.”

Children who attend any of the Winter Adventures activities must be accompanied by a parent or someone 18 or older.