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Library, recreation department offer activities for kids during winter break
library pic
Denair Branch Library Assistant Robina Aziz helps library patrons Julia Ramos, 7, and Helena Falk, 3, make a wreath during kids crafts time on Monday. Denair and Turlock offer several opportunities for parents to get kids out of the house during winter break. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

The sounds of children taking advantage of the mild December weather can be heard throughout Turlock, as school is out for winter break.

While this two-week vacation is the highlight of many youths’ winter, parents are often left trying to figure out how to keep kids busy — and out of their hair — for the short academic break.

The Stanislaus County Library system is offering several free, local opportunities to get children out of the house during winter break. The Denair branch is offering kids crafts today and Thursday at 1 p.m. Today’s craft is a snowflake and Thursday’s is how to make a paperback wallet.

“I always like to provide kids activities because we always get an influx this time of year,” said Denair Branch Manager Karina Mendoza.

The Turlock branch will be hosting professional puppeteers from Puppet Art Theater on Dec. 28 at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The puppeteers will be performing “The Three Little Pigs.” They are also scheduled to perform “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” at the Salida branch at 4 p.m.

Jessica Garbay, a Turlock mother of two small children, appreciates the crafts and said she plans to attend numerous craft events and the puppet show.

For those willing to travel, the Newman branch will be hosting an astronomy class on Tuesday at 7 p.m.; and the Modesto branch will have a fossil and rock show for children at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 29.

The City of Turlock provides a variety of fun activities for K-6 graders at its Winter Break Camp. Turlocker David Sleeper currently has two children enrolled in the Winter Camp and he said it provides a vital service during the two weeks school is out.

“As working parents we can’t get both weeks off for Christmas and this program costs much less than a babysitter. The staff is great here and my kids never complain about being bored,” he said. “A lot of the time they are disappointed when I show up to pick them up because they like it here so much.”

The camp is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and students take part in activities such as games, movies, outdoor games, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities, group play and free play.

Registration is still available for the remainder of this week and next week. Rates are $20 per day and $93 per week. For more information visit and click on the “city departments” link.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.