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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Betsy Waters: Ring out the old year with a myriad of merry activities at home and abroad

 
The hustle and bustle of the holidays is in full swing. Families are busy shopping, traveling and attending local family-friendly events. There are many wonderful ways to get out and enjoy the Bluegrass at local events, but it’s also a great time to stop and take time to enjoy some family time together.
 
Enjoy a stop at a local library to get some winter books, stop and read together, or check out a movie to snuggle up and watch for a family movie night.
 
Get active at the Lexington Ice Center where you can enjoy ice skating together, take a winter walk through the Arboretum, Raven Run or McConnell Springs, or enjoy a winter tour through Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
 
Shaker Village has some wonderful holiday events planned including special Holiday Saturdays. In addition to their regular December festivities, Holiday Saturdays will feature caroling choirs, roaring fires, twinkling lights and special visits with Mrs. Claus. Each Saturday will feature difference performers, programs and tours. For more information, click here.
 

One of many paper snowflake patterns to make with patterns found online (Photo from angelstreetmom.com)

One of many paper snowflake patterns to make with patterns found online (Photo from angelstreetmom.com)

If T.G. Shuck can pull some strings, maybe we’ll get lucky and enjoy some snow during the time off! Go sledding, have a snowball fight, build a snowman, make snow angels or get artistic with your snow and fill spray bottles with food coloring and water to create snow art.
 
If you’d rather not brave the cold, learn how to make some amazing paper snowflakes. You can search online for patterns or click here for a few to start with.
 
Head into the kitchen and do some holiday baking. Make and decorate cookies, cook dinner together, try a new recipe or make goodies to deliver to a local shelter, nursing home or neighbors.
 
Give back! Volunteer this season and be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. You can also set up your own Online Red Kettle and encourage friends and family to donate online. You can learn more about these opportunities by clicking here.
 
Serve others by volunteering at a local shelter, gather donations from friends and family and take them to a local center for women and children, church or shelter, or sign up now to participate in Family Days at God’s Pantry Food Bank held on the first Saturday of each month. For more information on Family Days, click here.
 

   Family Days at God's Pantry are good ways to work together to give back in this holiday season. (Photo from Facebook)

Family Days at God’s Pantry are good ways to work together to give back in this holiday season. (Photo from Facebook)

Curl up in front of the fire, enjoy a pajama day at home, string popcorn to hang on the tree, make hot chocolate, work a giant jigsaw puzzle, listen to Christmas music, watch a favorite holiday movie together, make a gingerbread house with some friends, create a special new ornament to hang on the tree or feed the birds with a homemade bird feeder.
 
Go viral with your family! Create a JibJab silly video, visit PNP and set up a special message for your kids from Santa, “Elf Yourself” using the Office Max website, or one of many others out there. For links to online holiday fun, click here.
 
Drive through your neighborhood to see the lights or enjoy some serious light shows at places around Lexington. The Kentucky Horse Park is celebrating with Southern Lights. You can learn more here.
 
Fire Station No. 20 on Harrodsburg Road has a wonderful light display set to music that will be running until Christmas. Homes on Chinoe Road, Toronto Road and Lakeshore Drive all have holiday displays up that will bring a smile to your child’s face!
 
The Henry Clay Estate has a beautiful tree decorated and lit on the grounds and will offer Candlelight Tours on Dec. 20 and 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with the last admission at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy live music on self-guided tours of the mansion and refreshments in the Keeper’s Cottage. This year’s theme is A Currier and Ives Christmas at Ashland. Mistletoe from the Ashland Estate will be on sale. Reservations are not required. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for young adults 17 and under and a family rate of $40.
 
I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. I’ll be back ready for a New Year of fun very soon!

 
 
 

Betsy Waters was born and raised in Lexington. She spent more than six years teaching elementary school before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her two boys, now 5 and 7. She enjoys working as a preschool director, Sunday school teacher and PTA president. Her passion to get out and enjoy the city with her children led to the creation of her website LexFun4Kids.
 

To read more from Betsy Waters, click here.

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