Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kids Get Creative at Cultural Center; Ponte Vedra Beach Nonprofit Is Offering Holiday Arts Camps and Workshops for Youngsters

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kids Get Creative at Cultural Center; Ponte Vedra Beach Nonprofit Is Offering Holiday Arts Camps and Workshops for Youngsters

Article excerpt

Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY

The holiday season can be crazy busy for parents who need to juggle work, shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, cleaning to get ready for guests and more.

Having their kids off from school on winter break makes it even more hectic.

That's why this week and next The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach offers Holiday Arts Camps for 4- to 8-year-olds, and Holiday Arts Workshops for kids ages 9 to 14.

The camps, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., keep kids busy with projects that fuel their creativity and give them crafts to take home for Christmas gifts and to use to celebrate the New Year.

This week, they focused on projects such as paintings and cards, candy sculptures, collages, miniature Monet stocking stuffers and animal winter wonderlands.

Tuesday, the younger kids made winter wonderland sculptures depicting penguins on ice flows, and learned a little about the Arctic in the process.

"What is in the Arctic?" teacher Dana Hinson asked.

Snow, polar bears, icebergs, glaciers and Eskimos, the kids called out.

"Eskimos, very good. What do they wear?" Hinson asked.

"Really, really, really warm clothes," one camper said.

Next week, campers will create snow and winter theme projects, as well as noise makers and party favors for New Year's Eve. Parents can sign kids up for a day or for the whole week.

"There's a record number of kids taking holiday camps this year," said Executive Director Dick Williams.

This week, he said, they sold out of available slots. Next week, there are a few openings left. Fees vary for members and nonmembers, and parents can call 280-0614 for more information.

The Beaches community is also invited to the center's annual New Year's Eve Noon Balloon Drop, Williams said.

The event, which is free for members and $5 a person for nonmembers, welcomes in the new year in a kid-friendly way with pizza, cookie decorations, music and party mask crafts. Shortly before noon, everyone gathers in a large classroom where the floor is covered with bubble wrap, making it fun to jump on. Then, after a countdown at noon sharp, hundreds of balloons are released from a net hanging near the ceiling. …

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