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Christmas vacation is two weeks long.  As a teacher I would have rejoiced.  As a mom, I cringe- just a little.  What are we going to do for two weeks?! It seems like it should be so easy with all those new toys in the house, but we all know that will only get you so far before everyone is crying about how bored they are.  Infuriating isn’t it?  Luckily, there happens to be a lot going on in our area to get us through the break and enjoy our time together.

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1. The Hudson Highlands Museum will be open on Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th from 12-4 in addition to their normal weekend hours.  At $3 a person with live animals, presentations, and crafts, it’s a nice way to spend a few hours.  If dropping off your kids while making those returns to the mall or enjoying a few hours of post-holiday peace alone is more your thing, they are also offering a mini camp on Monday, Dec. 30-Friday, January 3rd (excluding 1/1) from 9-11:30 for $22 a day for non-members.  Pre-registration required

2. Bear Mountain Ice Rink ($5 per person plus the cost of rentals if needed) is open everyday except for Christmas Day.  The carousel ($1 per person) is also open on the weekends.

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3. Luckily (or not) we have snow.  This opens up a few more opportunities such as the obvious sleigh riding, snow ball fights, and snowman building.  However, if you’re looking for a little more speed and a little less work of dragging yourself, your kid, and your sled back up the hill over and over and over, then Orange County Park tubing is for you.  You get to slide down manicured snow tracks at great speed to then be pulled back up by a rope just so you can do it all over again.  This is the first year Madison will be big enough to go.  I’m secretly dreading it which is how I know she will love it.  $13 for OC residents, $17 for non-residents

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4. The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is always a great option for kids.  In addition to their regular hours and exhibits, they have a few special events going on during the break.  Reservations required for all special events

-December 23rd at 10: Wild World of Animals,

-December 30th, the inflatable Planetarium will have showings of A Day of Winter Stars

-December 31, New Years @ Noon party with music, activities, refreshments and every parents favorite: noisemakers!

5. Have a sports fan?  Army Hockey has a home game on January 4th at 7:05.  Tickets are $13-17 per person.  Madison’s grandma took her last year, and she loved it.  Her favorite part?  The cheering.  I was the designated cheerer for her driveway games everyday for over a week last year.

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6.  Bowling, for us, is a family event that we all enjoy.  Many bowling allies offer specials for the long holiday vacation.  Our nearest alley, Colonial Lanes in Chester, is offering a weekday special of a half hour free with the purchase of an hour.  They are also hosting a family friendly New Year’s Eve Party with bowling, music, and food.

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7.  Don’t forget to relax.  It is a vacation,  and a well deserved one after all the hustle and bustle of prepping for the holidays.

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