When winter break comes you might be wondering how you're gonna keep the kids busy for two weeks and a day.

Two. Weeks. AND. One. Day.

Well, that's where we come in. So sit back, drink some coffee (or wine), read this huge list and make some plans.

P.S. Working mamas, we didn't forget you. Most of us are you. So, we included a few day camps at the bottom in case you need a place to take the kids while you work.

Friday, Dec. 22

Read to a dog at the Dusenberry-River Library, 5605 E. River Road, is a great way for the kids to work on their reading skills. And it's fun. Because, dogs. This event is geared toward children that are kindergarten age to 12. It's free to attend and takes place at 3:30 p.m. every Friday in December.

Click here for info.


Read to a Dog is a regular program that takes place at different locations throughout the Pima County Library System.

Minecraft is free to play at Miller-Golf Links Library, 9640 E. Golf Links Road, from 3-4:30  p.m. every Friday in December. They can play the game side-by-side with other kids ages 7-and-up. Click here for info.

Saturday, Dec. 23

Holiday Hayrides through the Meadowbrook subdivision can add to your pre-holiday traditions. There's a bonfire, hot chocolate and, of course, a hayride. Hours are 6-9 p.m. through Dec. 26. The cost is $15 per person; children under 5 ride for free. You'll depart from M White Stables, 2350 W. River Road. Call 887-4386 to make reservations.

Sunday, Dec. 24

Santa Claus Petting Zoo. That's right. Santa will be at a petting zoo. You'll get to meet and learn about capybaras and porcupines, among other critters and get photos with Santa. You can go to Funny Foot Farm at 2405 W. Wetmore Road, any time on Christmas Eve between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Admission is $8. 

Monday, Dec. 25

It's Christmas. If this is your holiday, we hope it's merry. If not, we hope you have a fabulous day with your family. 

Not many businesses are open (aside from the movie theaters), making it a great day to hike at Sabino Canyon or go up to Mount Lemmon. 


A hiker makes her way through Sabino Canyon as snow melt from Mt. Lemmon has Sabino creek running with water on Tuesday January 11, 2017. Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Story time/Music hour at Bookmans, 6230 E. Speedway, is perfect for kids of all ages. They'll sing, dance, read, make a craft and even have a snack during this free weekly event. It happens at 10 a.m. every Tuesday. Click here for more info.

With his mother Megan helping him from behind, Elliot Hines, 2, moves his limbs during the Shake 'Em Outs stretching activity.

Twice the Time Tuesday at Get Air Tucson, 330 S. Toole Ave. This is how you wear them out. Take them to jump on trampolines for two hours. It does the trick. Trust us. On Tuesdays, you get two hours for the price of one. There's a spot for little kids to jump, dodge ball, an obstacle course, foam pits and more. Prices are $12 for anyone taller than 46". Kids under 46" jump for $7. Click here for more info and to sign an online waiver.

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Zoo Lights is the perfect way to cap off the holidays. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court, is covered with twinkling themed light displays. Plus, there's live music and Santa. Go from 6-8 p.m. through Dec. 30. Admission is $10 for adults; $6 for children. Click here for more info.


A lion head glows in front of strings of lights on the first night of this year's Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo, Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

Young Flyers Fun at the Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road, will give kids the chance to learn about aviation and aerospace with gallery activities, tours, story books, demonstrations, hands-on projects to take home and more. The program is for kids ages 4-7 and is free with paid admission, which is $16.50 for adults and $10 for kids ages 5-12. Kids ages 4-and-under are free. It starts at 10 a.m. Email education@pimaair.org to reserve your spot. 

Thursday, Dec. 28

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson. Yep, there's a Japanese garden in midtown at 2130 N. Alvernon Way. Explore another culture and trends in  Japanese landscaping such as a tranquil strolling pond garden, a stone and gravel garden, a Zen contemplative garden and a dry river garden. There's also a museum with Japanese art and handicrafts, as well as a gift shop. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3 to 15. Click here for more info.

Dec. 5: The frenzy of the holidays can be instantly calmed with a visit to the Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. While there, check out the exhibit of photos of Kyoto, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 272-3200 or yumegardens.org.

And get up early: Elton John tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. this day. He'll play the Tucson Arent on March 21.

Origami Games at Dusenberry-River Library, 5605 E. River Road, suite 105. Kids ages 7 and older can play table games with paper sports equipment they make themselves. They'll make origami basketball hoops, wind surfing and table hockey to take home. Free tickets will be handed out 30 minutes before the start of the program, which starts at 1 p.m. Click here for more info. 

Friday, Dec. 29

DIY Race tracks at the Santa Rosa Library, 1075 S. 10th Ave.  Get together with other kids and build a race track for toy cars. The library will provide road traffic signs, printable roads and more. Bring a toy car or borrow one from the library. The kids will also build a long race track and have a toy car race with small prizes for first, second and third place. It's free to attend and it's from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Click here for more info. 

Friday Food, Fun and Flix at Jacome Plaza, 101 N. Stone Ave. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to watch a movie under the stars. There will be pre-movie activities such as table tennis and human size board games, as well as popcorn and food trucks. Food and games start at 4 p.m. and the movie starts at 6 p.m. Frozen will be playing this night and it's free (you only need money if you're going to buy food). Click here for more info.

Saturday, Dec. 30

Spiny, Shady and Cool at Saguaro National Park West, 2700 N. Kinney Road. Go on a short walk to discover the variety of cactus in our desert. It starts at 10:15 a.m. and is free to attend. 


Photo of Gates Pass area and King Canyon Trail in Saguaro National Park West on Thursday, August 17, 2006.  

The Story of Ferdinand Storytime at Barnes & Noble, 5130 E. Broadway. Learn the story of Ferdinand the bull who just wanted to sit and smell the flowers at 11 a.m. Activities to follow the story. Admission is free. Click here for more info. 

Sunday, Dec. 31

Family Cyberbowl Party at Cactus bowl, 3665 S. Sixth Ave., Fiesta Lanes, 501 W. River Road, Lucky Strike Bowl, 4015 E. Speedway and Tucson Bowl, 7020 E. 21st Street. Take the kids bowling to celebrate NYE. The party starts at 6 p.m. at all centers, except for Tucson Bowl where it starts at 2:30 p.m. The cost is $65 per lane for up to six people and includes shoes, bowling, door prizes, pizza, soda and cool lights. Click here for more info. 

Happy Noon Year at Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave.  Celebrate NYE early with the kiddos. Happy Noon Year features fun activities, a ball drop and apple juice toast at noon. Admission to the museum is $8 per person. Click here for more info. 


Kids ring in the New Year at last year’s Happy Noon Year event at the Children’s Museum Tucson, a daytime celebration that includes crafts and ends with a cascade of balloons.

Monday, Jan. 1

Hot Cocoa 5K at Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road. What better way to ring in the new year than by running or walking a 5K and drinking hot cocoa? Sounds pretty sweet to us. The race will take place along the multi-use path and will include snacks, water and hot cocoa. There will also be prizes to overall male and female winners and age group categories. Don't worry about getting up super early either. It doesn't start until 11:18 (See what they did there?). The cost is $20 before race day and $25 the day of. Click here for more info and to register.

Egg Nog Jog 5K or 10K at Continental Reserve Park, 8568 N. Continental Reserve Loop in Marana. Get the kids and your friends and start on those resolutions. Plus, you can wear funny hats, light up glasses, matching shirts, whatever, to show some 2018 spirit for the chance to win prizes. The race starts at 9:18 a.m. The registration fee is $15. Click here to register.

Tuesday, Jan. 2

Discount day at Century Gateway 12, 770 N. Kolb Road. It only costs $1.75 per person to see movies here on Tuesdays. Click here to see what's playing. 

Teacher Tuesday at Jump Tucson, 5120 Julian Drive.  Teachers and their families get 20 percent off today. This place has a handful of giant inflatable obstacle courses, an indoor jump pillow, interactive BEAM video games, a snack bar with coffee and a place just for kids 4 and under with their own jumping castle and hands on toys. Not a teacher? You can still go at regular admission prices of $9 per child. Parents are always free. Click here to learn more and to sign a waiver.


Caden Smith, 2, jumps in the jumping castle in the Toddler Town section of Jump: Family Entertainment Center. 

Wednesday, Jan. 3

The Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave., has $3 admission today. If you're there in the afternoon and have preschool-age children, make sure and check out the Wee Explore program at 1:30 p.m., where kids can do hands-on science experiments, bubble time and cool demos. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more info.


Sol Barajas, 5, watches as her brother Efrian Barajas, 8, dumps a cart load of groceries on her checkout stand in the grocery store room.

Thursday, Jan. 4

Not Just for Kids - Discount Day at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive. Every Thursday you can get into the museum for the kids' admission price of $6. So, grab the kids and go. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more details. 

Friday, Jan. 5

Critter Feeding at Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, 17599 E. Peak Lane, Picacho. Yeah, it's a little bit of a drive, but, ostriches! The kids can feed ostriches, lorikeet, goats, deer, ducks, donkeys and sting rays. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To feed all of the animals, it'll cost $13 per person. Click here for more info. 

Saturday, Jan. 6

Lego Club at Kirk-Bear Canyon Library, 8959 E. Tanque Verde Road. If the kids love to play with Legos, bring them to Lego Club from 10-11:30 a.m. every first Saturday. The library supplies the Legos. Admission is free.

Kids Club Snowman Canvas at Michael's, 7150 E. Broadway. Kids ages 3-and-up can make snowman art on a canvas while you shop or hang out in the room. Class is from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is $2 and includes supplies. Click here to sign up.

Sunday, Jan. 7

Family Night at Skate Country, 7980 E. 22nd Street. Sundays are for families at the skating rink with special rates and more kiddos rolling around from 6-9 p.m. Admission is $12 for up to six skaters, accompanied by at least one parent. Single admission is $6. Bring your own skates or rent some for $3. Click here for more info.


Lance Ryberg, right, herds children towards the skating rink during his daughter's birthday party at Skate Country on Sunday Nov. 20, 2011. Daughter Jillian Ryberg, 6, foreground leads the way. 


If you don't get to be home during the break, you might consider signing the kids up for camp. They'll have fun stuff to do all day every day and you can go about your normal routine. 

What: Themed camps that are infused with scientific exploration, literacy, creative arts and fitness. Winter break camps are for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade and each day has a different theme, such as Island Survivors, Jr. Engineers and Color Chemistry to name a few. Sign them up for a day or a week. 

When: Jan. 2-5

Where: Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd.

Cost: $50 per day

Early care: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., $5 per day

After care: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., $5 per day

Register: Click here

What: Three days of crafts and physical activities (yay! gym time) that focus on the Sonoran Desert landscape for kids ages 3½ (potty trained) to 12. There are full day and half day options.

When: There are two sessions to choose from, Dec. 27-29 and Jan. 3-5

Where: Heart and Soul Kids Activity Center

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. full day and 8:30 a.m. to noon half day

Cost: $150 for all three full days or $60 per day; $30 a day for half day

Register: Click here

What: Children ages kindergarten through eighth grade spend the day doing fun, active, age appropriate activities including games, sports and creative play. 

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday during break

Where: Playformance, 119 E. Toole Ave.

Cost: $300 for five full days (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.); $200 for five half days (9 a.m. to noon or noon to 3 p.m.)

Early care: 8 to 9 a.m.; $10 per day

After care: 3 to 5 p.m.; $10 per day

Register: Click here

What: Daily and weekly camp options for kids in grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Camps vary depending on age group. Littler kids will have dress up days, arts and crafts, cooking, music and play. Third through fifth graders will have a weekly field trip, cook, participate in Brickz 4 Kidz and more. Sixth through eighth grade is called travel camp so it has field trips, including overnight. 

When: Week one is Dec. 26 through Dec. 29 and week two is Jan. 2 through Jan. 5. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with before care at 7 a.m. and after care until 6 p.m.

Where: Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road

Cost: $55-$75 daily or $185-$275 weekly

Register: Click here

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson