The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Education

January 8, 2014

Clinton students keep busy during school break

Theaters, Ericksen Center, bowling alley have influx of children over past few weeks

CLINTON — Parents are breathing a sigh of relief today as students head back to school after being out for nearly three weeks because of winter vacation and weather-related school cancellations.

During the usual two-week, winter break, students are oftentimes busy with family interactions and holiday celebrations, but after some of the splendor wears off, feeling a little bit of cabin fever is a common occurrence.

Couple that with unfavorable weather conditions that prevented prolonged outdoor play, and some parents may have found it difficult to find ways to entertain their young ones.

But many local parents took advantage of the indoor entertainment offerings in Clinton like the Plaza Bowl bowling alley, the Ericksen Community Center and the Clinton 8 Movie Theatre to make this year's winter break an active one.

"We are always busy this time of year," YWCA executive director Shannon Sander-Welzien said. "We've seen a huge increase in day pass and family day pass use and amazingly we're seeing many families coming in to swim."

To take advantage of the busy two-week span, recreation department director Gregg Obren strategically refrained from offering regular programming at the Ericksen Center to make room for the hoards of children that would quickly fill the recreation center.

"During breaks we specifically try not to schedule routine and regular programming so that we leave especially the gyms and pool hall open," Obren said. "It's been our standard for decades to prepare for that time span and we actually add additional supervision to keep kids at a dull roar."

Plaza Bowl owner and operator Doug Pennock also gave himself a little preparation prior to the holiday break, offering daytime bowling at only $2 per game.

The weekly special runs throughout the year but is typically postponed during the holidays. However, this year Pennock thought it would be a good decision to keep the offer available through the winter break.

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