TRUCKEE, Calif. — You know that song they play during the holidays, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?”
Clearly the author who penned those lyrics did not have young children and a full-time job. For families functioning on two incomes (and that means most of us) plus the dilemma of what to do with the children during their winter school break/your-busy-season-at-work can take the ho-ho out of Christmas.
Enter Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District (TDRPD), the gift that keeps on giving right up until the little tykes are back in school.
This winter break TDRPD is offering the Winter Wonderland Days program for children kindergarten through fifth grade.
Boys and girls may enjoy holiday activities including arts and crafts, baking, movies, outdoor play, swimming, ice skating and more. The program starts Dec. 23 (Monday, Thursday, Friday; $110) and resumes on Dec. 30 for four days ($145).
Moms and dads may also drop off the little guys for a single day ($37) and go spend some grown-up time on the slopes or shopping for “Santa” gifts. (Though he does do a lot of shopping online...)
Registration closes Dec. 20, so put it at the top of your list and cross off item number two which reads “KIDS!!???”
TDRPD’s Holiday Swim Camp is also back by popular demand, to be offered Dec. 31, Jan. 2 and 3, 9-11 a.m.
The Truckee Community Pool has never seen happier days (unless you count the time I stopped bringing my espresso machine to hang on the diving board above my lane) than when filled with Holiday Swim Camp kids. The 45-minute swim lessons are followed by inner tube water polo, paddle boarding, springboard diving, lifeguarding skills, snorkeling, and other aquatic activities. Cost is $60 for all and includes a snack.
For family fun or group play dates, the ice skating rink south of downtown Truckee in the Truckee River Regional Park is a great way to get in the holiday spirit.
The postcard-perfect setting — outdoors, surrounded by tall pines, a bonfire, overhead lights, and music to skate by — would make Norman Rockwell want to strap on a pair of blades.
You can rent the warming hut for larger, private parties (up to 12 kids) and snuggle up to hot cocoa between twirls on the ice.
Usually closed Monday and Tuesdays, the rink is open seven days a week during the holidays beginning Dec. 23, with open skating on Wednesday and Thursday, 3-6:30 p.m.; Friday, 3-8:45 p.m., Saturday, noon-9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-7 p.m. Lessons are also available, but hours of operation change due to weather. Call 530-587-6172 to confirm before you finagle the kids into snow gear.
For more information on all the winter season activities Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District has to offer, including classes and indoor climbing wall, visit www.tdrpd.org or stop by the Community Recreation Center at 8924 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.