5 free things to do at the library in December

Herrick District Library is celebrating the holiday season in Deember with five free family activities. There will be a family film fest, crafting and a chance for teens to hang out together over winter break. Kids and adults, alike, will be able to test their gingerbread mettle and build their own sweet houses in three separate events.

“Our STEAM Gingerbread Challenge for kids combines festive fun with problem-solving and collaboration,” HDL librarian Adrienne Baker says. “This program pushes beyond the simple graham cracker and frosting houses to challenge participants to incorporate a number of tricky elements like moving parts and achieving a specified height.”

The year will wrap up with one of the library’s most popular events — Noon Year’s Eve. The in-person party for families will have singing, stories, crafts and more fun.

“The annual Noon Year’s Eve party is back to in-person this year! We will sing, play and countdown to noon!” Baker said.

All HDL events are free but registration is required for most activities: 

Upcycle Reusable Table Napkins
When: Monday, Dec. 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 
Where: Herrick District Library Main Floor Meeting Room, 300 S. River Ave.
What: Participants will learn to sew reusable cloth napkins out of thrift store fabric ends or
leftover cloth from other sewing projects. These napkins make great additions to any holiday table. Participants may free to bring their own fabric for the program or use fabric provided. HDL’s Library of Things has sewing machines that can be checked out for at-home sewing projects.
Registration is required at herrickdl.org/events

STEAM Gingerbread Challenge
When: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m. 
Where: HDL North Branch, 155 Riley St.
What: Kids ages 6 to 11 can take their own gingerbread house building skills to the next level
during the STEAM Gingerbread Challenge. It is up to each team (maximum four per team) to decide which materials will make their house strong, unique and spectacular. All materials provided.
Registration at herrickdl.org.

Adult Gingerbread House Competition
When: Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m. 
Where: HDL North Branch Community Room, 155 Riley St.
What: Grown-ups can test their culinary and engineering skills in a competition for the season. Which adults (who are kids at heart) can build and style the best-looking gingerbread houses this holiday season?
Registration at herrickdl.org.

Family Fun Film Fest
When: Thursday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 
Where: Herrick District Library Children’s Activity Room, 300 S. River Ave.
What: Looking for another way to get out and about during winter break? Herrick District Library will host a binge-fest of fun family-friendly films. Popcorn will also be provided. Movie start times:
11 a.m. Encanto
1 p.m. The Bad Guys
3 p.m. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Teen Winter Hangout
When: Thursday, Dec. 29, 2-5 p.m. 
Where: Herrick District Library Teen Activity Room, 300 S. River Ave.
Teens (ages 11-18) can come to hang out at the Teen Activity Room. There will be video games, board games, button machines, snacks, and more. This is a drop-in event, stay for the whole thing or leave early. 
No registration is required.

Noon Year’s Eve
When: Saturday, Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m. to noon 
Where: Black River Public Schools gymnasium, 491 Columbia Ave.
Families and young children who don’t want to stay awake until midnight to ring in 2023 can join Herrick District Library as they count down to noon instead! There will be party hats, dancing, stories, the countdown of course, and maybe a couple of surprises.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.