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Peninsula has fun things for kids of all ages

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Turn off the TV and step away from the Nintendo. School may be out, but that's no reason for children to stop learning or playing. Many organizations on the Kenai Peninsula offer programs and activities to keep kids happy and busy.

Area children can keep up with school by participating in summer reading programs at the various libraries on the peninsula. Each offers a themed program encouraging children to continue reading for fun. For the specifics of each program, call the nearest library.

The Nikiski pool will host a summer recreation camp for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, a number of sports camps, swimming lessons and a family fun day. For more information, call 776-8800.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula will host programs through the summer, including the annual outdoor soccer week, sports camps and the daily summer clubhouse. For more information, call 283-2682.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District also will conduct a summer school program for students struggling with math or science. The reading program will be open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and the math program is available to students in grades four through 12. Classes will meet from 9 a.m. to noon June 2-27. Applications are available on the district's Web site at www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us or at area schools. Students must meet specific achievement data criteria to qualify.

Families visiting the peninsula also can check out these kid-friendly activities:

Rock beaches in the area provide ample ground for sea viewing and agate hunting. Visit the Kenai public beach off Spruce Drive and Nikiski beach at Captain Cook State Recreation Area.

Children will enjoy hooking pink salmon at Cunningham Park off Beaver Loop Road.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge offers easy hiking trails near the headquarters in Soldotna, as well as one of only two national canoe systems in the country. Visitors can explore the waterways for both day and overnight trips by taking out their own canoes or hiring commercial operations.

The Kenai River Festival includes a number activities, including educational programs for children. The festival is held June 8 and 9.

Wildlife viewing is a popular, easy and cheap activity around the peninsula. The Kenai River flats offer a chance to see birds, moose and caribou, and Captain Cook State Recreation Area is home to birds, fish, moose and bears.

Enjoy observing these wild animals, but remember to stay a safe distance and keep food in sealed containers.



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