December 22, 2012 8:03:30 PM
While younger family members are out of school for the holidays, the magic of the season may quickly wear off and parents can expect to hear an old complaint: "I'm bored."
But there's plenty to engage children's minds and interests right here in the Golden Triangle area, said April Barlow, professional learning coordinator of Mississippi University for Women's Center for Creative Learning.
"One mistake parents make is overscheduling their children," she noted. "It's probably best to let them develop their own 'to-do' list that suits their pace."
The Golden Triangle and surrounding area are full of opportunities to explore, she said, and can introduce youngsters to local landmarks as well as local culture.
"Plymouth Bluff is a great place for a free family outing, with walking trails, places to ride bikes and enjoy nature," Barlow said. "There's also playground fun available at Lee Park, Propst Park, Heritage Park at the Baptist Memorial Hospital walking track and the John C. Stennis Lock and Dam." On the edge of downtown Columbus, families can enjoy exploring the Riverwalk, which includes more than two miles of lighted trails and picnic areas.
She pointed out there are plenty of sporting events in Starkville as well, and for those who want to venture a little farther, ice skating at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo and the transportation museum in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"There's so much to discover," Barlow said. "The holiday break is a great time to check out our own community. What you do is not nearly as important as the fact that you spend time with youngsters and share with them."