Christmas vacation brings much joy to children and sometimes a lot of stress to parents.

What activities can you find to help keep them out of trouble? What do they like to do that will hold their attention? Who got in the closet where the presents are hidden? How did that get broken? Why is the dog wearing my track suit?

Let's say some of your crew love creating with LEGOs. Now, maybe a new set will be under the tree this year, which ought to hold them for awhile. But, the cost of those can add up and maybe they just weren't in the Christmas budget this year.

In an effort to help you find activities that not only entertain but teach, we'd like to put in a plug for the fabulous Missoula Public Library. In particular, their weekly LEGO Clubs, two-and-a-half hours of pure LEGO joy twice weekly.

The Missoula Library's drop-in LEGO Club lets kids build to their heart's content Mondays and Fridays, 2:30 - 5:00 p.m. You can drop by anytime during that twice-weekly window to create fantastic LEGO structures!

This club meets in the Imaginarium on Level Two. And while we're focused on LEGO here, we want to remind you of all the other fun and educational opportunities our Missoula Public Library provides young people year-round, not just over Christmas vacation.

The Rig-a-ma-Jig is a set of wooden planks with pulleys, oversized nuts and bolts, and screws. Enjoy your own free building time or join in our building challenges.

The Missoula Insectarium and their wonderful creatures are on display every Thursday in the SpectrUM Discovery Area.

The UM Living Lab offers studies that are brief and child-friendly, involving games, play, and questions. And children will receive a small thank you gift.

3rd-5th graders can join the free Robotics after-school club to design, test and build their own robots.

These activities and more are waiting to be discovered. If any of them sound like an appealing break from continuous Christmas chaos on the home front, check out details, days, times and other events here.

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