By Heather Chapman
“April is the cruelest month,” said T.S. Eliot. And also anyone who ever tried keeping kids on task with their homework when it’s giddiest spring outside. Here’s some fun ways to reward them when they’re done:
The Giver. Because everyone needs a little dystopia in their day, bring the kids (ages 8 and up) to the Lexington Children’s Theatre for this stage adaptation of the classic novel by Lois Lowry. Perfect for kids who aren’t quite old enough for Divergent, but would still appreciate having their heads messed with. 418 W. Short St. April 19-30. $10-$15. (859) 254-4546. www.lctonstage.org.
Junior Naturalist: Earth Day! Bring your elementary schoolers to McConnell Springs to celebrate Earth Day and learn how to make the world a greener place. Free, but pre-registration required. 10 a.m. April 18. 416 Rebmann Lane. (859) 225-4073. www.mcconnellsprings.org.
American Girl Club: Samantha’s Spring Soiree. Get your fancy pants on and enjoy a Victorian celebration as you explore the life of American Girl Samantha. For grades K-5. Free, but pre-registration required. 3:45-4:30 p.m. April 13. Central Library Atrium, 140 E. Main St. (859) 231-5500. www.lexpublib.org.
Book signing for Whatever After: Beauty Queen. Sarah Mlynowski will discuss and sign the newest installment in her New York Times bestselling series Whatever After. In this one, Your Protagonists Abby and Jonah get magically sucked into the story of Beauty and the Beast and have to fix the plot they accidentally knocked askew. Recommended for ages 8-12. Attendance is free, but buy your copy of the book at Joseph-Beth in order to get it signed. Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington Green. (859) 273-2911. www.josephbeth.com.
Lego & Books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade can sit in on a reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and learn all about the caterpillar’s amazing body—and how it transforms into a butterfly (the answer is gluttony). Then kids can build their own Lego inchworms and send them crawling across the floor. A little biology, a little engineering, a lot of fun. 10 a.m.-noon, April 18. The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, 251 W. Second St. $10, must pre-register. (859) 254-4175. www.carnegiecenterlex.org.
Kentucky Reptile Expo. Speaking of creepy crawlies, this sounds like a great time for a kid who loves lizards. The expo will feature captive bred reptiles, amphibians, spiders, insects and more, as well as opportunities to talk to experts about how to care for them. You’ll have to let me know how it was, because I just can’t with the spiders. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 4. $6 at the door, kids under age 6 get in free. Lexington Convention Center, 430 W. Vine St. (859) 233-3535. www.kentuckyreptileexpo.com.
Broadway Live: Sister Act. The touring musical version of the smash hit movie. Tells the story of a singing diva who goes into witness protection in a convent—and helps the nuns find their voices while she’s there. Funny and upbeat; older kids will enjoy this. April 24-26. Lexington Opera House, 210 W. Short St. $30-$115. (859) 252-5245. www.lexingtonoperahouse.com.
One last note: if you’re interested in raising chickens, this is the time of year to get started. Southern States has baby chicks galore and all the supplies you need to raise them. It’s not something to undertake lightly, but having a couple of hens in your backyard is a great way to help kids learn to think about their food sources and also learn responsibility. Even very small children can gather eggs, and older children can feed and water hens. Learn more at www.backyardchickens.com.
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This article also appears on page 19 of the March print edition of the Hamburg Journal.