Jawnts: It's the season for kids' stuff

OK, if you're a grown-up, you need to pause right now. Hand over the paper - or send a link, text a tweet, email a picture, whatever you're using to share articles these days - to your nearest kid. Go ahead. I'll wait.

All right, are you a kid? Good, because this week it's all about fun things for you. No dressing up, no grown-up parties, and definitely no family pictures.

First there's this supercool program at the Center for Architecture and Design, which sounds like a place for old people, but I swear it's fun. Every Saturday until Christmas, the center offers opportunities to get your hands dirty, build things, and create. A couple of weekends ago, the theme was Gingerbread Architecture, and kids got to build and decorate their own gingerbread house.

"Our weekly family workshops, taught by design professionals, provide kids an introduction to real design skills," said center director David Bender. "We provide a challenge, materials, and professional guidance, while you and your child get to exercise your imaginations and building skills."

Next weekend, from 11 a.m. to noon on Dec. 17, kids ages 5 to 8 can enjoy a reading of Scot Ritchie's Look At That Building! and then craft a home for the star of the book, Max the dog. For older children, there's "Animal House," from 1:30 to 3 p.m., where kids will be challenged to design and construct a mini home for an animal of their choosing. But there's a catch - you have to make sure the house will keep your animal happy based on its natural behaviors. You can't design a tree house for a fish.

Not an architect in the making? There's always the Philadelphia Zoo. Yes, outdoors, in winter. Bundle up and get over there. There are plenty of indoor exhibits to duck into to warm up.

Get out there, kids. Enjoy the part of Philadelphia during the holidays that doesn't involve boring grown-up parties with weird cheese and uncomfortable clothes.

Have an event for Jawnts? marymjarvis@gmail.com @mary_jarvis

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