& & by Pia K. Hansen & & & &
If you are a kid this December, not only can you expect extra special treatment around the holidays -- as in, hopefully, the fulfillment of some of the wishes on your list -- but all the usual venues are also going out of their way to make you happy. Here's a rundown of a few events you shouldn't miss -- even if you only wish you were still a child.
& & Disney on Ice & & & &
Holiday ice skating shows are a Spokane tradition of many, many years. The shows used to hit town between Christmas and New Year's, but they've gradually shown up here earlier and earlier. This year, Disney on Ice Celebrates 75 Years of Disney Magic, will hit the ice at the Arena opening Wednesday.
Where other years' shows have been limited to certain movies like The Little Mermaid, this year's show is a cornucopia of all your favorite Disney characters.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be skating their little hearts out together, with newer members of the Disney family such as The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa and the brave ant Flik from A Bug's Life.
Uniting all the different story lines and serving as a backdrop for the world class skating, is a magical, Disney-style castle, which will change shape several times during the show to provide backdrops as different as the Great Chinese Wall for Mulan and a drawbridge for Beauty and The Beast.
During the show, the audience gets to visit Pinocchio's workshop, and Monstro the Whale from the same movie makes an appearance as well. This 36-foot-long creature is something to behold as it swims across the ice floor among the 20 animated toys in the shop. So get ready for the Disney ice show that will beat all other Disney ice shows.
& & & lt;i & Disney on Ice Celebrates 75 Years runs at the Spokane Arena, 720 W. Mallon, from Wednesday, Nov. 29, to Sunday, Dec. 3. Show times are: Wednesday through Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at noon, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm; and Sunday at 1 pm and 4:30 pm. Tickets: $5.75-$25; free for children 2 years and younger. Call: 325-SEAT. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & The Children's Museum & & & &
There is always something going on here, and the holiday season is no exception. The weekly programs -- such as the very popular "You and Me Tuesday," a special creative time for preschoolers and their parents/caregivers -- continue through December, and then there are a lot of extra special treats.
"A very new thing is this Nutcracker scene we are going to have the Ballet Arts Academy perform on December 16," says Mary Brandt, the museum's executive director. "We've never done this before, and it's quite exciting to have them come here and perform."
The museum's holiday events are also very diverse. On Dec. 7, for instance, the Jewish holiday Hanukkah will be celebrated, and children get to make dreidels.
Closer to Christmas, on Dec. 15 and 22, it's time to be really creative, when the museum plays host to its recycled ornament workshops, "Make It and Take It." Here, children get to make ornaments out of something other than paper, when the museum empties its drawers of reusable stuff.
The big graham cracker house construction day this year is on Dec. 23, where builders can hit the crackers and test their ability at 11 am, 1 and 3 pm.
& & & lt;i & The Spokane Children's Museum is located at 110 N. Post and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am-5 pm. Most events are free with admission. The graham cracker house event costs $2 per house. Admission: $3.75 per person. Call: 624-KIDS. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & KPBX Kids' Concert & & & &
Spokane Public Radio puts on free kids' concerts throughout the year, and on Dec. 16, the station will join forces with Auntie's Bookstore for a special holiday concert.
The New Criterion Banjo Orchestra, a trio that plays turn-of-the-century chamber music written or arranged especially for banjos, will perform traditional Christmas tunes with banjo accompaniment.
Dave and Meghan Beach, who've played together for 17 years, will perform some Celtic and classical pieces on guitar, Celtic harp and hammer dulcimer. Especially for this concert, the duo has rearranged a few holiday tunes especially for Celtic instruments.
& & & lt;i & The KPBX Kids' Concert is at Auntie's Bookstore, 402 W. Main, on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 pm. Free. Call: 328-5729. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & Yuletide for Kids & & & &
During Spokane Art School's Yuletide arts and crafts show, there will be several special workshops set up just for children. What could be more perfect for the whole family? Mom and Dad get to look at gifts, and the kids get to be creative at the same time.
"We like to make the children feel welcome. It's hard to be a kid when your parents drag you from show to show and you can't touch anything or do anything," says Sue Ellen Heflin, the school's director.
This year, children will work on paper marbling and a metal foil project. So grab your parents by the hand and head over to this fund-raiser for the Spokane Art School.
& & & lt;i & The children's workshops at Spokane Art School's Yuletide show run throughout the day while the show is open, on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 am-6 pm, and Sunday, Dec. 3, from noon-5 pm. Admission is free. Call: 328-0900. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &