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Photo: Kubo the Movie
Photo: Kubo the Movie

Youngsters are always ecstatic on the last day of school before the holiday break. However, these good vibes can quickly turn to boredom and edginess. Luckily for local children, Queens is about to host a week of enriching, fascinating, and enjoyable activities at various cultural venues.

The fun will begin the day after Christmas, Dec. 26, at the New York Hall of Science, where App Design 101 sessions will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will learn the fundamentals of app design using a free, open-source, online tool called “MIT App Inventor.”

Also on Dec. 26, the Museum of the Moving Image will kick off its eight-day Kubo and the Two Strings/Warrior Workshop series. The get-togethers, organized daily at 11:30 a.m., will teach modern media-making with an emphasis on creating special effects for motion pictures. They’ll involve activities such as digital origami, animation, and character design.

Meanwhile at 12:30 p.m. on those days, the Astoria museum will screen Kubo and the Two Strings in the Summer Redstone Theater. This recently released feature film utilizes state-of-the-art stop-motion animation to tell the story of a Japanese boy who uses a magical string instrument to battle vengeful monsters and gods and solve the mystery of his father’s death.

On Dec. 27, it’s back to the New York Hall of Science, where Computing Creations classes will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees will study the basics of coding and how to use the free, online resource Scratch to create digital games.

The following day, Dec. 28, is jam-packed. At 10 a.m., the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Douglaston will teach youngsters about the physical and behavioral adaptations that mammals, birds, and reptiles make to survive the cold weather at a Winter Wildlife activity.

Meanwhile, Voelker Orth Museum will offer a Gingerbread House Workshop with Victorian Crafts and Cocoa at 11 a.m. This includes a reading of “Hansel and Gretel” and a tour of the historic Flushing house, which is decorated in a traditional German Christmas style for the season.

Two hours later, Queens Museum will add its spice to the afternoon with GingerBread Lane House-Making Workshops at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Enthusiasts will receive a similar kit of materials that chef Jon Lovitch used to create GingerBread Lane this year. (The event will repeat on Dec. 29 at 1 p.m.)

Finally, Queens Museum will host Winter Break and Family Work Shops from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 28. Children with adult companions will use the cartography-inspired exhibition Nonstop Metropolis: The Remix, which is currently on display, as a guide and engage in hands-on art-making activities and map creation.



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