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It’s almost winter break! Here’s a few ideas to keep the boredom at bay:

Do you love snowball fights? Do you love to make snow angels? Now that you will have a little extra time during the break from school, consider getting a group of friends together and head to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Sledding is another great outdoor sport. If you like to ice skate, make an ice rink in your backyard. You can make it as big as you want and the best part, skating is free. But if your yard is too small, or if it’s not cold enough, you can head to a local rink for an afternoon of ice skating. There are many open skate times to choose from, and you can rent ice skates if you don’t own a pair.

Now, for those who don’t like to brave the cold, take a ride through the Festival of Lights at the Fairgrounds in Hamburg. For show times, which run through Dec. 29, check out www.the-fairgrounds.com/festival-lights/schedule-hours/. The best part is you stay in your warm car for most of the display, and it only costs $10 per carload. If you want to go with a large group of friends, consider renting a limo for the night. The light show will cost you $20 if you decide to take a limo, but it’s a great way for a large group of people to enjoy the evening. Afterward, you can park the car and enjoy a warm beverage by a fire. Remember to hit the candy store and wrap up the evening with a reindeer carriage ride.

There’s nothing like the Buffalo Zoo in the snow! It’s a great way to walk off some of the extra pounds put on over the holidays. It is open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. New Year’s Day. For more information, visit www.buffalozoo.org.

The Botanical Gardens offer a beautiful Christmas display as well. It’s always a good time of the year to visit the gardens to remind us of summer. Dec. 29 is dollar day, and most other days it is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a $7 fee. For information, visit www.buffalogardens.com/pages/hours-admission.

Check out “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (see review on Page 3) at the IMAX theater. Or, Justin Bieber fans can see “Believe,” which comes to area theaters on Christmas Day.

If none of these ideas appeals to you, consider curling up with a good book.

At the end of a great week off from school, stop at the Electric Tower for the ball drop. First Night Buffalo (www.firstnightbuffalo.org) will celebrate New Year’s Eve with family fun once again. This year’s festivities will feature a magic show and a backyard circus along with amusement rides. The event will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center before heading outside for the ball drop. Presale tickets are available for $8 at Wegmans.

Molly Teti is a senior at Sweet Home High School.