In those lazy days between Christmas and New Year's, there are several family-oriented many activities aimed at those with children home on break from school.
NOTE OF THANKS
To help children express gratitude for the gifts they received, there's the 22nd Annual Note of Thanks from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 27, in the downstairs lecture room at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. The free activity is for families with children of all ages. Young children should be accompanied by an adult.
A wide variety of materials will be available.
FREE 'ICE AGE 4'
A free family movie released in 2012 will be shown from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, in the downstairs lecture room at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave.
Because of copyright law, the library can say only that the plot of the animated movie involves a group of prehistoric animals who use an iceberg as a ship and encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world. It's rated PG, and sounds lot like "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift."
NEW YEARS'S EVE
Annual New Year's Eve events include a free open swim 6:45 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center, 1114 Potter St. in the Civic Athletic Complex. There's also free indoor ice skating and family carnival from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. Featured are carnival games, face paining, spin art, bouncy toys, obstacle course, soccer, and horse-drawn wagon rides.
Both events are sponsored by the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department, the Sportsplex and GaPac Community Federal Credit Union.
RING OF FLARES
The annual Ring of Fire and Hope starts at 7 p.m. New Year's Eve on the Birch Bay shoreline from Birch Bay State Park to Birch Bay Village. Take Interstate 5 Exit 270, Birch Bay-Lynden Road, and drive west approximately four miles.
Revelers light road flares along the shoreline to welcome the new year. Anyone can participate. Call 360-371-5004 for more information.
POLAR DIP, RESOLUTION RUN
Start 2013 with a chilly plunge or a run.
The annual free Resolution Walk/Run is at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the Lake Padden Park bath house, accessible from the park's west entrance. There's no set distance or formal timing.
At noon, there's the free annual Polar Dip followed by treats under the heaters and warm showers.
Birch's Bay's annual free Polar Bear Plunge is at 11 a.m. on the waterfront near the Birch Bay Chamber Visitor Information Center, 7900 Birch Bay Drive. To reach the bay, take Interstate 5 Exit 270, Birch Bay-Lynden Road, and drive west approximately four miles.
Registration is at 9:30 a.m., with costume judging in five categories at 10:30 a.m. The plunge is free, but participants who register in advance get a certificate and hot beverage after the plunge. Commemorative T-shirts are available at $20 while supplies last.
For more information, call 360-371-5004 or go online to birchbaychamber.com.
After the plunge, there will be a broom hockey tournament at the Birch Bay Waterslides parking lot, pitting Birch Bay players against a team Birch Bay players will be facing off against a team from Canada. Each game has three 15-minute periods. To participate, bring your own broom. An official broomball will be provided.
Salmon are still running in many local creeks, and with them come bald eagles that feed on the carcasses of fish that die after spawning.
Some places to see salmon through this month are:
Maritime Heritage Park and the Whatcom Creek Trail (chinook, coho and chum).
Arroyo Park footbridge over Chuckanut Creek (coho).
Cornwall Park at the footbridges (chum and coho).
Lynden City Park from the footbridge (coho).
Eagle Park off Truck Road (coho and chum). Also a good spot to see eagles.
Parking area along the Nooksack River on North Fork Road, about 1.5 miles from Mosquito Lake Road (chum). Also a good spot to see eagles.
Glacier Creek Road, a mile up and over a bridge at Thompson Creek (coho, through January). Possibly snowy conditions; Forest Service permit may be required.
Boyd Creek, three miles down Deadhorse Creek Road (Forest Service Road 37) off Mount Baker Highway, about a mile east of Glacier (coho, through January). Possibly snowy conditions; Forest Service permit may be required.
Find more information about local salmon at whatcomsalmon.whatcomcounty.org
The Skagit River Bald Eagle Awareness Team will be staffing its free Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through January. It's at 52809 Rockport Park Road in Rockport, just off Highway 20. For maps and more information, go online to skagiteagle.org or call 360-353-7626.
ROBERT MITTENDORF is a Herald copy editor and page designer. Suggest your ideas for local family-friendly events or day trips at 360-756-2805 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.