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5 fun things to do near Gainesville before school starts in 2019
Paint parties, zoo trips and ice cream
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A group of youngsters look inside a tarantula cage Wednesday, June 26, 2019, inside the Elachee Nature Center's new live animal exhibit Wednesday, June 26, 2019, which is now open. The project took over six months to build. - photo by Scott Rogers

With the beginning of the school year rapidly approaching, kids only have so much free time before they’re whisked away into their studies until next summer. Here are five things kids can do to make the most of the time they’ve got left:

Camp Elachee — Creature Feature

Camp Elachee’s Creature Feature is a weeklong event that teaches kids about animals ranging from the critters in your backyard to various beasts in habitats around the world. Children at the camp will be divided into two groups: pre-kindergarten and kindergarten-sixth grade. 

When:  8 a.m. to 2 p.m.Tuesday-Friday, July 16-19

Where: Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville
Cost: $140-170

More info: Elachee Nature Science Center

Junior Zookeeper Day Camp

Want your child to know more about animals and how to care for them? North Georgia Zoo is holding a three-day camp for kids ages 8 and older to learn how to feed, train, groom, clean and care for animals. Other activities include pony rides, crafts and the petting zoo. Prices range from $50 for half a day at the camp to $85 for the full 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. program.

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, July 22-24

Where: North Georgia Zoo & Farm, 2912 Paradise Valley Road, Cleveland
Cost: $50-85 a day

More info: North Georgia Zoo

Cinema Under The Stars — ‘Incredibles 2’

There are two constants in life: Pixar movies are good and a family trip to the theater is expensive. The Friday before kids head back to school there will be a free showing of “Incredibles 2” at the Buford Community Center Theater as part of Cinema Under the Stars, a recurring event held by the center that shows family-friendly movies free of charge.

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2

Where: Buford Community Center Theater, 2200 Buford Highway, Buford
Cost: Free

There are two constants in life: Pixar movies are good and a family trip to the theater is expensive. The Friday before kids head back to school there will be a free showing of “Incredibles 2” at the Buford Community Center Theater as part of Cinema Under the Stars, a recurring event held by the center that shows family-friendly movies free of charge.

Back 2 School Ice Cream Social

Blackshear Place Library is hosting an ice cream social the last Friday before school starts back. Both the ice cream and assorted toppings will be free of charge. The social is open to kids and teens.

When: 1-2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2

Where: Blackshear Place Library, 2927 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville
Cost: Free

More info: Hall County Library System 

Mommy & Me Paint Party

For those looking to do something with their kids as a bonding experience before they’re off to school again, Two Shabbie Chics is hosting a Mommy & Me Paint Party where parents and their kids can paint together with all materials provided. Adults and kids get canvases and equipment, and while you’re there you can treat yourselves to Chick-fil-A for dinner.

When: 2-5 p.m. Thursday, July 18

Where: Chick-fil-A, 1917 Jesse Jewell Parkway NE, Gainesville
Cost: Free

More info: Mommy and Me Paint Party
Regional events