Family-fun ways to spend spring break in Santa Clarita

FILE PHOTO: Saniya Travenia, 8, tries to dodge kisses from poodle Romeo as she reads a book to him at the Canyon Country Library's Read to Dogs program on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2016. Katharine Lotze/Signal.

Spring break officially kicked off this week for all five public school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Some families are using the free time to travel, while others are choosing to stay home during the week. Here are some activities and events to keep children and families busy during the week away from school.

Visit an art exhibit

A child admiring the artwork at the “Domes” art exhibit currently showing at the Old Town Newhall Library. Courtesy photo

The city of Santa Clarita hosts regular art exhibits from local artists and students at locations throughout the city.

Right now, the Old Town Newhall Library is displaying a painting and multimedia exhibit titled “Domes” by artist Naomi Young, which depicts Young’s love of her birth country Jerusalem.

The Valencia Library is also hosting an art exhibit by local artist Brad Sergi. Titled “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” the series of works is based on the Oak of the Golden Dream, the location where the first documented discovery of gold was made in California.

The Newhall Community Center is also sharing an exhibit called “Made in Newhall,” which features creative works from local artists and students that live in the Newhall area.

Visit the local library

FILE PHOTO: Leah Nungesser, right, helps her son Charles Jr., 4, pull apart licorice as they decorate solar eclipse-themed cookies with older sister Eliana, 6, at the Newhall library on Friday, August 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Families and children can also take advantage of free events at all of the Santa Clarita Public Libraries.

Both the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library and the Old Town Newhall Library offer bilingual storytimes for children of all ages. The Canyon Country Library offers these storytimes Thursdays at 11 a.m. and the Newhall Library offers them Mondays and Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

Children can also participate in clubs by joining the Coding Club at the Newhall Library Tuesday, the Anime Club at the Newhall Library Wednesday and “The Wednesday Club,” which includes science and art activities, at the Valencia Library Wednesday.

Children can also read to a service dog at the Canyon Country Library Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and at the Valencia Library Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

On Saturday, children can head to the Valencia Library at 11 a.m. and to the Canyon Country Library at 1 p.m. to join in a LEGO party and build whatever they want.

Families can also join in on the fun by attending a special event to create mosaic art at the Newhall Library Wednesday at 5 p.m. During the event, teens and adults will work with mosaic artist Naomi Young to create a piece of art using broken stones.

Families can also head to the Newhall Library Thursday at 6 p.m. to participate in Family Night with movies, games and “so much more.”

Go outdoors

FILE PHOTO: A cyclist rides past a Santa Clara River Trail sign at the Iron Horse Trailhead on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The warmer April weather is also a perfect time to take advantage of the hiking trails and parks throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

Families can hike various trails in Agua Dulce Canyon, Central Park, East Walker Ranch, Elsmere Canyon, Golden Valley Ranch, Haskell Canyon Open Space, Quigley Canyon and Wildwood Canyon during the week. For an interactive map of trails and bike paths visit:

The city also has 34 parks open from sunrise to 10 p.m. each day that offer picnic tables, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, child play areas, barbeques, multipurpose fields and more.

For more of a trek, residents can head out to Vasquez Rocks and explore the area’s 932 acres of rock formations and Tataviam Indian sites.

If water sports sound more appealing, visit Castaic Lake to go fishing, hiking, boating, camping, kayaking, wakeboarding and tubing. The lake is open from 6:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. each day.

Go to a museum

FILE PHOTO: Jennifer van Soelen, right, washes off 3-year-old Wyatt Newman’s hands as Scott Newman watches over them at the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Spring break is also a great time to visit Santa Clarita’s own historical sites.

Take a walk through Mentryville, a historic 19th century pioneer oil town that housed more than 100 families until the early 1930s. Some structures, including a mansion, one-room school house and barn, still exist and four structures are considered California Historical Landmarks.

Families can also learn about the history of Santa Clarita and visit the William S. Hart Museum, which is open from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. seven days a week. During the weekend, families can also take advantage of the museum’s “Crafterday Saturdays” that features free crafting for children from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This weekend, families can also visit Heritage Junction Historical Center to learn about the history of Southern California and see railroad artifacts from the area. Docents offer visits to the Saugus Train Station Museum Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and to the Kingsbury House this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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