The hurried holidays are around the corner and you’ve got menus to plan, houses to decorate, presents to buy, careers to hold down, and kids to entertain. Queue the record scratch. You heard us: Kids. To. Entertain. That’s right. Those wee ones will be out of school during all the merry madness. This year, liberate your kiddos from the carseat while you run your endless errands. Set them up at one of the following winter break camps to ensure a jolly season for all.

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Young Chefs Academy in Sandy Springs
Turn your little foodies loose in someone else’s kitchen while you get yours ready for preparing the holiday meal. Campers learn how to whip up seasonal dishes that they get to enjoy for lunch daily, and who knows? They might just come home with skills that you can actually put to use this year! Fall and Winter breaks are both offered, and run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. during camp days.

Details: Young Chefs Academy in Sandy Springs, 230 Hammond Dr #368, 404-255-9263, Single Day Tuition $75

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Haverty Hollow Holiday Fun Days
Turn to this Buckhead institution for a healthy mix of guided activities and free play time in the (still-urban-but-wooded-and-fun) great outdoors. Located near I-75 and West Paces Ferry Road, Haverty Hollow provides year-round after school care, drop in play time, and camps from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on most days.

Details: Haverty Hollow Holiday Fun Days, 1225 E. Beechwood Dr. NW, 404-233-1691, $65 per day or $7 per hour for a partial day

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Peachtree Presbyterian Church Gymnastics & Cheerleading Holiday Camp
Is the excitement of the holidays just too much to bear for your little tumblers? Roll them over to the Peachtree Presbyterian’s Gymnastics and Cheer Camp, where they’ll jump, vault, and spring their way into the season at this state-of-the-art facility. Get, excited. Get, get, excited!

Details: Peachtree Presbyterian Church Gymnastics & Cheerleading Holiday Camp, 3434 Roswell Rd., 404-842-5852, Prices and hours vary for full day (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) or half day (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) sessions; See website for details

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Atlanta Swim Academy Camp H2O
Who says you need to pack up your swimsuits once summer’s over? Take your school of fish to the Atlanta Swim Academy during their fall and winter breaks for crafts, games, water play, and daily swimming lessons.

Details: Atlanta Swim Academy, 732 Johnson Ferry Rd., Marietta, 770-973-3120, Camp hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with drop off as early a 8:30am., $70 daily or $239 for a 4-day package

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Georgia Aquarium Camp H2O
If your littles love the water but don’t want to get wet, take them to the Georgia Aquarium for a behind the scenes look at the world’s largest aquarium. Themes vary by day, so be sure to check out the full menu if you plan to only commit to one day.

Details: Georgia Aquarium Camp H2O, 225 Baker St. NW, 404-581-4000, Camp hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., $70.95 per day

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Circus Camp
We know, we know. If there’s one skill you think your kids have down pat, it’s putting on a circus act. Well, we have news for you: you haven’t seen anything yet. Part performance, part gymnastics, and full fun, Circus Camp offers age and skill appropriate introductions to trapeze, juggling, magic, clowning, mime, puppetry, tight wire walking, and much more.

Details: Circus Camp, Friends School in Decatur, 862 Columbia Dr., Decatur, 404-370-0001, Camp hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and are offered in $200 3 day sessions or $65 daily

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Rising Stars Basketball Camps
Looking for a way to rally your littles and get them excited about that basketball league you’ve registered them for? Check out one of Rising Stars camps, which take place in various churches throughout the winter break.

Details: Rising Stars Basketball Camps, Multiple locations, Camp hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., $75 1-day, $140 2-day, $195 3-day, and $240 4-day options

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Zoo Atlanta Winter Safari Day Camp
While you’re preparing for the zoo of in-laws at your house over the holidays, you can drop your kids off for a Winter Safari and let them run wild. This interactive and educational camp about wildlife will get your kiddos outside and excited about something other than what might be under the tree when they get home.

Details: Zoo Atlanta Winter Safari Day Camp, 800 Cherokee Ave. SE,   404-624-9453, Camp hours are from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. and are $56 for members and $70 for non-members

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Camp Kingfisher’s Winter Break Camp at the Chattahoochee Nature Center
Do your kids need a little airing-out? Turn them loose at the CNC for hiking, outside exploration, indoor star gazing in the Starlab, hot chocolate breaks, and conservancy-themed activities.

Details: Camp Kingfisher’s Winter Break Camp, 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell, 770-992-2055, Camp hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are $180 for members or $200 for non-members per 3 day session

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Emory Total Sports Academy
Forget the couch and Rudolph re-runs. Instead, take the kids to Emory Total Sports Academy for instruction and play time of tennis, soccer, basketball, and general agility drills. Operated by the Head Men’s Tennis Coach at Emory and his wife, a pre-K and kindergarten teacher with 10 years’ experience, this camp may be your best bet for wearing. them. out.

Details: Emory Total Sports Academy, Emory University, 600 Asbury Circle, Camp hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are offered in $65 1-day, $125 2-day, $175 3-day, and $220 4-day options

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How will you make merry during Winter break this year? Share with us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of Atlanta Swim Academy via Georgia Aquarium and Emory Total Sports Academy via Facebook, Coqui the Chef, Jim Larrison, vastateparkstaff, Eden, Janine, and Jim, Bruce A Stockwell and kellyv via Creative Commons Flickr and Haverty Hollow