Rich and Roseann Para have big plans for spring break.
While many local students are enjoying their time off from school this week, the owners of Sweet Earth Jewelry, at 341 W. State St. in Sycamore, are working double time to help children, families and other customers bead away as part of their annual Bead-a-Thon.
Last weekend kicked off “Gotta Bead,” a series of 25 classes running through Saturday for customers of all ages and skill sets.
“We always try to have enough classes that will appeal to kids whether they be young or [in] high school or even college,” Roseann Para said.
The Paras and Sweet Earth are participating in the merchants of downtown Sycamore’s fourth annual Spring Fling event to welcome the new season and encourage residents to explore the district.
“We thought that doing it the week when the kids are out of school would be a good idea,” said Marcia Elliott, a member of merchants of downtown Sycamore and owner of Made Just for You at 338 W. State St. in Sycamore.
Customers can participate in the event and take advantage of many deals the businesses offer every day this week by entering to win the Golden Egg full of prizes from each of the participating businesses. Participants must be 18 years or older and can enter at each store once a day.
Some of the downtown events include a $2 showing of “The Rise of the Guardians” at noon every day through Thursday, live animal presentations every weekday at 11 a.m. at the Midwest Museum of Natural History, and seated massages from Sheedy Chiropractic at Made Just for You from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday. Many other downtown business also are offering shopping discounts and promotions throughout the week.
Despite the cold weather forecast for this week, Elliott said she thinks Spring Fling still will be a hit among spring breakers and their families.
“It just gives you something to do instead of sitting around the house,” she said.
For students looking to take on more physical activities during their spring break, the Kishwaukee YMCA has created the “No School, No Problem” program, in which children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade can practice sports, do arts and crafts and play games with other students.
The YMCA at 2500 W. Bethany Road in Sycamore offers three different sessions in which students can participate: Sports and Crafts from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Lunch and Learn from noon to 1 p.m. and Gamers’ Guild from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Students can enroll in any session individually or altogether.
“It’s nice [to have] the flexibility to choose whether you want to come all day or choose certain sessions,” said Heather Eade, marketing and communications director.
The program runs today through Friday, March 29. Members and nonmembers can register their children for all three sessions for $30 a day and save $5 a day.
The YMCA also is offering daily sports camps including volleyball from 10 a.m. to noon and soccer from 1 to 3 p.m. today through Friday for first- through sixth-graders. There also is a Super Sports camp Tuesday through Thursday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. for children ages three to five.
The cost for members is $22 and $44 for nonmembers for the volleyball and soccer camps. The Super Sports camp is $14 for members and $28 for nonmembers.
For information on the YMCA programs or to register, visit www.kishymca.org.
For a list of all of Sweet Earth’s class times and beading prices, visit www.sweetearthjewelry.com.