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Wind Down After Christmas: See a Movie at the Library

Movies from the franchises Ice Age and Night at the Museum will show on Saturday at the Library to relieve the kids' post-gift opening boredom.

Once the gifts are unwrapped, the cookies eaten and the guests have gone home - what do you do with your stir-crazy, house-bound kids?

You might consider taking them over to the library for the day-after Christmas movies. This year's selections are "Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs" at 10:30 am and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" at 2 pm.

Library publicist Janet Crystal described the feeling of the day after Christmas as, "Now what?" She called the answer, "A few hours to kick back and watch a free movie on a great big screen."

The nearly decade-long tradition of showing kid-friendly films at the library on the day after Thanksgiving and day after Christmas was started by children's library assistant Lesley Keogh. She is also in charge of  the children's movie collection at the library, so she keeps up to date on every new release.

On choosing the films for showing, she said, "I find out ahead of time what movies are coming out and when. Usually, I choose big box office hits that have been popular. We have this event because we figure that the day after a big holiday, people who have been caught up in the holiday rush might like to have a place to come, chill out, see a movie. We supply the refreshments; we have done popcorn in the past but this time we are doing pretzel sticks - they are easier on the carpet!" she said with a laugh.

She recalled the humble beginnings of the now-traditional movie event.

"When I first came here we still had VHS tapes. I started buying DVDs for the library and we applied for a film license because we thought this would be a good thing to do for holidays and school breaks."

Though the library previously had a big collection of classic movies for kids, which they showed at times, Keogh admits she might have lowered the bar a bit when she decided to show Sponge Bob Square Pants.

"I like Sponge Bob. I'm actually a big film buff. I like to choose from all different genres from anime to Disney to British classics, whatever I think people would enjoy," she said.

The movies shown are never over PG-13 rated, but most are G or PG-rated. Over time it has evolved that a movie for younger kids is shown in the morning and one appealing to older kids in the afternoon.

Keogh wisely decided that all of Walt Disney's films should be placed in the grouping meant for older kids because, as she said, "Walt had a lot of issues."

Call the library at 203-762-3950 for more information. Children under 8 must be accompanied by a caregiver, children under 12 must have a caregiver in the building. No reservations are needed.

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