Madison Magazine April-May 2019 - Page 7

“I just think it makes a much more healthy lifestyle to be outdoors,” he said. LIfELOnG LEARnInG For families who want a change from the great outdoors, both the Richmond and Berea branches of the Madison County Public Library offer several programs for children and adults of all ages. “Every day, we see dozens of families walk through the doors of the Madison County Public Library,” said Ruthie Maslin, library director. “Our staff works hard to create a space filled with resources and activities that engage people of all ages. From Legos to computers, books to movies, programs to educational opportunities, the library offers something for everyone.” What that translates to in numbers is 2,040 programs offered in 2018 for all age groups with a total attendance of 78,508 people, according to Maslin. That also includes things such as the Bookmobile and outreach programming — where the library takes programs to the schools, for example. In addition, almost all events and pro- grams offered by the library are free and open to the public. “Occasionally, a program will have a fee for materials attached, but that is very rare,” Maslin explained. “Since the Madison County Public Library is supported largely through property taxes, we feel it is es- sential to provide materials, programs and activities at no cost to our more than 65,000 library card holders.” Maslin said the library’s goal in offering all these programs “is to create a place where customers of all ages, from toddlers to se- niors, can learn, engage, be inspired, create and have fun.” “It’s all about lifelong learning and connec- tion,” she said. “We really strive to make the library feel like a destination — not just a place to pick up books.” BEREA AnD RIChMOnD “Berea has many free activities perfect for kids and families,” Croteau said. “The Berea Outdoor Adventure group facilitates play days and workshops are designed to get kids outdoors and offers chances for them to learn about nature and science,” she said. She also mentioned the Berea College Planetarium and Digital Theater, which oc- casionally hosts special events that are free to the public. Similarly, the Hummel Plan- etarium at Eastern Kentucky University also sometimes has free showings and events for children and families. In addition, the Berea Parks and Recre- ation Department hosts movie nights, fitness classes, activities, painting parties and more year-round, most of what are free for both children and adults, Croteau said. If families want to expose their children to more art, several galleries offer free exhibits, including Gallery 123 in Berea and Gallery on Main Street in Richmond. Gallery 123 often offers youth classes in addition to having a craft table set up for children who are browsing the gallery. “Berea has a self-guided public art tour that is fun for the whole family, as well as multiple murals that make great photo ops for people of all ages,” Croteau said. In the summer in Berea, there are even more free educational activities through Berea Kids Eat, which provides free meals, fun games and educational programming to anyone 18 or younger, according to Croteau. “They work with other departments and businesses to provide activities such as gardening classes, family cooking classes, science demonstrations, craft classes and more.” Both cities also host several festivals through the year, most of which have free booths and activities for children. That in- cludes Pedal with the Police, Walk with the Arts and Spoonbread Festival in Berea and Pops in the Park, the Halloween Hoe-Down and the Richmond Powwow in Richmond. OuTSIDE MADISOn “There’s so much to do, just not in Madi- son County, but around here,” Hale added. “And most of the things, once you have a boat, a bicycle or a pair of shoes, it doesn’t cost anything to go, and I guess that’s maybe one of the other things. We like doing things that are free, and that means we don’t go to the movies.” He said Raven Run Sanctuary in Lexing- ton is a great, educational place to go with the family. Other destinations the Hales enjoy include Red River Gorge, Turkey Foot Campground in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Rockcastle River and exploring caves nearby. “Some people, their recreation is shopping, and that’s not who we are,” Hale said. “We spend time wandering around the woods instead of wandering around the mall.” Emma Perkins explains what her painting means to her during the opening of a new exhibit at Gallery on Main Street in Richmond. “My style is Popart,” she said, “but I try to represent all cul- tures … The colors represent culture to me.” Kalissa Scenters smiles as she watches paint drip out of a customized bottle that was acting as a pendulum during a program at the Madison County Public Library. Don Weber talks about bodging, a traditional woodturning craft, using green unseasoned wood to make chair legs and other cylindrical parts of chairs, along with different inventions over the years that make his craft easier during Berea’s 2018 Walk with the Arts at The Pinnacles. A P R I L- M AY 2 0 1 9 Madison Magazine 7