Best Bets

Parents, brace yourselves.

If you thought figuring out what to do with your various offspring for an extra few hours during the day thanks to the new bus schedules was difficult, the Betster can only imagine what this next week will be like.

It’s the time high schoolers long for — brains burnt out and nervous energy mounting — and the time when their parents cast about for camps, relatives or friends with which to occupy them: it’s Spring Break.

Well, not yet, technically. But the Betster thinks Homerites should prepare themselves nonetheless. Older children may be lucky enough to jet off to some distant (and hopefully warm) destination for the week. Lucky families will make a group trip out of it.

Parents: don’t forget to turn your clocks forward at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Being an hour off would certainly be a rotten start to the break.

For those of you staying put in the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea, check out these Best Bets as a way to keep you, and your kids, occupied:

BEST BRAINY BET: Want to keep the education rolling throughout Spring Break? Take your kids on down to the Kachemak Bay Science Conference from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. This free conference is held every three years to bring together local scientists to present to the community on their findings of Kachemak Bay and the surrounding area. This conference will have workshops, discussion sessions and field trips. This year’s theme is “Science Without Borders.” For more information, visit

BEST HIT THE ICE BET: Got an especially active kiddo? You might try the Speedskating Clinic, which will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Kevin Bell Arena. It costs $5 per person and will be taught by Olympic Coach John Monroe. Speedskates and safety gear will be provided. Visit or call Robert Ostrom at 907-980-0459 to sign up.

BEST SKI ’TIL YOU DROP BET: Yet another classic Homer activity is coming up: the Kachemak Nordic Ski Marathon. This year, it’ll start at the McNeil Canyon Ski Area. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the 25 kilometer and 42K races beginning at 9:30 a.m. The 13K scenic tour begins at 10 a.m. Those interested can also register online at The race costs $45 for an adult ski club member, $55 for an adult non-member and $30 for those 17 and younger for the 25K. There will also be an after party at 5p.m. at the Homer Elks Lodge.

BEST BRUSHWORK BET: If these events leave something to be desired, try your hand at a two-day workshop called Fundamentals of Painting in Oil or Acrylic with Nathan Pickett. Students will learn to compose and set up still life with lighting, and create a painterly representation through color, value, edges and brushwork. Those interested are encouraged to bring meaningful objects to class for utilizing in a still life.

The worksop is from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and from 1-4:30 p.m. Sunday at Homer Art and Frame. It costs $135.