Friday is when boys and girls have their day

Kids have a big day coming Friday, and adults better be paying attention.

The day now is called the Día de Niño, Día del Niño y la Niña or Día de Ninez. Regardless of the exact name, youngsters are expecting presents. In fact in some families children distribute presents among themselves. The day is just slightly less important for kids than Christmas.

Because the day lands this year near a weekend, special events are planned for children also on Saturday and Sunday.

The Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar starts at 10 a.m. Saturday with clowns, contests, prizes, food, games and crafts, it said in an announcement. Admission to the zoo that is based in Barrio Otoya in north San José is 2,200 colons or about $4.30 for adults and 1,500 colons or about $3 for children. Kids under 3 get in free.

Among other workshops is one to help children construct their personal farol, the street lantern that is traditional Sept. 14, the eve of the Día de la Independencia. There also will be traditional dancing, theater, a magic act and more games,

The Museo Nacional has its celebration Sunday. said the museum in an announcement. Also on display will be “Acercando Realidades,” a photo show produced by the organization Defensa de la Niñez Internacional that depicts life for children in the low-income areas of Alajuelita y La Carpio.

The museum said that some of the children shown in the photos will be at the exposition to act as guides.

Costa Ricans can attend the museum free Sunday, it said.

Other organizations and state institutions are likely to announce their own events later in the week. None probably will match the 2007 gathering in Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in Tibás where 13,000 children participated. There also will be regional celebrations.

All over the country the public schools will recognize the day Friday with special activities that vary from school to school.

The education ministry noted that this is the 74th anniversary of the day in Costa Rica.

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