If you’re looking for some fun activities and programs to keep the kids busy this fall and winter, then check out what the city has to offer at its many recreation facilities. There are swimming lessons, skating lessons, fitness and wellness classes geared to various age-levels from pre-school, children, teens, adults and adults 50+.
Swimming lessons are always popular and if you’re unsure what level your child should be registered for, the program supervisor at any of the pool facilities can do an assessment. They’ll be able to tell you the ideal swimming level best suited to your child’s, or your needs. If overcoming fear of water is an issue, or your child would like to improve a swimming skill, private lessons are available as well.
Learning how to skate is a ‘must-do’ for the winter months in the city. Numerous arenas across the city offer various levels of learning to skate. From ‘Frosty Blades’ for toddlers to an ‘Introduction to Long Track Speed’ for 15+, to an adult “Intro to Ice’ and every age in between – there are classes for all ages and abilities. A CSA-approved hockey helmet is mandatory for everyone and full face masks are highly recommended – especially for younger skaters.
Both the Nepean Visual Arts Centre (NVAC) and the Nepean Creative Arts Centre (NCAC) are smaller centres and a good entry point for involvement in the visual arts, theatre and dance. “We’re kind of Bells Corners’ best-kept secret,” says Lisa Zanyk, arts centre programmer. “The NVAC and the NCAC are more intimate, a little less intimidating and we have small classes – often a maximum of 10 or 12 – so children and youth get more direct instruction.” The NVAC and NCAC also offer art and drama classes for youth and adults with special needs. Zanyk says both centres offer more behind the scenes instruction. “Whether it’s dance, theatre, animation or music, the kids really learn more about how it works, all aspects of it.” A new summer program this year is ‘Inventing Board and Table Top Games.’ “It has been hugely popular with teens,” says Zanyk, “and looks at every aspect of making a game, including the strategy and the art involved. It’s pretty intense.” Another new and proving very popular class is ‘Dundun Dance’ for adults. “These classes are a hoot,” says Zanyk. “It’s dancing to drumming and it’s infectious.” And there are the ever-popular Bollywood classes for every age. She says from preschool to adult, activity through dance and movement is not only a good way to express yourself, but it’s therapeutic.
There is something for everyone at the city’s recreation facilities, including plenty of prenatal and ‘with baby’ classes like yoga prenatal, aqua prenatal and stretch and strength with baby. And there is inclusive recreation for differently-abled children and adults. Many courses fill up quickly, so sign up today. Learn more and register for courses at www.ottawa.ca/recreation.