Make the most of spring and summer with the city’s parks and rec programs
No matter what your age or ability – Ottawa Parks and Recreation has programs and camps for just about everyone. “We have an incredible array of spring programs and summer camps that cover just about every age range and interest,” says Jennifer Cunningham, recreation supervisor with the City of Ottawa. Pre-schoolers can learn dance and music in Little Shakers & Music Makers. Or learn through play in the Duffer Doo program. “These are not only fun for two year olds to five year olds,” says Cunningham, “but they’re a great way for little ones to learn about socializing before they start school.” Cunningham points out that there are options for parents to join in with their child or others that provide a sense of independence.
Older kids will enjoy the theatre and digital programs available and there are some creative special occasion workshops available for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. There are also plenty of outdoor activities available as well, like soccer and baseball. And there is still skating available in community arenas. “The skating season might be over,” says Cunningham, “but some kids might want to perfect their skating skills, especially if they are going to be playing hockey next year.” Adults can check out the cooking classes – like a Taste of Greece, or a Taste of Turkey, where they can learn to cook delicious dishes from different countries around the world.
New this year are the Harry Potter Adventure and the Anne of Green Gables Adventure. “These camps are going to fill up quickly,” says Cunningham. The Anne of Green Gables Adventure camp will be based on the books and how Anne lived. Activities will include things like candle-making at Upper Canada Village, costumes and even the daily chores Anne had to do in her day. The Harry Potter Adventure camp will include House selection – are you a Gryffindor, a Slytherin, a Ravenclaw or a Hufflepuff? Learn about magic and of course the high-speed game of Quidditch. Youth ages 15 to 18 can do summer leadership camps that includes High Five Training, first aid training and the opportunity to work in the city camps. It’s a solid ground for future work in the recreation field. There are plenty of general camps that run across the city at various recreation centres as well.
“Sign up now,” says Cunningham, “as the specialty camps tend to fill up quickly.” Visit your local recreation or service centre and online at www.ottawa.ca/recreation.