It’s long been established that play time for children is important to their healthy development. But what about play time for parents with their children?
Informed by the success of their daytime roving play parks summer program, the folks at West Shore Parks and Recreation wanted to create an opportunity for healthy families to develop. With that in mind, Neighbourhood Nights was born.
The free evening program began last week and shifts between View Royal (Tuesdays at Centennial Park), Langford (Wednesdays at Glen Lake Park) and Colwood (Thursdays at Colwood Creek Park). Activities range from bocce and lawn darts to jazzercise and rugby, with events either loosely organized or, for the more confident, set up in structured group classes.
The emphasis is on fun, participation, being outside and meeting your neighbours, says Katherine Salmons, an adult and preschool programmer with West Shore Parks and Rec. who is overseeing Neighbourhood Nights.
“We kind of want to keep it informal and unstructured so that people feel they can participate in whatever level they feel comfortable at,” she says.
Among the goals is to not only connect people together socially, Salmons adds, but provide opportunities to try new activities for people who might not otherwise drop in to the rec centre or sign up for a scheduled program.
“We’re trying to give people an opportunity to be active and recreate, especially those people who might not otherwise come in and pick a program to be part of.”
The evening fun sessions run from 6 to 8:30 p.m., with the more structured demonstrations generally running between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m.
Free snacks are provided by Thrifty Foods, who have a pair of staffers handing the goodies out.
For more information, pick up a copy of the May-August West Shore Parks and Recreation Activity Guide at the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre or visit west shorerecreation.ca.