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Thinking Spring? Sign Me Up!

Weekly musings from Jeff Long, public relations manager for the Fox Valley Park District.

The calendar says February and the thermometer is barely pushing 30 degrees.

I know what you’re thinking. This is the perfect time to start planning spring activities.

It may not make the spring season get here any faster, but the anticipation of warmer days is a guaranteed mood enhancer.

Saturday marks the official start of spring at the Fox Valley Park District. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., residents can fulfill their wish lists as registration gets under way for hundreds of programs, events and activities – from swim lessons to line dances to cave hikes (non-residents can register Feb. 25).

It’s heartening (Valentine’s pun intended) to know the Park District offers options for everybody. All ages, all interests and all ability levels are served. And in most cases – my lifetime included – one evolves into another.

Children are introduced to new worlds. They learn life skills – such as swimming – and many of them enjoy their first exposure to sports through Park District athletic programs.

Health and fitness are becoming top priorities in society’s pushback against obesity, and the Park District is at the forefront for that important cause. Dozens of programs help establish exercise and nutrition habits for our youth, setting a foundation of good habits for the future.

Likewise, the Park District is continually advancing healthy lifestyles, offering first-class fitness facilities along with hundreds of group exercise classes and seasonal programs throughout the District to keep things active.

And a walk in the park – or a bike ride on the trail – requires no registration, only participation.

But it’s not just kids and young families who get to have all the fun. On the performing arts side of things, there are programs tailored for all talents. The Summer Stage show “The Sound of Music” will feature performers ranging from 7 to 70, perhaps beyond. Music and dance lessons run the range, from ballet to salsa and piano to guitar.

There’s even a Senior Prom for those active adults who are enjoying their prime times.

Also on Saturday, the doors open wide for entry into the 52nd annual Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race, set for June 2 on the Fox River. 

One of the Midwest’s premier paddling events, the Mid-Am features two race lengths – a 10-mile trip starting in St. Charles and a 6-mile roll from Batavia. Both races finish with a riverside lunch party and awards ceremony at McCullough Park in Aurora.

Since adding the second, shorter race option from Batavia in 2008, the Mid-Am has widened its appeal, making the recreational resource that is the Fox River much more inviting for first-time paddlers and young families.

That trend should continue upward as the Park District has further expanded its fleet of rental boats after maxing out local vendors a year ago. WI River Outings is on board this year, which will allow the Park District to offer its discount rental package for more than 300 boats.

So much to do … so get out there and do it! Visit www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org for details on how to register. See you this spring…

Jeff Long is the public relations manager for the Fox Valley Park District. Contact him at jlong@fvpd.net

Fox Valley Park District Upcoming Events

Saturday, Feb. 16: Free Fitness Fun Fair for Kids, Vaughan Athletic Center, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Friday, March 1: Dad & Son Superhero Night, Eola Community Center, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13: Perform It Series Showcase: Grease, Prisco Community Center, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 23: Bunny Brunch, Prisco Community Center, 10:30 a.m. to noon

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