by Callie Berkson
There are several moments in a year, where as a parent you find yourself struggling with how to keep your kids active, healthy, engaged, and just plain… happy. When the weather outside is bleak, it’s hard to stay focused on ways to achieve this without breaking the bank or being miserable in the cold.
Whether it’s participating in family-friendly activities, finding a few days to get those extra steps in, or giving your children the ability to stay active and healthy surrounded by good mentors, leaders, and friendships, we all want what is best for our kids and our families. And sometimes in small towns, it’s hard to find those outlets. I am here to help guide you through what the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department has to offer during those dreary winter months, and hopefully help you make it to a warmer horizon. So here’s a list of winter activities that will give you all of that and more!
FOR THE KIDS:
One of our newest programs on the markets is just for kiddos! Sports Mania Mondays is a way to keep your child active and learning when out of school! They’ll discover the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, and participation, and learn the fundamentals of sports in a fun and challenging environment. With a variety of sports being integrated into the program, not only will we cover the basics sports of soccer, basketball, football, and baseball, but we’ll also dive into some of the less earmarked ones such as rugby, lacrosse and bocce. For dates, times, and more information on this program, visit bit.ly/sportsmaniaws19
FOR THE FAMILY:
- If you want to get some good ole fashion family time in, swing by Orchard Mesa Community Center Pool for our additional open swim times during the holiday season. You can check our calendar online at ly/gjpraquatics for more information and times!
- Into sports, but it’s just too cold to go play outside? We’ll then we’ve got just what you and your family need! Drop in at Bookcliff Activity Center every Tuesday or Sunday for our Drop in Sports Program! Sneak in a quick game of pickup basketball, help your child’s volleyball game spike, or enjoy a leisurely round of table tennis. $4 Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. or Sundays from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- And while we have organized programs and classes always happening, our community is so lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation! Though it’s cold and there may be snow… there are still so many places you can go! The gorgeous Riverfront Trail is open during the winter for biking, walking, running, etc. Take your pups for a stroll while the kids ride alongside, or enjoy a nice riverfront walk with the family while scouting for birds and other wildlife that have made the river their home. The following parks are also all open throughout the winter months, and most have winterized restrooms for use year round: Canyon View Park, Eagle Rim Park, Hawthorne Park, Las Colonias Park, Lincoln Park, Riverside Park, Sherwood Park, and Westlake Park.
Though winter months are much needed and the snow and moisture is welcome in the Grand Valley at any point, cold temperatures can put stress on the body and mind, especially in those who are young. The shorter days mean less sunshine and less vitamin D. The dry air causes dry skin. Colds and viruses put a damper on social gatherings and public spaces, and weather often hinders our outdoor plans and activities to keep our kiddos busy. But that doesn’t mean we have to go into hibernation and put our healthy and active lifestyles on hold. Whether you find yourself accustomed to the cold winter months and lessened outdoor activities, or would rather skip winter all together, you can survive the temperatures by adapting to change in small ways and embracing the cold with open arms – just make sure you have them covered!