School is almost out. What's on your kids' to-do list this summer vacation? If you don't have it figured out yet, the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation can help you. Fill up their summertime activity card with these must do activities to give them some hilarious, fun, exhilarating opportunities, fabulous sneaky learning chances and great memories they'll share for a lifetime.
Kayak the Colorado River. The refreshing waters of the Colorado River cannot be experienced as well as when on a kayak paddling down the river. The kids kayak class is an introduction to kayaking. During the class, instructors will teach basic kayaking skills to youth, ages 8 to 15 years old. The program is currently taking registration and is scheduled to run July 8-11.
Swim at the Valley Aquatic Center. With temperatures soaring above the 100 degree mark, staying cool is exactly the right thing to do. There's no better place to be than at the Valley Aquatic Center, affectionately called “The VAC,” 4381 W. 18th St. The Valley Aquatic Center has a 13-lane competition pool, a 125 foot water slide, and a leisure pool with multiple water features, cooling off anyone that comes close. Open swim at the center will be from 1 to 7:45 p.m. Memorial Day weekend. The VAC will be open from 4 to 7:45 p.m. May 28-31, then normal summer hours will be from 1 to 7:45 p.m. beginning June 1 through Aug. 4, Tuesdays-Sundays, The VAC is closed on Mondays and the 4th of July. Bring all your friends and make a huge splash.
Spend the week at Camp Awesome. Allow us to break out the tents, sleeping bags, games, activities and field trips! No, it's not actually an overnight campout, but the days will be filled with lots of great summer camp activities that will keep the kids busy all day for six weeks. From swimming and arts and crafts, to weekly field trips, Camp Awesome is sure to give your child some “awesome” memories, while they make new friends, too. Camp Awesome runs during the summer in three separate sessions. Session I: June 10-20; session II: June 24 through July 11, with no camp during the week of July 1-4 and; session III: July 15-22. Camp Awesome operates from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Gila Vista Junior High School. Camp Awesome is a blast for kids. There's something magical about spending time with friends during those endless days of summer.
Play a game of basketball! Basketball and Yuma is a match made in heaven. The Yuma Civic Center plays host to the youth boys and girls summer basketball leagues. Fun and friendly competition between friends happens here, while playing inside a wonderfully cooled gymnasium. Both of these leagues are currently registering players that are entering the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. Practices are scheduled to begin May 28, with games running through July 25. This is a great way to stay in shape over the summer while working on your game.
Go on a fishing trip. Kick off the summer at the 3rd annual Family Fish Fiesta. This fun-filled, family event will take place at the West Wetlands Park pond from 7 to 10 a.m. June 1. The event is free to the public. Each fish is weighed and awards will be given in two different age categories: Youth and adults who catch the biggest and littlest fish. Yes, Mom And Dad, you get to compete, too. The Arizona Game and Fish Department, a three-time sponsor and partner for the Family Fish Fiesta, will be on-hand with limited bait and tackle the children may borrow during the event. If you want more fishing opportunities, the “Just Me and My Dad Fishing Excursion” is scheduled from 6 to 10 a.m. June 15. One parent is free with every registered child.
Catch a free movie. Mark your calendars for five different Saturdays this summer where you can join us for some free movies. Starting at 8:45 p.m. June 15 at the West Wetlands Park for a fun-filled night of laughs and folly as “Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted” hits the big screen under the stars. Load up the lawn chairs and blankets, call your family and friends and let's all meet up at West Wetlands. This free event is brought to you courtesy of Bill Alexander Flight-line Mazda Mitsubishi. Four more free movies are on the summer movie mania schedule at the Historic Yuma Theatre at 1 p.m. June 22, July 13, Aug. 10 and Aug. 17. Tangled, Up, Brave, and Wreck-it Ralph are on the schedule.
Find a treasure! Adventure here we come! Treasure hunters and adventurists, let's get together and seek out and locate treasures hidden all around the local Yuma area. Learn how to read a map, and then with our helpful staff, you'll get to map out a course and navigate to various sites around town, searching for the hidden treasures. Treasure hunters is scheduled to run from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. July 15-18.
Learn to shoot a bow and arrow. Archery Games of Panem is an introductory archery class scheduled July 29 to Aug. 1 at the Yuma Civic Center. The excitement of hitting the bull's eye is the goal as youth pursue perfection that each archer will strive to achieve with practice and guidance from trained staff. Afterward, you, too, will be ready to compete in our own Archery Games of Panem competition, scheduled to finish out the class.
Perform in a play. The Infinite Imagination Youth Theater is proud to present, “The Pirates of Penzance Jr.” The spotlight will be yours as you take on the roles of pirates, policemen, dewy-eyed daughters, and the eccentric, Major General. Act funny, be serious, sing a song, dance with friends, and create memories you'll never forget. Rehearsals are July 2 through July 31. Invite your family and friends out to an amazing presentation on Aug. 1-3 at the Historic Yuma Theatre.
Shout as loud As you can! Cheerleading and all star cheer dance are scheduled throughout the summer at the Yuma Civic Center. Get your intensity up and let out a shout for everyone to hear. Cheerleading fundamentals will be the focus during this program with fast moving dance routines that will inspire the crowd to move to the beat during cheer dance.
The city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department has something for every child this summer. For more information on any of these programs, stop by One City Plaza or call the main office at 373-5243. You may also visit our website at www.Yumaaz.gov/parksandrec for a full listing of summer activities for the entire family.
Oscar Chavez is the recreation program supervisor for the city of Yuma Parks and Rec. He can be reached at Oscar.Chavez@yumaaz.gov.