All smiles for summer
Published 10:26 am Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Pool opens for the season
One-year-old Oakley Klein let go of her mother’s hand, toddled a few steps, and then tumbled sun-screened cheeks first into the kiddie pool water Monday at Austin Municipal Pool. After her mother quickly scooped her up and dabbed her dry, Oakley was all smiles again as she toddled in the water with her buddy, 9-month-old Adalyn Bordelon.
Oakley and Adalyn, along with their mothers Michaela Klein and Brandi Ruroden, were just a few of the people out enjoying the first day of the Austin Municipal Pool’s season Monday afternoon.
With school out for the summer and temperatures steady in the mid- to upper 70s, it made for picturesque pool weather.
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���We couldn’t ask for a nicer day to open,” said Kim Underwood, director of Austin Parks and Recreation.
Though it was a busy start, Underwood was happy to see a crowd.
“It’s been hectic in a great way,” she said.
Adults, children and babies all enjoyed the warm weather and cool water. Mirre Smith, 11, came to the pool with the Salvation Army Summer Day Camp.
“It feels amazing,” Smith said about summer starting. “I finally get to go swimming and camping again.”
Mirre plans to visit the pool several days a week with her friends from the day camp.
Another participant of the camp, Shelby Jenkins, 11, was happy to enjoy the weather at the pool.
“I enjoy pretty much everything [at the pool],” Jenkins said. “I’m really really excited [about summer starting].”
The pool will be open from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. during weekdays, and lessons will be available. “It’s great to see kids take lessons and learn to not be afraid of water by the end,” Underwood said.
For the first time in several years, water aerobics will be offered for adults, though organizers may change the ages to 16 and up.
The summer season is a busy time in Austin and the pool is one of many ways children can stay active. Whether they’re indoor programs at the library or Nature Play at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, there’s something for all children to do this summer.
“[It’s important] to keep kids active and engaged in a good way with friends,” Underwood said.
Other summer events for area children include:
Park and Rec
There are a large array of activities offered by park and rec to help children stay active this summer. Various camps, like volleyball, tennis, and theater will be offered throughout the summer. Youth archery is available Tuesdays and Thursdays at Packer Arena. Jazz, ballet technique and hip hop introductory dance classes will be offered for area students in grades K-6 this July. Two free track meets will be held on June 16 and July 17 at Todd Park North Complex.
Austin Public Library
Adventures await at the Austin Public Library as children of all ages are invited to participate in the 2015 Summer Book Club. There will be reading programs, performers, story-times, crafts, and games for kids of all ages. On July 8, R.A.D. Zoo will make a stop in Austin with a large array of animals to show off. Magician and Puppeteer Jim Jayes will amaze children with his magic skills on July 22. All programs will be held at the Austin Public Library and are free and open to the public.
Along with the outdoor trails and scenery, the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center will offer many classes this summer. The Heritage Survival Class for ages 10-11 returns this week. The cost is $60.
Other nature center classes that still have some openings include Little Wonders and the Zoo in My Back Yard with Billie Jo Wicks, Little Explorers with David Stokes, Monarch Magic, and the August Bison Class with Maria Anderson, and Nature Photography.
Children will get physical at many of the YMCA’s summer events and programs. Gymnastics lessons for all ages are available, as well as Toddler Sports. There is a blastball league, Tiny Tikes, and Gym and Swim. Summer Daze Childcare is available also.
Hy-Vee’s One-Step Garden will start in June
One-Step Garden — formerly Sprouts — returns to Austin’s Hy-Vee and will feature regularly scheduled classes with the YMCA running June 11 through Aug. 20, and if the weather allows could run into the fall.
The fifth garden season will end with a competition called “Cropped!” — a take on the Food Network’s “Chopped” — on Aug. 20 with two Hy-Vee chefs and children from the YMCA program.
Each team will create a healthy dish featuring One-Step Garden produce and herbs. Judging criteria will include taste, kid-friendliness, creativity, presentation and use of garden ingredients, and will be judged by community members and Hy-Vee Manager Todd Hepler.
Along with weekly YMCA classes, additional classes will be offered for children who are not part of the YMCA throughout the summer. Registration is required through the Hy-Vee event page or by contacting Jena Pape at 507-437-7625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matchbox Children’s Theatre will perform “The Wizard of Oz” Aug. 21-23. Showtimes are 7-8:30 p.m. on Friday, and 2-3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Paramount Theatre.
“The Wizard of Oz” is the culmination of Matchbox’s annual theater camp. This year, the camp runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. July 6-10 at the Matchbox Office at 911 West Oakland Ave. The musical’s auditions are set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. on July 12 at the Paramount Theatre. The camp costs $75 per student and class size is limited.
Summer lunch and reading program
Free lunches and activities are available for children this summer at I.J. Holton Intermediate School and Sumner Elementary. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., lunch is served to children 18 years old and younger for free. There is also a Reader’s Cafe, which is a free book exchange, and weekly activities, story times, and games.
—See more events and full schedule in Discover Summer — out now.