New and favorite returning programs are on the agenda for the Parks and Recreation Department’s summer activities.
Starting next week and continuing through August, the department will offer children and teen activities, youth sports and some adult programs in an effort to get residents out of the house and into Sedalia parks.
“Most of our programs are low or no cost and we really make a commitment to keep it that way every year,” said Recreation Superintendent Amy Epple. “Our goal is always to offer a variety of programs that the entire family can enjoy and I think we really accomplished that this year.”
Many of the children’s programs offered this year are returning favorites, Epple said.
“We’ve had a lot of success with Dino Day and Art in the Park, activities that allows kids of all ages to come out and just play and have fun,” she said. “Personally my favorite is the Pirate Party at Centennial Pool. It seems like we have great attendance every year and it’s a neutral program, for boys and girls, as opposed to the Little Mermaid Party which is mostly attended by girls.”
Storybook Trail will be the first children’s program to start, running next week at Centennial Park and in late June at Liberty Park. Children and their parents will be able to read a story a page at a time along the trail.
“I really like this event because it’s one where the whole family can participate,” she said. “And I especially love seeing the kids race to the next page, they’re so excited to hear the story. Not only are they having fun but we’re sneaking in a little exercise for the family too.”
This summer will also the addition of a teen program — a Hawaiian luau-themed party at Liberty Pool. Epple said the $7 pre-registration or $10 day-of costs are slightly higher than other programs because there will be food available and a DJ.
“We’re trying to hit the teen population of Sedalia,” she said. “I know there aren’t a lot of teen-centered activities so we thought we could give them the run of the pool and have a DJ playing music and different activities like a limbo contest. It should be a really fun event.”
New this year, the Parks and Rec Department will offer track and field for children 7 to 12. Epple said she was approached by Smith-Cotton High School Track and Field Coach Brad Hagedorn last year about starting a program for younger kids.
“A lot of times kids aren’t exposed to track and field until middle school so they may be missing out on something they really could enjoy and excel at,” she said. “This will give them an opportunity to learn all the basics, from coaches who have a history with the sport.”
Those coaches are Brent and Brandon Katzing, brothers from Sedalia who currently attend the University of Central Missouri and recently competed at the state level.
“I think this will be a great program, especially because we have Brent and Brandon coaching,” she said. “This is the first year for track and field but hopefully word will spread and this will be something we can offer every year.”
Interested residents can also take part in tennis lessons, volleyball camp, and a superkid triathlon for children ages 4 to 14.
Adults looking for summer activities can take part in the department’s Dusk Til Dawn softball tournaments, scheduled for June 22 and July 27, or a Beginners Triathlon, set for June 29.
Attendance at the city’s two pools has been down so far this year, likely due to the weather, Epple said.
“The rain is killing us on attendance rates,” she said. “But it will warm up soon and we’re expecting to have another busy season at the pools.”
Liberty and Centennial pools both opened May 25 and will be open until Sept. 2 and Aug. 7, respectively; temperatures must be above 74-degrees for the pool to open for the day and pools may be rented for parties. Pool admission is $3 for ages 3 and up and free for children younger than 3.
Swim lessons through the American Red Cross will be offered against this year for infants through adults at a cost of $25 per person.
“Swimming is something I really believe everyone should learn and so we try to make it as affordable as possible,” Epple said. “We do ask that parents sign their children up early for the lessons. Last year we decided to have smaller class sizes to allow teachers to really focus on a few students at a time and space fills quickly.”
Aqua Camp for children ages 7 to 12-years-old will also be offered from July 26 to 26 at Liberty Pool. Campers will learn water safety and take part in swimming instruction, water games and crafts. Splash and Play for children up to 5-years-old is also available.
Adults can take part in water aerobics, which meets from noon to 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday all summer at Liberty Pool, or adult or lap swim, held from 11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. at Centennial Pool.
Most programs offered through the Parks and Recreation Department require pre-registration. For a full list of all summer programs including specific dates, locations and price, more information or to register, call 826-4930 or go to sedaliaparks.com.
• June 15: Pirate Party
• June 18: Tie Dye Mania
• June 19: Dino Day
• June 21: Hawaiian Teen Luau
• June 26: Can You Dig It?
• July 9: Art in the Park
• July 19: Dive In Movie
• July 22-26: Aqua Camp
• June 29: Superkid Triathlon
• July 27: Little Mermaid Party
• Aug. 7: Doggie Dive
For a full list of all the summer programs, including times and locations, go to sedaliaparks.com.