City of Nanaimo’s Parks and Recreation won’t give partridges in pear trees or maids a-milking this holiday season, but it will offer 12 days to get active.
The 12 Days of Christmas with Parks and Recreation consists of skating and swimming at city facilities, providing residents a chance for exercise amidst the holiday shuffle. Beginning Dec. 20 and going until New Year’s Day, there are numerous holiday-themed events, some of which are free, said Gary Paterson, city arenas coordinator.
“We have a Skate with Santa happening on Dec. 20, we have another one on Dec. 21, we have another one on Dec. 23, a free one… Dec. 24 obviously is Christmas Eve, so there is a skate over at the Nanaimo Ice Centre,” said Paterson.
The Winter Wonderland skating event is also a part of the promotion, beginning Boxing Day at Frank Crane Arena, running until Dec. 30. Skate and helmet rentals are free and skating will cost $1, although a number of sessions are free.
Children can have a swim with Santa Claus, or Dunk with Santa, Dec. 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.
The holidays have a reputation for festivities and food and Paterson said getting active is not only good for burning calories, it’s good for the mind too.
“You know, obviously there’s a physical component to being active and it is important to keep people out and being busy, it’s very healthy,” said Paterson. “Perhaps more so than any other time of the year, there’s kind of a social and an emotional side of it. The holidays can be quite a difficult time for lots of folks, so when you get them out and you get them engaged in the community, they’re seeing other people, it’s really a great way to lift their spirits and help everybody be positive.”
The Finale 2017 event takes place New Year’s Eve from 5 to 10 p.m. at the recreation centre at Beban Park. Countdowns will be held at 8 and 10 p.m. and entry costs $10 for individuals or $32 for a family of five. Children two and under get in for free.
According to Paterson, there will be a comprehensive open schedule throughout the city’s facilities.
“You’ll find regular lane swimming and regular events going on at Beban,” said Paterson. “You’ll also find the aquatic centre is fully open, more or less regular hours … basically speaking, we’re open for business. This is a high time for us, this is when the community is out recreating, so it really behooves us to keep our facilities going and keep them fully engaged, so people can enjoy.”
For information about these and other events, go to www.nanaimo.ca and click on parks events under recreation and parks.