Keeping kids active

If the kids are already bored during their long break from school and their parents have already started a countdown for how many days left of vacation until school starts again, the Minot Family YMCA has some active options for the kids.

Activities started on Saturday, Dec. 21, with dodgeball and human foosball, and continue to Saturday, Dec. 28, with soccer and pickleball. All events are free for kids who are members, or a day pass fee of $5 for kids who are non-members. Activities are for youth age 6 to 14.

On Monday, Dec. 23, there was movie night with “Home Alone” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” shown as the feature films. Other activities include bowling and an obstacle course on Friday, Dec. 27, from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by another movie night featuring “Turbo” and “Brave,” from 5 to 8 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be the Tinsel Triathlon for adults age 18 and over, which starts at 9 a.m. and includes a 500 meter swim, a one-hour indoor cycling class and a 5K run. All events in the Tinsel Triathlon will be held indoors at the Minot Family YMCA. There is a limit to 20 participants so registration is encouraged. Cost for participating in the triathlon is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

Roger Mazurek, director of the Minot Family YMCA, said they have occasionally held activities during the holiday break, but have just recently hired a youth and family director and will start planning activities for kids so that they have something to do and to get them out of the house.

“Kids don’t generally show up here until 11 (a.m.) or 12 (noon), so we’ll have one gym open during the day,” Mazurek said, about the week of activities and gym availability. The hours of the climbing wall will also be extended during the week and other school breaks, he added, opening at noon instead of at 4 p.m.

The most popular events during the break seem to be the movie nights.

“Movie nights are always pretty good for attendance,” Mazurek said. “And some things like human foosball have never been tried before.”

There are also usually good-sized crowds at the YMCA on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, he added.

“New Year’s Day is pretty good with activity, too,” Mazurek continued.

There were so many requests for activities for kids during the day when there were breaks from school, Mazurek said, that the Minot Family YMCA created a youth and family director position to help with planning activities. “There are enough non-school days that we can do it,” he added. Also, a good amount of the members are families, Mazurek continued. “We thought there was a need (for more kids’ activities) and we’re excited to see what it does and what it grows into.”

The Minot Family YMCA has had a busy winter and there are more children coming to the YMCA, Mazurek said. The youth program has increased, he added, and there were 150 more kids in just the flag football program alone. Membership from last year is actually down a little, though, Mazurek said, but the YMCA is still seeing 10,000 active members coming in throughout the year. “During the day, we’ll have 1,400 to 1,500 people coming to the Y,” Mazurek said. Also, senior citizens have contributed to an increase in membership, he continued. There used to be just 300 to 350 members in that age range, but now there are approximately 900 to 1,000 senior citizens who are members. Mazurek thought it was due to insurance companies offering reimbursements for people’s visits.

The Minot Family YMCA will be open from 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and is closed on Christmas Day. They will be open on New Year’s Eve from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from noon to 4 p.m. on New Year’s Day. People can also call 852-0141 if they have questions about the youth activities or for any other questions.