Original Leisure & EntertainmentSpotlight

Looking For Summer Activities?

Looking for a way to beat the summer doldrums? The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department may have just the cure you’re looking for.

Just one glance at the agency’s free booklet compiling its summer activities tells you the breadth and depth of the offerings available to residents.

Contained in its free 70-plus page “Fun Times” book is a broad variety of classes and programs designed to entertain, educate, and enhance the summer lives of Fort Wayne citizens.

The department’s website explains the entire point of its program is to better the lives of Fort Wayne residents, and hopefully improve the city in the process.

“The mission of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department is to enhance the quality of life in Fort Wayne by providing positive opportunities for leisure time and by being the stewards of our parklands, facilities, public trees and other resources entrusted to our care,” it states.

And the fun is aimed at all ages and skill levels, as well, according to Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department Communications Director, April McCampbell.

There’s golfing classes for older adults, as well as courses for the much younger crowd, including something called “Messy, Movin’ Munchkins,” which claims that it starts each weekly Friday class “with an awesome art project using paint, glue, sculpting materials, or even some edible mediums.” That class is aimed at students ages one and a half to five years old. “We try to offer fun for all ages,” McCampbell said.

And the sheer variety of offerings is astounding. If you’ve got an interest or a hobby, the Parks Department likely has a class in it.

Do you like to assemble jigsaw puzzles? Got it. Love playing euchre? Covered. Is playing a bowling video game on your Nintendo Wii console your thing? No worries, there’s a class in that as well.

And if sports are your passion, the department offers a variety of options, from tennis and golf, to soccer and gymnastics, to t-ball and running /walking. The classes are open to a range of ages, as well, from sports for older adults, to youth tennis lessons.

There’s even a “Sports Sampler” class that allows youngsters to try a variety of athletic endeavors to see which they might like the best. Kids can try their hands at t-ball, basketball, soccer, and other sports.

The programs also offer arts and crafts education. From “Curious About Crochet,” to “Creative Quilting,” to “Behind the Easel: Oil or Acrylic,” which focuses on teaching and learning painting techniques.

The roster of classes even has health-centric offerings, including a course on screening for diabetes, testing students’ hearing, and a class on helping pupils enroll in and manage their health insurance plans, taught by a trained Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor.

Costs for the program classes range from free to $39, $49, or higher. Although if participants sign up before the program deadlines, the cost usually is significantly less, sometimes even free. To find out the registration deadlines, you should contact the Parks Department.

Many of the classes are held at the Fort Wayne Community Center, located downtown at 233 W. Main Street. Class times are scattered throughout the day, with some courses beginning as early as 8 a.m., and some not starting until 5 p.m. Class days are scattered throughout the week, too.

McCampbell said her agency’s summer offerings not only help folks stay in shape physically, but promote their social and mental well-being as well, “It’s great for people physically, and allows them to get outside, and gives them additional health benefits.

Plus, they get a chance to relieve stress, socialize with other residents, and gain new skills.”

For more information, call the department directly at (260) 427-6000, or visit their website, at www.fortwayneparks.org

Michael Morrissey

Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer