Resolve to get active in new year

By Caitlin Bittner

With the new year just beginning, resolutions are fresh in the minds of many. If getting active or finding a new hobby is on your list of things to do this year, check out all of the opportunities available through Prairie du Chien’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 7, evening ice skating lessons will be offered for kids at the Lochner Park ice rink. However, if you already know how to skate, feel free to hit the ice whenever you’d like. Ice skates are available for rental through the Parks and Rec Dept. More wintery fun can be had at LaRiviere Park where there is a lot of room to ski, hike, or go sledding with your friends and family members.

If the weather is less than wonderful, there are also various activities to get involved with within the heated walls of Hoffman Hall. On Monday, Jan. 13, the Parks and Rec Dept. will once again begin its seasonal Drama Club. “It’s a very popular program,” said Parks and Rec Director Mike Ulrich. “Last time we had about 40 kids participating.”

If you’ve got an active pre-schooler on your hands, you might think about taking them to indoor soccer, which will begin on Saturday, Jan. 25.

In preparation for spring and summer, Hoffman Hall will also offer Saturday morning swimming lessons. The next session begins Jan. 11, and still has a few openings. More classes begin in February.

If fun for the entire family is on your mind, taking advantage of the Family Sport sampler may be in your best interests. This program begins March 3.

If you’re 50+ years young and love to play basketball, the second season of Granny Basketball will also start Feb. 2. “We’ve won the Top State Award and had a great time doing it,” commented Ulrich, who added that you need not be a granny to get involved.

As always, open gym can be a popular way to have fun with large groups. Whether you want to play basketball, volleyball or tennis, accommodations can be made. “We’re trying Open Tennis this year. Beginning on Thursday, Jan. 9, you can bring rackets and play. We’ll have dividers set up so we can have a few games going at once,” Ulrich said.

As area schools’ basketball seasons are winding down, Ulrich urges people who want to come to the open gyms to simply call ahead. “We’ve got quite a few tournaments coming up in the next few weeks, but if people call ahead we won’t have any confusion.”

Aside from open gym, there is also a golf room where people are invited to come and practice anytime. “We have a net set up and equipment for practicing putting,” Ulrich commented.

Adult classes are also offered in Hoffman Hall with programs in water aerobics, lap swimming, Tai Chi, yoga, pilates and many more. A full listing of classes and times can be found at http://www.prairieduchien.info/PARK ANDREC.html.

“We allow everyone to try the classes once for free,” added Ulrich.

After finding a class that is the perfect fit, you can choose how much of a commitment you want to give it. “We offer different memberships. You could go by daily, monthly, yearly, or a punch card option,” explained Ulrich.

No matter what you’re interested in, the Parks and Rec Dept. is sure that you can find something to do. “We offer a variety with fun and wholesome stuff to do,” said Ulrich, who also noted that they try their best to accommodate any special needs someone might have, including a new elevator for easier handicap access.

If you have questions about the programs at Hoffman Hall or would like to rent ice skates, please contact Mike Ulrich at 326-7207, or feel free to stop by Hoffman Hall where the staff would be more than happy to give you a tour and answer your questions.

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