Keep moving this off-season with parks and rec activities

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Be it youth soccer or basketball, adult water aerobics or family fun nights for Halloween or Christmas, there are plenty of activities to do for free or for a nominal fee in Prairie du Chien this fall and winter. (Courier Press file photo)

The Hoffman Hall pool is just one of numerous amenities available for people of all ages during the off-season months. (Courier Press file photo)

By Correne Martin

Just because the temperatures are cooling, it doesn’t mean community members have to go into hibernation. The Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department and Hoffman Hall have a great deal of activities for youth, adults, athletes and leisure-seekers. With all there is to offer, there’s no excuse to not be active this fall and winter 2017-2018 season.

Many of the programs require a fee to participate, while some of them are also free. Residents and non-residents are welcome. To register, visit to sign up easily, or mail or drop off a registration form (found in the parks and rec activity guide) to the City of Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department, 214 E. Blackhawk Ave., P.O. Box 324, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. Call 326-7207 with any questions.

For the youth
Kids and Family Yoga is a new offering this season. Follow instructor Marge Bennett and experience a great opportunity to relax and be mindful with your son or daughter. Poses of all skill levels will be taught and can even be incorporated into parks and rec youth sport programs, such as football, volleyball, basketball and soccer. Yoga is open to ages 5 and older and meets on Saturdays, from 8 to 9 a.m., in the Hoffman Hall fitness room. There are two sessions, beginning in November and January.

While youth football and the Little Netter volleyball program both started in September, basketball and soccer are coming up.

The basketball program emphasizes basic fundamentals, participation, sportsmanship and fun. It’s open to grades one through four and begins Nov. 13. Third and fourth grade boys and girls practice on Mondays and Thursday evenings, while first and second graders practice on Wednesday evenings. Games will be at Hoffman Hall starting Dec. 2.

Indoor soccer will allow children, ages 4 through first grade, to practice basic skills and play games, beginning Jan. 27, at Hoffman Hall. This will take place Saturday mornings.

Take Me Fishing programs are offered through the parks and recreation department, thanks to volunteers and organizations within the community. Group fishing instruction is also available via hour and a half classes at Washington Street Park. To set up instruction, call 326-7207.

A family sports sampler activity presents a variety of sports for families and friends on Monday evenings, Feb. 26-April 2. Those in kindergarten through third grade, and mom or dad, can participate at Hoffman Hall.

Kayak classes are offered for recreational users ages 12 and older. These two-hour clinics will teach essentials for boat fitting, maneuvers, paddling skills and techniques. This is ideal for new paddlers. No roll experience is needed and no roll instruction will be provided. Participants must be competent swimmers. Classes will be held March 31 and April 7, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Hoffman Hall pool.

Youth swimming lessons are being offered this off-season. Call 326-7207 to inquire about dates and times.

A free holiday fun night will be Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m., in the Hoffman Hall lobby. Start the holiday season off with your family and friends, making decorations and cookies, sipping hot chocolate and visiting with Santa Claus. Pre-register by calling 326-7207.

Fitness and the pool
Adults are invited to check out all that Hoffman Hall has to offer through aquatics, fitness and leisure activities. The highly-popular water aerobics program will be taught by a new instructor, Arlene Fernberg, this year. She’s been incorporating some neat things swimmers enjoy thus far. Water aerobics is available weekdays from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. There are also deep water aerobics and home school swim classes. For more information, call 326-2985.

Fitness offerings include pilates and toning, body sculpting, yoga, step aerobics, Tai Chi and Zumba. There are adult, senior/student and family passes available.

Stay in shape and get rewarded with Culver’s meals by participating in the Culver’s Walking and Lap Swim Fitness Program. This happens on weekdays from 8 to 10 a.m., and during lap swim times at Hoffman Hall.

Adult recreation
The annual adult co-ed volleyball and adult basketball leagues will be starting soon. Volleyball teams must have three men and three women. It begins Nov. 14, on Tuesdays, starting at 6:30 p.m. Register by Oct. 27. Basketball takes place on Sundays, beginning Nov. 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register by Oct. 28.

Potlucks have become favored events among community members wishing to simply get together and socialize once a month. Just bring a dish to pass and sit back and enjoy special themes, live music and fun activities; beverages are provided. The potlucks are free and open to the community. For more information, call 326-2985.

Senior Rec is available to seniors 60 and older, beginning Oct. 3 on Wednesdays, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. This time allows seniors to relax and read the paper, have a cup of coffee, play a game of pool or foosball and socialize—all for free. There are also computers on-site for checking emails or surfing the Internet. There will also be special events, trips, classes, guest speakers and healthy programs tied to Senior Rec.

Granny basketball is a program geared toward women ages 50 and older, for fun and exercise utilizing “old-fashioned” basketball rules. An organizational meeting and first practice will be Sunday, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m., at Hoffman Hall.

Family fun
Are you ready for Halloween? At the Monster Bash, Sunday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Hoffman Hall, start the holiday early by attending the most ghoulish place in town for a variety of games, prizes, food and music. This event is put on by the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution and benefits the Special Olympics and Wisconsin Badger Camp.

New this off-season is a special holiday concert, featuring Michael Thoma and Friends, at Hoffman Hall on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. The band is a five-piece, award-winning ensemble from Waterloo, Iowa. They also played at the concerts in the park this summer in Prairie du Chien. To attend the holiday concert, purchase a ticket in advance at Hoffman Hall, or get one the day of the show, and then simply come enjoy coffee, hot chocolate and cookies while listening to seasonal tunes. Families are sure to love the holiday atmosphere.

Finally, the rec room in the basement of Hoffman Hall is available now as a place for, not only recreation, but also entertainment and celebration. The rec room has multiple games, including table tennis, foosball, air hockey, pool table and a dart board. Groups up to 50 people can be accommodated. The rec room is often utilized for birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and for gatherings of local Scouts and other groups. Call 326-7207 for cost and further details.

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