This week I want to outline a series of “did you knows” as we wind down another exciting, event-filled calendar. Some of these options may even help you formulate prospective New Year’s resolutions.
Where has 2009 gone? It’s hard to believe there are just 18 days left on the calendar — and this decade!
Next week, I’ll provide a recap of the year’s highlights for Chandler recreation events, programs and awards, but this week I want to outline a series of “did you knows” as we wind down another exciting, event-filled calendar.
Some of these options may even help you formulate prospective New Year’s resolutions.
Did you know?
• The Tumbleweed Recreation Center opens at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday. If you are an early riser, there are plenty of areas to get in a good workout to start your day (www.chandleraz.gov/tumbleweed).
• You can swim early morning and evening laps during the winter for just $2 at Mesquite Groves (Monday-Thursday, 5:30 a.m to 7:30 a.m.) and Hamilton Aquatic Centers (Monday-Thursday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; both programs will pause when the facilities are closed for the holidays on Dec. 17 but will reopen on Jan. 4).
• Adults and teens can play basketball and use the weight room for free at Chandler’s Teen Recreation satellite sites at Andersen, Santan and Willis junior high schools on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• The Parks Division will open its fourth bark park at the new Paseo Vista Recreation Area, located at the northwest corner of McQueen and Ocotillo roads, at the end of this month. The other three bark parks are located at Shawnee Park, Snedigar Sportsplex and West Chandler Park.
The parks feature a variety of fun amenities for your canine partner, including training obstacles, a seesaw, balance beam, tunnel and hurdles. Each site is surrounded by a 6-foot-high chain-link fence with one main entrance so dogs can’t escape unleashed.
• The new Paseo Vista Recreation Area will also include an archery range and an 18-hole disc golf course.
• The Environmental Education Center (EEC), located at the northeast corner of Chandler Heights and Lindsay roads, has a live snake exhibit and a nature-oriented gift shop with unique environmental awareness and green living products (www.chandleraz.gov/veterans-oasis).
• The EEC also has more than four miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding throughout the surrounding Veterans Oasis Park.
• There is a cricket field at the Snedigar Sportsplex auxiliary soccer fields that opened last year across from the popular skate park. The sport originated in England, has some similarities to baseball and is very popular in India. There is a class in January that teaches youth the game’s basics (see page 45 of the winter Break Time magazine).
Saturday is the last chance for children to have their photo taken at Santa’s House at A.J. Chandler Park from noon to 5 p.m.
'Cowboy Ted’ to perform
The Environmental Education Center’s free family event “Sonoran Sunset Series” continues on Jan. 6 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a performance from singer and storyteller “Cowboy Ted” followed by a luminaria walk around the lake at Veterans Oasis Park.
S’mores and hot chocolate will be available for a small fee. This series will take place the first Wednesday of each month and will feature different performers. For more information, call (480) 782-2890 or visit www.chandleraz.gov/veterans-oasis.
Youth intersession camps
As the Chandler Unified School District’s winter break begins on Friday, there is still time for youth to register for winter intersession camps and classes. The Tumbleweed Recreation Center is offering half-day and full-day camps for grades first through sixth from Dec. 21-24 and Dec. 28-31 with sports, arts and crafts and youth development activities.
Register for all winter recreation classes at www.chandleraz.gov/registration.
Staying informed in 2010
I would like to remind readers of the different communication outlets available from Chandler for residents to stay apprised of the latest information. In addition to the Web site (www.chandleraz.gov) and the CityScope newsletter that is mailed each month with utility bills, there also are a variety of Channel 11 programs available via streaming video online and monthly e-newsletters that you can sign up for at www.chandleraz.gov/listserv.html.
In the social media world, the city and recreation division have Twitter news feeds (@CityofChandler and @ChandlerRec) and Facebook Fan Pages where information and photos are regularly updated. For more information, you can always call (480) 782-2000 for the main city offices or (480) 782-2727 for the Community Services Department.
Liam O’Mahony is an information specialist with Chandler’s Community Services Department. His recreation column is published Sundays in the Chandler Tribune. He can be reached at liam.o’firstname.lastname@example.org.