I have always loved June, partly because it's my birthday month but mostly because growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., it always meant two things: School would be out soon and sunny days had arrived to finally enjoy the outdoors.
Now that I love living in Chandler, June means picking the ideal times to bike ride on the Paseo Trail, visit Veterans Oasis Park or take a dip at one of the six Chandler Aquatics pools. It is also a time to explore some new indoor activities while catching up on Chandler Community Services Department news and special events.
Tune in to "Come Out & Play"
Have you seen Chandler Recreation's "Come Out & Play" bimonthly show on Channel 11? The program has been going strong for nearly 20 years, and the current episode features the Paseo Trail and the adjacent parks and facilities that follow its path through south Chandler, including Tibshraeny Park, the Chandler Tennis Center, Tumbleweed Ranch, the upcoming Paseo Vista Recreation Area and Bear Creek Golf Course. You can catch the show today at 4:30 p.m., Monday at 1 p.m. and in the morning and evening during the next couple of weeks. The schedule and past programs are available at www.chandleraz.gov (click on Channel 11 under "Quick Links" in left column).
Chandler Aquatics special events
While several of the Chandler public pools have been open for a while, all six will be open daily for summer operations beginning June 4. Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center, 5901 S. Hillcrest Drive, will host a Father's Day event with poolside activities and a special family admission of just $1 from noon to 2 p.m. June 21. West Chandler Aquatic Center, 250 S. Kyrene Road, presents its annual Hawaiian luau from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 27 with the first 100 guests receiving a Hawaiian lei. Activities will include limbo and hula hoop contests. For more information on all six pool hours and policies, call (480) 782-2733 or visit www.chandleraz.gov/aquatics. For swim lessons and program information, check out www.chandleraz.gov/breaktime. To rent a pool for a private party, call (480) 782-2753.
Take Dad for breakfast with snakes
The Environmental Education Center, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Road, will offer two reptile programs on June 20. At 8:30 a.m., fathers and other caregivers are invited to bring their children for a "Father's Day Breakfast With the Snakes." The center will provide a light breakfast along with activities to teach an appreciation for these often misunderstood creatures. Willing participants may even get a chance to pet the live snakes and watch them eat their breakfast. At noon, the public is invited to join Kat Parks from the Arizona Herpetological Association for a presentation on the reptiles of Arizona that will feature live demonstrations with snakes, chuckwallas and other critters. There is a $14 fee for the first event and a $6 fee for the second activity. To register, visit www.chandleraz.gov/registration or call (480) 782-2890 for more information.
Paseo Vista Recreation Area update
The Chandler Parks Division is currently developing the Paseo Vista Recreation Area at the southeast corner of McQueen and Ocotillo roads, the site of a former landfill that ceased operations in 2005. This 64-acre site will be a dynamic community park with an appealing, elevated view of the area and will feature amenities such as an archery area, disc golf course, bark park, playground, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic ramadas and trails. Scheduled to be completed this fall, Paseo Vista will be another great landmark for the city and a gathering place for residents and visitors seeking a variety of enjoyable outdoor activities. You can view a rendering of the park at www.chandleraz.gov/parks.
Follow Chandler Recreation in social media
To keep residents apprised of the latest news and special events information, Chandler Recreation has profiles on Facebook (go to groups and search for "Chandler Recreation") and Twitter (search for "ChandlerRec"). There is also a Chandler Recreation photo gallery on Flickr and video profile on YouTube; just search for Chandler Recreation on both sites.
Liam O’Mahony is an information specialist with the city of Chandler Community Services Department. His column runs Sundays in the Chandler Tribune. He can be reached at liam.o’email@example.com.