There was shinny, snowshoeing and sleigh rides. And those were only the outdoor activities.
The Servus Sports Centre was busy on Family Day, with parents and children taking advantage of the day off to spend time together. Inside the facility’s walls, children stormed bouncy castles and took part in an array of games and crafts.
“It was absolutely a joy to see so many families and children out having fun and getting active,” said Servus Sports Centre facility manager Joel Turcotte, who helped organize the event. “I thought it was a great day full of activity and people just enjoying the facility.”
New for this year was the indoor Preschool Zone hosted by Midwest Family Connections (MFC) as part of the Lloydminster and Area Early Years Coalition (LAEYC).
“We were approached by the City of Lloydminster as to whether or not we would host one of the fieldhouses for Winterfest to ensure that it was really a good continuum of activities right from infant to adult,” said Sherri Husch-Foote, MFC executive director and LAEYC chair. “So, the addition of the Preschool Zone at Winterfest ensured that families with children of all ages could benefit from the event.”
Activities for preschoolers included story time, dress-up, a parachute, an obstacle course and a sidewalk chalk station. Husch-Foote says the idea was to encourage family activities that can be done at home.
“It was really great to see the smiles on the children’s faces, but more so the smiles and the joy in the parents’ eyes when they watch their children either experiencing a new activity or just having fun,” she said. “One of the goals of the (LAEYC) is to make Lloydminster and area the greatest place to raise a child, and it’s events like this that really show families that we value their engagement with their kids. We absolutely look forward to participating again.”
This year was also the fist time the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre (LCSC) was involved in Winterfest. While some LSCS staff members were inside operating a crafts table, recreation programmer Kyra Stefanuk spent the day outside helping children and parents in and out of snowshoes.
“It just had a very prairie feel. You had the horses with the wagons, and then in the background you see the skating rink with the hay bails, and kids playing and snowshoeing,” Stefanuk said, looking back on the day’s festivities.
“We’re definitely looking to network within the community whenever we can. I think we’ll probably be at Winterfest again next year.”
Turcotte says the new activities were “a big hit,” and he was happy that children were enjoying both the indoor and outdoor festivities. He says he already has his sights set on Winterfest 2016.
“We definitely are already working on a few new things for next year that we hope everybody will enjoy,” he said.