MY WHISTLE STOP LIFE BY SUSAN WHISTLER
It’s the end of another school year, and the beginning of another summer to remember for children around the county, which also means it’s the beginning of parents searching for something for them to do all day.
Parents who work have to rely on sitters and day camps for their kids during summer vacation, and thankfully those are in plentiful supply here in Pictou County. Day camps are offered by the YMCA, West Side Community Centre in New Glasgow, Town of Stellarton Recreation, and others. The programs are well run and good value. I’m sure it’s a comfort to working parents to know that their kids are not only well-supervised, but having summer fun as well.
For those of us who don’t work (albeit reluctantly on my part – seriously, someone hire me), filling the days can sometimes be a challenge. I’m sure it doesn’t sound like one. After all, spending hot summer days doing things like going to the beach or playing in a sunny playground doesn’t exactly sound like a chore. However, it’s the kind of thing that seems easier than it actually is. High UV indexes mean kids should be kept indoors during the peak hours, high temperatures can cause crankiness (and not just for the little ones), and an overdose of togetherness can strain the resolve to enjoy them while they’re young.
Someone at New Glasgow Town Hall obviously understands this, because there are also some terrific day camps and events scheduled for the summer months, for preschoolers to seniors. Most of the program costs are low, and some events are even offered for free. Schedules are available on the website or from the Town Hall, with details on programs like children’s zumba, arts and crafts, frisbee, and even Quidditch.
Looking for someplace air-conditioned to bring the kids, and afraid Sobeys might kick you out for loitering in the ice cream aisle? Take them to the Museum of Industry in Stellarton. Their interactive exhibits will interest all ages, and their circus train area is an awesome place to play. If you plan to visit over the summer, consider buying a Nova Scotia Museum Pass, which will get you free family admission to the 27 different museum sites in Nova Scotia, giving you lots of options for day trips or outings for the next year.
Lastly, don’t forget the many festivals and events we have in the area over the next couple of months. There is the Riverfront Jubilee, and Dragon Boat Festival. The Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library always has fun things on the kids, most of which are offered free of charge, so bookmark their website for easy checking on what’s going on.
The almanac predicts a hot summer, which remains to be seen, but regardless of the weather, there is no need to let the heat (or the rain) keep you in the house. With so many events and programs on offer, it’s sure to be a fun season, no matter what the weather.
After all, activity is good for the body, stimulation is good for the mind, fun is good for the spirit, and keeping the kids busy is good for the sanity.
Susan Whistler is a local writer and co-creator of the children's book, "The Great Crow Party." She enjoys her family, walks by the ocean, and perfectly placed apostrophes. She can be found online at www.susanwhistler.com.