One of the first places to look for summer activities is the City of Irving’s Parks and Recreation Department, which besides their annual summer camps held by the centers, are hosting a number of one day activities which will delight a child for part of the morning or afternoon including scavenger hunts, water competitions, field trips and movies.
Joe Moses, the community programs supervisor for Irving’s Parks and Rec Department, explained some of the activities the City is organizing. He is particularly enthusiastic about Irving’s impressive Cimarron and West Irving aquatic centers.
“Our water parks have slides, a lazy river, volleyball, a children’s area, and they even do movies,” Moses said. “Your admission is going to be cheaper in Irving than parking will be at other parks.”
Another exciting resource the City provides is the Lively Pointe Youth Center, a dedicated facility solely for teens – a place that few cities have.
“It’s a hard group to program for because we call them all teens, but there’s a great difference between a thirteen-year-old and a sixteen or seventeen-year-old,” Moses said, but he is confidant that this summer’s activities and amenities are up to par. “It gets them away from the smaller kids at the rec centers and has computer room and fitness programs including a running group that has competed in the Hero Rush. The center even has a skate park out back.”
If you want a unique sporting experience that is slightly offbeat, RISE Adventures is continuing their wheelchair rugby program on Friday nights at the Georgia Farrow Recreation Center and working to add wheelchair soccer and basketball to the program. The non-profit’s CEO, Paul Gray, said that although kids with disabilities get first dibs on the equipment, everyone is welcome and encouraged to come out and participate.
Of course it would not be a proper sporting summer without Irving’s athletic leagues where one can indulge in whatever sports fantasy they may have. Or if you do not want to practice for an entire season, for two weeks Parks and Recreation is hosting their Olympic-style summer games with samplings of basketball, tennis, bowling and chess among many other sports. And in the spirit of the Olympics, there will be awards and trophies presented to the best youth athletes Irving has to offer.
For those kids who are more artistically minded, the Irving Arts Center has a whole battery of programs covering all aspects of the fine arts from theatre to music to the visual and plastic arts.
Moses summed up what, for most people, is at the core of any good summer program.
“The main focus is a lot of kids don’t have places to go or things to do, and it usually leads to trouble. We offer a healthy, safe alternative, and we want to offer programs that increase quality of life for our residents,” he said.
Then again, few of my summers were particularly structured as a child. There were healthy doses of soccer, bike riding, and excursions – sometimes to an amusement park, but nothing was worse than having too much to do and missing out on summer as a vacation. And I would be a hypocrite if I did not admit that, perhaps a little more often than I should have, I just needed to take a break from all of the amazing, fun outdoor activities, go inside and play some video games.