Fringe Activities: Try Them!

With the fall schedule just around the corner, you've probably scoured the City of Ottawa Fall-Winter Recreation Guide and stayed up late to secure those perfectly timed swimming classes (yes, the ones where your different aged children have class at the same time).  Given the intense competition for your extracurricular dollars, some organizations are using free Come Try Events to spread the word on their programs.

Come Try Ringette

Four years ago, I was surprised to find myself a ringette mom after enrolling my eldest daughter in the City of Ottawa Ringette Association's Bunnies - Learn to Skate program.  She loved it, and I admit it was pretty adorable to watch.  

 M & K have a little photo booth fun at the Purple Penguins Christmas party

M & K have a little photo booth fun at the Purple Penguins Christmas party

As she graduated from Bunnies to Novice, I suspected her enthusiasm would wane with early morning practices.  It didn't.  In fact, this past season was her best yet - both on the ice and off the ice!  The constant improvement in her skills and knowledge of the game coupled with some amazing friendships that have blossomed have made ringette #1 in her world.  

 My husband (Coach Dave) has even been known to extoll it's virtues at the risk of being shunned by hockey dads :)  

My husband (Coach Dave) has even been known to extoll it's virtues at the risk of being shunned by hockey dads :)  

New players are welcomed at all ages in ringette, and my daughter's fun-loving, silver medal-winning team boasted four girls who had never played before.  If you think ringette might appeal to your child, several associations (CORA, Nepean, GCRA) have joined forces to promote the sport and with a free Come Try Ringette event.  It takes place Saturday, September 13th from 4-6 PM at the Jim Durrell Arena (1265 Walkley Rd).  As an added incentive, some associations have also introduced a New-to-Ringette discount.

Come Try Synchro

My youngest has tactile sensitivities, so ringette, with all it's gear, was out.  On the other hand, she swims like a mermaid and considers herself quite the performer.  Synchronized swimming seems like it might be a shoo-in, so we've signed her up to Ottawa Synchro's Dolphin program this fall.  If you think synchronized swimming might appeal to your child, there are several upcoming Come Try Synchro events.

  • Ottawa Synchro will host free Try Synchro events on Monday, August 24th and Monday, August 31st.  These both take place from 7:30-8:15 PM at the Carleton Pool.
  • Gloucester Cumberland Synchro offers free Try Synchro times throughout the season with three next week Tuesday, August 25th, Thursday, August 27th, and Friday, August 28th.  These take place from 7-7:30 PM at the Splash Pool (2040 Ogilvie Rd).

...and Join the Circus

Alright, neither of my kids have joined the circus and there is no try-before-you-buy event for the circus but it's so cool - I had to mention it!  Mini Cirque offers Circus Prop Manipulation Skills and Acrobatics on Tuesdays, from September 15th to December 15th, at the Glebe Community Centre.  Sophie Latreille is an engaging performer (for kids and adults alike), so I suspect this translates well for the program, which uses props and focuses on juggling, poi, flower-stick, hula-hooping and acrobatics.

There are so many great activities in Ottawa, but I really love the option to check it out prior to outlaying serious cash.  Some other considerations,

  • Capital Wave is hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 12th at Carleton Pool.  It's an opportunity to try water polo, and meet and talk with returning athletes and coaches.
  • Gloucester Cumberland Basketball Association is hosting an Open House Wednesday, September 9th 7-9 PM at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School.  
  • Most martial arts studios around town offer some type of reasonably priced back-to-school or introductory offer.  In particular, Douvris and Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts seem focused on developing self-confident kids.

Do your kids participate in fringe activities?  Tell us about it in the comments below.