Plenty of activities for all ages in PdC this summer

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Alice Kirschbaum, of Prairie du Chien, enjoyed one of the classic rock concerts last summer so much that she just couldn’t stay seated. Just like last summer, the Concerts on the River free music series of seven concerts is expected to draw large crowds to Lawler Park. For a full schedule of concerts, check out the PdC Parks and Rec activity guide.

Pool parties are a fun way for kids and adults alike to celebrate the heat of summer. Dress up for the specific theme and go soak in the sun. This year’s parties include a Luau Party on June 24, Christmas in July on July 8, Mardi Gras on July 29 and a Western Party on Aug. 12. All events are from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Wacouta Aquatic Park.

By Correne Martin

There are plenty of activities for kids and families to do in Prairie du Chien this spring and summer, that are free or low-cost, thanks to the city’s parks and recreation department. One of the first to begin will be swim lessons on June 15. Additional early programming includes youth tennis lessons, boys and girls baseball, T-ball and kickball, and junior golf. The summer flurry will conclude in August with Outdoor Adventure Day Camp, Every Day Heroes Pre-School Camp and the Puppy Paddle. Online registration begins May 13 for any of the summer rec programs. Go to http://pdc.recdesk.com/recdeskportal to sign up. Resident and non-resident fees apply for many of the lessons and camps.

Swim lessons—Sign up for outdoor swim lessons is Wednesday, May 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Hoffman Hall, or you can register online at the web address above. After May 13, participants can sign up at the outdoor pool on June 7 or thereafter when the pool is open. The Hoffman Hall pool closes on May 29 and reopens Aug. 31, as the Wacouta Aquatic Park pool is available throughout the summer.

There are three swim lesson sessions: June 15-24 (level 1-7), July 6-15 (parent/tot-7), July 16-24 (level 1-7). Lessons are free to Prairie du Chien School District residents and $15 for non-residents.

“There were over 600 lessons provided last year,” Parks and Rec Director Mike Ulrich said. “We offer swim lessons corroboratively with the school district and it seems to work out real well.”

Some of the newer events are highlighted below. Further programming details can be found in the recently released Prairie du Chien Spring and Summer Activity Guide, sponsored by Peoples State Bank. The 12-page, blue booklet explains each of the activities, includes a registration form and can be picked up at city hall, Hoffman Hall and various locations around the community. Or it can be found online at www.prairieduchien.info/parkandrec.html.

Wacouta Aquatic Park—Pool passes and admission fees have been reduced for the 2015 season in an effort to draw in greater attendance. Lap swims, water aerobics and open swim are available. Open swim hours are: Monday through Friday, 1-4:45 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1-4:45 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-4:45 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Pool parties are a popular event held four times throughout the summer at the pool. Dates and themes for 2015 are as follows: June 24—Luau Party, 1:30-3 p.m.; July 8—Christmas in July featuring Santa Claus, 1:30-3 p.m.; July 29—Mardi Gras, 7-8:30 p.m.; Aug. 12—Western Party, 1:30-3 p.m. Come join in the fun as the community celebrates in some really wild and crazy ways.

For more information regarding daily and annual passes for residents as well as non-residents, call the Wacouta Aquatic Park at (608) 326-8071.

Tennis lessons—The outdoor tennis courts on Hoffman Hall’s west lawn, which have been completely refurbished, are expected to be ready for players by June. Youth tennis lessons are June 8 through July 22, on Mondays and Wednesdays. There are sessions for beginners, advanced beginners and intermediate participants, ages 5 and up.

3-on-3 adult basketball—New this year for adults who enjoy recreational basketball is the 3-on-3 basketball league, open to adults or graduating 2015 seniors. The league will play Sunday mornings, June 21 through July 26 at Hoffman Hall. The deadline to register a team is Wednesday, June 3 at 4:30 p.m. There is a fee per team for signing up.

“Our fall adult basketball league is pretty successful and we had some suggest this 3-on-3 for the summer, so we thought we’d try it,” Ulrich said.

Brewers trip—Parks and rec is bringing back the Milwaukee Brewers bus trip this summer on Wednesday, July 22, when local MLB favorite takes on the Cleveland Indians. The game is at 1 p.m. at Miller Park. The $28 per person it costs to attend includes transportation to and from the game as well as the ticket into the game. Sign up and pay at City Hall prior to the event.

“If you can find a cheaper Brewers trip in the state, I’d be surprised,” Ulrich noted. “And this is a very family-oriented trip.”

Drama Hawks Senior Camp—In addition to Drama Hawks Junior Camp for ages 6-8 (June 29-July 3), Drama Hawks Senior Camp will be offered to teens and adults 13 and older, with an emphasis on enhancing acting skills and preparing for a closing weekend performance. Camp is June 12 through Aug. 19.

Outdoor Adventure Day Camp—Held Aug. 10-13, this camp is open to ages 8-12 and provides an opportunity to learn about how the settlers of Prairie du Chien lived and how we now enjoy the Mississippi River. Hands-on experiences will include archery, fishing and canoeing.

“This has been so popular in the past that we’ve added an extra session this year,” Ulrich said.

The two, four-day sessions are held at the Washington Street Park and meet Mondays through Thursdays.

Outdoor Recreation Center—Located at the Washington Street Park, and staffed by Prairie du Chien Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and volunteers, this will be the first year the Outdoor Rec Center is open in June. Saturday and Sunday rentals of canoes, kayaks, bikes and helmets, fishing poles and disc golf will be available here. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. At other times of the week, accommodations may be made for groups and individuals by calling the parks and rec department at 326-7207.

Ladies Night Out—Mom, daughters, grandmothers and girl friends are offered this night of relaxing fishing on Tuesday, June 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All equipment is provided but adults must have a fishing license.
“I’ve got some instructors and volunteers who really care and do a good job teaching fishing,” Ulrich said.

Family Fishing and Paddling—On Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to noon, this fun and popular activity for the whole family offers a morning of hands-on fishing, canoeing and kayaking, with instruction given to those wanting a sampling of these great leisure programs. All equipment is provided. The first 100 youth in attendance will receive a brand new fishing pole, courtesy of Cabela’s. “Firemendogs,” chips and beverages are included at this Washington Street Park event, sponsored by the fire department and Cabela’s.

Hoffman Hall fitness programs—Continuing throughout the summer at Hoffman Hall, fitness classes will include pilates and toning, body sculpting, yoga, step aerobics, tae kwon do club and tai chi. Open gym and walking will also be available there. The only exceptions are the swimming activities, such as water aerobics and lap swimming, which will transfer to the outdoor pool. These two activities, even though their location is moving for the summer, are still included in the cost of a Hoffman Hall membership. On open swim days at the Wacouta Aquatic Park, Hoffman Hall members can swim for half-price.

Concerts on the River—This free summer music series, sponsored by the Prairie du Chien Jaycees and parks and rec, is held every Thursday night from June 18 through July 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. There are seven free concerts this summer featuring a variety of the area’s top musical talents. Two new bands this year are the Curtis Crossroads Band and Naughty Finger.  Others include River City Connections, 16 Strings and a Stick, Wind in the Barley, River City Ruckus and the Guttenberg German Band. Those attending can bring blankets, lawn chairs and snacks for these casual evenings of entertainment at Lawler Park. (For the full schedule, the Courier Press will publish a Concerts on the River article in an upcoming issue, or find it in the parks and rec activity guide.)

Glow Run/Walk—Also new this year is the PdC Spring Glow Run/Walk on Saturday, May 16. Registration begins at 7 p.m. with the 5K to follow at 8 p.m. This event starts at the skateboard park on Wells Street. Register online at pdcskatepark.org. Registration includes some glow items, while others will be for sale and light refreshments will be available. Proceeds will benefit the skate park.

5-Mile Run/3-Mile Walk—In conjunction with Crossing Rivers Health, this annual activity is set for Saturday, July 18, starting at the outdoor pool. Awards are given to the top three runners in each category, from age 19 on up. Registration forms are available at the pool and at city hall. Proceeds benefit Hoffman Hall improvements.

Vacation ticket discounts—Local citizens may not be aware of this unique opportunity through the city of Prairie du Chien, but families considering a summer vacation to a number of favorite destinations around Wisconsin can take advantage of ticket discounts available at city hall. Highly-discounted tickets are sold there (cash only) for the following sites: Noah’s Ark Water Park, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, Milwaukee County Zoo, Pirates Cove Golf, Dells Army Ducks or Wild Thing Jet Boats, Upper Dells Boat Tours, House on the Rock, and Old World Wisconsin.

“It’s a good deal for everybody,” Ulrich said, noting that the city nets 50 cents per ticket sold. “It’s really a significant savings too.”

ICAN Recreation—In cooperation with the Opportunity Center, the parks and rec department will continue to offer fun summer programming to meet the needs of all ages and ability levels. The Intergeneration Community Activity Network (ICAN) has been happening at Hoffman Hall throughout the year, but will now move to more outdoor activities around the area. For more information on joining, contact Jackie Friederich at 379-2353 or Kari Kossman at 326-6486.

For additional fun and events to keep you active all summer long, check out Prairie du Chien’s parks and pick up an activity guide.

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