U of L ready to welcome community, celebrate family with Play Day 2018

Beach weather in southern Alberta certainly feels as though it’s a long way off so the University of Lethbridge is bringing the beach indoors, as the theme for Play Day 2018.

The seventh annual Family Day play event takes place Monday, February 19, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness. Initiated in 2012 as a way to celebrate family and the benefits of play, the U of L is keen on promoting community wellness through this fun, family event.

“It’s exciting to us that this has become a Family Day tradition in southern Alberta,” says U of L President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon. “When we first developed the concept, I don’t know if we anticipated it being this successful, but it speaks to how much our community values family time and the opportunity to spend quality time together.”

Play Day activities for the beach-themed event include the now classic Free Build cardboard fort building zone, which will be offered in partnership with Rotary Lethbridge as they celebrate their 100th year of community service. Various sporting activities such as basketball, floor hockey, swimming and fitastic play, and access to the Ascent Climbing Centre’s climbing wall are offered thanks to Horns Recreation, while an art and creative activity zone is made possible by the University Art Gallery. As well, Destination Exploration and Let’s Talk Science sponsored areas include learning about the formation of tornados, constructing balloon-powered boats, creating interactive games with Scratch technology and more.

Play is essential for physical and emotional growth, for mental, intellectual and educational development, and for acquiring social and behavioural skills.

“We so often get consumed by the responsibilities we face in life that play can either be put off or even forgotten, and it’s essential that we take time for ourselves and engage in play activity,” adds Mahon. “Bonding time is a key factor in maintaining healthy families and healthy communities, and that stretches far beyond Family Day. Play Day is a reminder that wellness begins through balance.”

The best aspect of Play Day is that it’s free to everyone. There is no charge for admission or parking and people are encouraged to bring gym shoes, comfortable clothing and a swimsuit to enjoy all the activities. An added bonus for those who attend Play Day is 15 per cent off regular priced Horns Summer Camp registration fees.