If you’re a parent in the pandemic, you know that with every restart of a youth activity, there’s a no-go alongside it. It’s a game of starts and stops, but that’s just the way it is right now.
While we all watch how the school year and autumn unfolds, here are some tried-and-true area organizations hosting creative fall activities for your pent-up kids. Some can take place safely in-person; others have options for a virtual environment. See what works best for your young ones.
Sports, Science, Art & More
The YMCA of Northern Colorado is hoping to continue a majority of its extensive activities for kiddos. However, many of the Y’s decisions are tied to the local school district, so stay tuned for possible changes.
The YMCA has all sorts of safe, supportive and community-focused programming, from homework help and science-themed fun to outdoor adventures and group art projects. For example, fall swim lessons will be available at Ys in Longmont, Lafayette, Boulder and Johnstown. The reimagined Boulder Valley Youth Soccer (U4-U19) will start Sept. 8 with smaller rosters and assigned “cohorts.” Following new health protocol, teams will only play other teams within their assigned cohort.
Other YMCA sports programs include Volleyball Scrimmage & Skills (ages 9 to 15) featuring a cohort setup and a new set of rules. Weekly sessions will include both a practice and a 4-on-4 game. YMCA Flag Football Scrimmage & Skills (ages 7 to 15) follows similar safety guidelines, and YMCA Basketball Skills Clinics (ages 8 to 15) plan to move forward with a modified format designed to keep young players having fun and developing skills in a no-contact environment.
Kids can’t decide? Try the YMCA Sports of All Sorts Sampler (ages 3 to 8). It’s ideal for little ones who don’t have long attention spans or want to try it all – starting Saturdays, Sept. 12.
Rocks & Roles
If your kids are climbing the living room walls, get them to ABC Kids Climbing in East Boulder. The popular facility is planning for kids classes, school holiday camps, outdoor climbing, private lessons, small-group open gym and birthday parties. ABC Kids Climbing is known for its fun and always-evolving curriculum-based classes with ratios of about 1 to 5, kids to teachers. But like the Y, ABC will follow Boulder Valley School District’s lead on fall programming.
“We have reworked open gym in light of COVID,” says Manager Kara Caputo. “Space is reserved ahead of time and the gym is only open to those small groups. We are also offering birthday parties in this format.”
If the stage is more your child’s style, look no further than Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids. Students can join five companies performing at the Actors Academy for the Performing Arts: Munchkins (ages 5 to 8), Juniors (8 to 10), Intermediate Performance Company (10 to 12), Seniors (11 to 13) and Ensemble (14 to 18).
“Our shows will focus on ensemble and include plenty of movement and creative play,” says Program Director Carrie Colton. Students can choose between three majors: private voice, acting or interdisciplinary arts (tech arts, accents/character voice and stage combat).
Just like other organizations around the state, Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids is following pandemic protocol to keep kids and the community safe. All students and teachers will have face coverings, and drop-off and pickup times are staggered.
Casts will top out at 25 children, and performances will be staged live for a small socially distanced audience and streamed. Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids will also offer completely virtual after-school classes in script writing, acting for the camera, dialects/accents and more for kiddos who aren’t ready to gather in-person.
By Julie Kailus, for Raised in the Rockies