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Recreation centres provide holiday options for families

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 06:00 am

HITTING THE ICE – Skating is just one of many activities available at local recreation centres over the holidays.
HITTING THE ICE – Skating is just one of many activities available at local recreation centres over the holidays.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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City facilities are ready to be filled with the sounds of cheer during the holiday season.

From extra public skating to holiday-themed fitness classes at Servus Place, families can choose to spend some of their time together recreating.

“There’s an opportunity for people to really spend time with their families,” said Nicole Pearson, communications and marketing co-ordinator for the city’s recreation and parks department.

While both Servus Credit Union Place and Fountain Park Recreation Centre are closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, they are open the rest of the holiday season, though some days with altered hours.

Both facilities are open on Dec. 24 from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“What we wanted to do was allow people to still get their workout in but also give our staff opportunities to spend it with their family,” Pearson said of the Christmas Eve day schedule.

Other special hours at Servus Place include opening Dec. 26 from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Dec. 31 from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At Fountain Park, the facility is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 26 and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 31.

If fitness classes are more your style, Christmas cheer is being incorporated into some of the selections.

“Our fitness classes … kind of branded all the drop-in programs during the next two weeks starting on Dec. 22 and going for the next two weeks to Christmas themes,” Pearson said. Those themes include things like Holiday Blitz’en, a cardio and strength class, or Oh Come All ye Groovers, a cardio class.

At Servus Place there is also a holiday bingo game the public can participate in by where people can check off the activities they complete. Cards can be picked up from the fitness desk and the activities include both ones at Servus Place but also out in the community, like cross country skiing. They can then enter their completed card into a draw for personal training services, Pearson said in an email.

It wouldn’t be winter without some ice time, and the city has offerings for those looking to strap on their skates.

“We’ve added in extra public skating and some of those things so people, recognizing that they’re off, can spend more time with their families,” Pearson said.

Extra public skating and stick and puck skating sessions were added to the Servus Place drop-in schedule, and there are two free skating sessions at Kinex Arena. Those sessions are Santa Skate from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. on Dec. 22 and public skating from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 3.

Of course, there’s always the option of venturing to the outdoor rinks, Pearson noted.

“Hopefully we’ll get a few nice days during the break,” she said. Outdoor rink information can be found

She reminded cross-country skiers that there are trails tracked by the St. Albert Nordic Ski Club in the Kingswood day area and Liberton Park.

More information on schedules and classes at city facilities can be found on the city’s website, and Servus Place’s site,


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