Fall into fun and fitness with the latest leisure guide offerings from the Town of Huntsville



Finding fun things to do this fall isn’t a challenge with the new leisure activity guide from the Town of Huntsville. Between its pages you’ll find a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests.

Looking for some balance?

Try NIA, a dance and therapeutic movement class that combines dance movement, martial arts and healing arts. Reflexology can help you to re-balance and relax. A gentle Yoga class will improve your balance and flexibility—you don’t have to be particularly good at either to participate! Yoga is all about meeting you where you are.

And new this year, learn all about the meditative power of labyrinths while creating a finger labyrinth in a workshop with Sandy Inkster. While a traditional labyrinth is walked, a finger labyrinth is on a much smaller scale and traced with a finger, but provides many of the same benefits. A minimum number of registrations are required for this class to run, so be sure to register early if you’re interested.

Other hands-on workshops offered this fall include Watercolour with Wool with local fibre artist Pam Carnochan where you can create your own ‘painting’ out of wool, and a Christmas wreath workshop with Sandhill Nursery.

You can also learn the ins and outs of being an executor, and what you need to consider when naming one for your estate, with Investment and Wealth Advisor Elizabeth O’Connor and Trust Advisor Todd Simmons. Or get some tips for how to Take the Stress Out of 9-5 with Jackie Riley.

Watercolour with Wool is a unique way to 'paint' (Image: findyourwild.ca)

Watercolour with Wool is a unique way to ‘paint’ (Image: findyourwild.ca)

Love food? (Who doesn’t!)

Whimsical Bakery’s baking classes have been a popular addition to leisure guide. Owner Christine Kropp is back again with two classes: make some fabulous fall cupcakes or learn the basics of cake decorating. Or both!

Linda Nardilli Morrin will help elevate your entertaining to a new level when she teaches you how to make Italian appetizers like mini-Caprese with rosemary focaccia bread and olives, or vegan mushroom pâté (and more!). And if you love classic comfort food, be sure to register for Linda’s pasta-making classes in the new year. “It makes for a great date night or a girls’ night out,” says Simone Babineau, Manager of Recreation and Leisure Services for the Town of Huntsville. “Eat, learn, and then take the recipes home to make on your own. Linda is a great cook.”

Got the beat?

From toe-tapping tunes to two-stepping toes, music is at the heart of some of this fall’s activities.

One of the happiest instruments around is the ukulele. Whether you’re a seasoned strummer or want to become one, you’ll find your place in ukulele group sessions with instructor Glenn Kay. There’s also a biweekly ukulele jam and sing-along where you can practice your newfound skills—all abilities are welcome!

Or if you love music, why not try your hand—er, feet—at line dancing? It’s fun, it’s social and it’s interactive. And it’s popular—classes usually fill up, so pre-registration is best although drop-ins are accommodated if there’s space.

Ukulele is just one of dozens of recreation and sports activities available at the Town of Huntsville

Ukulele is just one of dozens of recreation and sports activities available at the Town of Huntsville (Photo: Town of Huntsville)

Like to be active?

There are fitness options for everyone! From swim lessons for all ages to aqua-fitness programs (Bootcamp H2O anyone?), and from urban poling to pickleball, you’ll find plenty of things to move you.

Students and anyone interested in a part-time job, pay special attention to the aquatic leadership programs.

“Due to new regulations in the aquatics world, and for outdoor camps that have an aquatics component like swimming or canoeing, lifeguard and lifesaving training is going to be a valuable listing on resumes going forward,” says Babineau. “We have the courses to get you the skills you need for a career in aquatics. It is great part-time work. Also, the Centennial Pool is looking for life guards and instructors and with its central location right across from the high school, it offers great opportunities for after school, weekend, holiday and part-time employment. Our youth can take these skills and credentials with them to university or college and find local work very easily.” Registration is already open for these classes.

Just for kids

You may know about the Town’s PA Day and Holiday Camps (remember to book early—space is limited!), but do you know about the other fun kids’ programs available?

There are arts and crafts classes, often the types of activities you don’t want to do at home, like tie-dye. “Send them here to make the mess and we’ll clean it up!” says Babineau.

There’s also a science club, suitable for eight to 14-year-olds, where kids can get involved with some fun experiments.

For younger kids, kinder gym is back with the FUNamentals of physical fitness.

And new this year: Tools for Toddlers, a great way to engage ages 2.5 to four. It’s a great resource for all parents, and in particular those who are planning to home school their children and want to get an early start.

Busy schedule? Drop-ins are for you!

There’s a long list of weekly drop-in programs available, many of them at the Active Living Centre—bridge and bid euchre, wood carving and art, games and dominoes, table tennis and pickleball, and much more.

Dennis Wilks, right, shows Ben Robitaille the Pickleball basics

Dennis Wilks, right, shows Ben Robitaille the Pickleball basics

“It’s really affordable and low commitment,” says Babineau. “Drop in when you want to participate and pay the small fee listed. You don’t need a membership, and you don’t have to commit to the whole season—just drop in. Often an expert convenor will be there to welcome you and can offer help and connections to other people.”

Also look for Jessica, the Active Living Centre’s new Recreation Coordinator. For those who remember The Love Boat, “She’s like Julie McCoy,” laughs Babineau. “She’s here to welcome everyone and help with what you need.”

The Active Living Centre is the Town’s 55-plus centre, she adds. (Not to be confused with Club 55 at Town Hall, which also offers social opportunities and activities.) “We promote healthy, active aging through our drop-ins and registered programs.”

Also watch for the 55+ Adults Health and Active Living Expo on March 27, 2020. Admission will be free. The Town is looking for more partners for the event—contact Simone Babineau at [email protected] or (705) 789-6421 ext 3022, if you’re interested.

Look for the new Leisure Guide at locations around town, including Town Hall, the library, the Canada Summit Centre, Metro and more, or find details online at huntsville.ca. Aquatic registration opens September 10.

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