Get your kids up and moving over winter break

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

The kids are out of school for the next week or so and undoubtedly will be looking for something to do to keep them from getting bored. The NFL has been promoting their get active program “Play 60” all season long. So, in conjunction with their idea, I’ve come up with a few suggestions to get the kids up and moving while on break.

Since it looks like the cold and snow are finally here to stay, the first thing I’d recommend is a trip to one of the many sledding hills. Alpine Park, Sand Park, Twin Sister and Page Park all have great sledding facilities. A few trips up and down the hill provides an excellent cardiovascular workout and will give the kids a thrill or two as well.

For the less adventurous, but still wanting a good workout, try cross country skiing. Once again, the Rockford Park District has excellent areas to glide across the new-fallen powder. Check Sinnissippi and Sandy Hallow golf courses for information about rental packages.

The Park District also operates the Eclipse Lagoon for recreational ice skating and pick-up hockey games when the ice is adequately frozen. Contact the Park District’s main number for hours of operation during the winter.

The Rockford YMCA is a great place to spend countless hours over the holiday break. In addition to basketball, racquetball, weightlifting and indoor running, the kids can even take a dip in the heated indoor pool. Membership or a guest pass is required.

The Rockford Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs are another great spot to get active and prevent boredom. They have countless indoor activities to keep you moving. You can play everything from basketball to ping-pong there.

The name says it all, the Indoor Sports Center on Riverside is another venue the kids can get their mojo working. Indoor soccer, pickleball and golf are a few of the sports you’ll find inside their walls.

The Rockford area has at least five bowling centers where the kids and adults can get together and roll a few games. Call ahead and check for rates and open bowling times.

Karate and the other martial arts provide an excellent form of exercise and also offer a component of discipline. Check out one of the local dojos to get started with some lessons, and who knows, maybe this time next year you’ll have a black belt in the house.

I hope these ideas help and get the kids up and moving. Try something different than the video games this break!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Dec. 25-31, 2013, issue

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