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A full day of fun at Wellington’s Family Day

Checkers becomes a full body game when it’s floor-sized fun.

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
As snow flurries fell, families were welcomed into the warmth of the Wellington and District Community Centre for Family Day fun on Monday.

Highlighted was six hours of family-oriented games and activities provided at no cost. The municipality, together with Wellington Rotary, Lions, the Recreation Committee and Prince Edward County Public Library hosted a variety of kid-friendly games and activities suited to all ages.

A tasty selection of soups, a skate and a scavenger hunt were just some of the offerings to occupy little ones at the County Family Day. Activities also included a puzzle table, reading corner, face painting, craft table, a play area for the very little ones, a 50/50 draw and more.

Wellington Lion Janet Marissen with the Dutch shuffleboard game Sjoelbak.

Participants enjoyed popular board games including snakes and ladders, scrabble and some learned a new Dutch shuffleboard game called Sjoelbak. Giant versions of floor checkers and a counter game also provided hours of entertainment. The checkers became more of a building game for some as the pieces were stacked atop one another as high as they would go before toppling over much to the children’s delight.

A free reading program with different reading hubs put together by the Rotary Club provided tips and tricks on how to get kids reading, and offered each child a free book to take home. Fire safety advice and a table with plenty of fire prevention-related goodies was available courtesy of PEC Fire and Rescue.

Organized by members of the Wellington Recreation Committee, the scavenger hunt which was to cover a two-kilometre portion of the nearby Millennium Trail was moved inside the community centre due to icy and snowy conditions underfoot. Inside, participants had to locate 16 symbols posted throughout the building, match the letters on the provided card and then work out a saying to win a prize. About 40 families participated and were rewarded with free popcorn.

Wellington Lions president John Whyte becomes a lion courtesy of face painter Treese Moore.

A long line-up greeted face painter Treese Moore who created happy and colourful faces for the many excited children. The event, sponsored by the Wellington District Lions Club, meant Wellington Lions president John Whyte was first in line where his facial features rapidly transformed into, of course, a lion.

Mom watches as four-year-old Ethan Stevenson gets his face painted by Treese Moore.

Children could also slay the Lion’s inflatable dragon, where they were able to pose, with or without a painted face, and come away with a free photograph.

Whyte noted the club will be celebrating 45 years of serving the community this year.

“Whether it’s doing things like the dragon boat festival or the concerts in the park or taking part in things like Family Day, where we are really providing activities for the community, helping our community enjoy life is really what we are all about,” said Whyte.

For those who hit the ice, six hours of free public skating proved a very popular choice. The skating was sponsored by the recreation committee, County Real Estate Co., and Royal LePage.

A free lunch organized by Rotary members included 17 different kinds of hot soup, all made and served by local chefs and restaurants as well as local Rotarians.
On the menu were Mexican fiesta soup made by Rotary members, turkey soup prepared by the Wellington Legion, curry coconut squash soup, chicken noodle soup, ham and pea soup, hamburg soup presented by Wellington United Church and curry cauliflower soup by Rotary.

Family Day has been a statutory holiday in Ontario since 2008 to provide a day for families to spend time together during midwinter and bridge the long gap between the Christmas and Easter holidays.

“It’s very exciting to be part of an organization that helps people in need,” said Whyte. “Whether that’s helping financially, or helping with our sweat and tears, or whether it’s doing things like this with Family Day where we are just giving people the opportunity to have some fun and enjoy a cold winter’s day.”

Emogen, 5, and Penelope, 3, from Carrying Place, test their skills at the puzzle table.

Fun at the activities table

Crafts kept hands busy during the afternoon

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