Escape cabin fever with league programming

Alberta Avenue Community League offers indoor and outdoor activities

February may have us frozen in the midst of winter, but Alberta Avenue is alive with indoor and outdoor programming.

The league will be hosting winter games every Saturday from noon to 4 pm at Alberta Avenue Community League. Community league members can play crokicurl (a combination of curling and crokinole) along with curling in the community garden space behind the league. As well, the ice slide from Deep Freeze is available until it melts.

Kids can decorate snow with snow paint during Winter Green Shack. | Supplied

Virginia Potkins, the program director, says league members can simply show up and participate. 

There will be hot chocolate and snacks. Most Saturdays there will be a fire and people will have an opportunity to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. The snacks are free but donations are welcome.

Those who would rather stay indoors can participate in hygge “cozy” activities in the league lounge.

Snowshoeing is but one of the activities kids can participate in during Winter Green Shack. | Supplied

“It’ll be a nice, comforting space,” says Potkins. “There will be blankets, a fireplace, games. Just like a community hub.” Coffee and snacks will be available. League members can drop in and visit or play games.

On Feb. 29, league members can enjoy a closing day brunch at the league from 10 am to noon. Pay by donation and enjoy chicken and waffles, ham, bacon, and perhaps pastries. 

Every Sunday ongoing, community members are invited to join organizers Potkins and Maggie Glasgow on a 45-minute neighbourhood walk.

“We’ll walk around the neighbourhood, split into groups—just so there’s a presence,” explains Potkins. The walk starts at 6 pm with everyone meeting first in the league lounge. 

Kids can do some outdoor cooking during Winter Green Shack. | Supplied

Some programs that started last year will continue to be offered, such as card nights on the first Friday of every month. “We’re going to switch up games,” says Potkins. 

Paint nights, taught by Josee Francis, are also continuing a few Thursdays a month. This event is popular, so check the league’s Facebook page for updates at facebook.com/AlbertaAvenue/ and sign up to participate for $15 plus a tip for the instructor.

Other events include a free résumé writing class on Feb. 15 from 10 am to noon and a $20 Excel course on Feb. 5 or 19, and possibly a cross-country skiing group. Email julie@albertaave.org for more information about the courses.

Other programs are currently in the works. 

A casual knitting circle started at the end of January with some ladies offering help and instruction. Drop by on Sundays from 1-3 pm. “Everybody can bring their own little projects or maybe they can show people how to get over roadblocks.” 

Potkins says the programming is beneficial. “It gets people out, you kind of get a little cabin fever. Let’s face it, we have winter eight months of the year—make the most of it.”

Kids also have some great options to play outside with the City’s Winter Green Shack program. The free program is offered at eight different locations each month in the city’s Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest quadrants. Kids can drop in when they want to participate. 

Isla Tanaka, the City’s Wintercity planner, says, “Every effort is made to spread the program evenly across the city. The shacks rotate around the leagues, staying in one location for about a month.”

There’s no need for kids to stay indoors this winter. | Supplied

What activities the kids do depend on their interests. 

Says Tanaka, “Common winter activities include games, crafts, sports, outdoor cooking (more than just s’mores), kicksledding, and snowshoeing. Participants can often be found building snow sculptures, and decorating them with snow paints (coloured water). A few locations often take part in the Front Yards in Bloom: Winterscapes contest, too, and the kids come up with some really creative snow creatures. Basically, kids are encouraged to be outside and have plain old fun in the snow!” 

Kids should dress for the weather.

“Programming is still offered on snowy days, but may be cancelled during severe weather,” says Tanaka.

The Winter Green Shack program is available for children aged 6-12. “Children under 6 are welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by an adult,” says Tanaka.

In February, kids can attend the program in the park by Alberta Avenue Community League at 9210 118 Ave. Program hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6 pm and Saturdays from 1 to 5 pm.


Featured Image: Participants can take part in a few different outdoor sports during Winter Green Shack. | Supplied

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