Cold weather doesn't keep families away
The Elm West Playground off Ethelbert Street was a hopping place Feb. 22 during its first annual winter family fun day.
Inside the playground building, kids got their faces painted, played games, picked out free donated skates and enjoyed refreshments.
Outside, they skated on the playground's rink, went for horse-drawn wagon rides, roasted marshmallows over a bonfire and toured an ambulance.
Elm West Playground Association president Mark Rastin said his organization normally puts on a community party around Christmas, but instead decided to hold a fun day later in the winter this year.
He said he was pleased so many families turned out, despite Saturday's cold, windy weather.
The association is able to put on neighbourhood events thanks to a small yearly grant from the City of Greater Sudbury, as well as donations from local businesses, Rastin said.
Kevin Kilby, the playground's rink manager, said the event received a lot of positive response from families.
“The kids are just having a great time,” he said. “It's a good opportunity for them to come out and get a little fresh air and just meet each other.”
Speaking to Northern Life as she watched her seven-year-old daughter, Kadence Wilcox, get her face painted, Melissa MacMillan said she thinks the family fun day is a great idea.
She attended the event along with several other moms and their children. “The kids are dying inside,” MacMillan said. “Why not take them out? It seems like a good thing to do on a Saturday.”
Dave Battaino said he often brings his sons, Daniel and David Barber, out to the playground. He said they enjoy the events held there, such as the haunted house last Halloween.
“There's a lot of community spirit in this playground,” Battaino said, as he helped Daniel to lace up his skates in preparation for a whirl around the rink.
“The boys have some school friends who live in the neighbourhood, so they get to see their friends.”