Residents and visitors will have a chance Saturday to explore the various facilities and programs available through the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department.
Discover Parks and Recreation Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. The free family event is being held in recognition of National Park and Recreation Month, which is observed during July. Each year a national theme is selected, and this year's theme is "Out is In."
"It's basically to encourage people to go outside, change their outlook and get involved in their community through parks and recreation," Michelle Dean, with the city's department, said.
The month serves to remind people about the value of their community facilities.
"It's a great way for us to share with the public what we have right here in their own backyard," Dean said. "It's just a way to showcase the wide range of activities that the department offers."
Representatives with more than a dozen Cape facilities within the department will be on hand to show off the specific programs and activities available at their site.
If You Go
Discover Parks and Recreation Day
Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cape Coral Yacht Club, 5819 Driftwood Parkway
Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department
Four Freedoms Park will have a children's craft area set up and Rotary Park Environmental Center will have animals on hand, like reptiles and butterflies.
Other participating facilities include the Cape Coral Arts Studio, William Bill Austen Youth Center, Cape Coral Yacht Club, Special Events division and more. Attendees will have a chance to take part in a range of activities, from a bowling game and photo scavenger hunt, to daytime telescope viewing.
"We'll also have the games on the beach, which is new this year," she said.
Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the games will consist of water balloons, volleyball, hula hoops and such.
The Tony Rotino Senior Center will host an ice cream social, while the Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center will serve up popcorn for visitors to snack on.
"They're each doing different things," Dean said. "It's really up to the individual division what they bring out."
There will be a deejay on hand, with entertainment and demonstrations every half-hour on the main stage in the ballroom of the Cape Coral Yacht Club.
Two of the scheduled performances are the Heart and Soles of Southwest Florida and the Suncoast Sunshine Cloggers, as well as line dancing.
"They do practices or performances at our different centers," she said.
Throughout the event, more than $1,000 worth of recreation-oriented prizes and coupons will be handed out. The prizes will include tickets on the Key West Express, Fort Myers Princess and Naples Princess, free golf at the Coral Oaks Golf Course and passes to the Cape Coral Yacht Club's pool.
Attendees could also win passes to the city's next Coconut Festival, tickets to Sun Splash Family Waterpark, bowling passes to HeadPinz, kayaking at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve and more.
"A whole number of things," Dean said.
Last year, an estimated 700 people stopped by the event.
"It was a good turnout," she said. "We had a little something for everybody."
Organizers are counting for another big crowd this year and that the weather holds out.
"We're always hoping to reach as many people as we can," Dean said. "We're always trying to keep the community informed on all these great facilities."
She urged the public to stop by Saturday and check out the exhibits.
"There's a lot of opportunities in the community that people aren't aware of," Dean said. "People have a lot of responsibilities, chores and challenges in their life. Parks and recreation provides a great outlet."
Since 1985, America has celebrated National Park and Recreation Month in July.
For more information on Discover Parks and Recreation Day and the full schedule of activities, visit online at: www.CapeParks.com or call the yacht club at (239) 574-0806.
To receive free E-newsletters from the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department or for more information on upcoming programs and events, visit online or call (239) 573-3128.
The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.