Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2017

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Parks, recreation and cultural opportunities for everyone


Even though people are looking for ways to save money these days, most are still just as committed as ever to health, physical fitness and recreation. The only difference is in the approach. According to the American Council on Exercise, one of the largest fitness education and training organizations in the world, top workout trends for 2009 include a return to basics and an emphasis on budget-friendly workouts. For Henderson residents, the city of Henderson’s Parks and Recreation department delivers on all levels.

“We’re seeing increased participation in our fitness rooms and in our classes, as residents look for affordable and convenient ways to meet their health and wellness needs,” said Sally Ihmels, recreation superintendent. “From Pilates to cardio kickboxing, we have classes and programs to accommodate all fitness abilities and schedules. And our friendly staff members are always available to help residents choose the right class or program.”

Aquatics programs also are experiencing increased participation, with classes and recreational swimming offered year-round at the Whitney Ranch Recreation Center/Aquatic Complex, Henderson Multigenerational Aquatic Complex and at six seasonal pools, which are open during the summer months. Admission fees range from $2 to $3 for adults and seniors.

“A lot of our patrons enjoy aquatic exercise, whether through a structured class or just recreational swim,” said Ihmels. “We also see a lot of families at the pools. It’s not unusual to see grandparents, parents and children taking part in some of our special events, such as our Dive-In Movie Nights or our Family Fun Inflatable Swim days. Recreation really is a great way to bring people together.”

Other free family-friendly activities include the department’s annual Arbor Day celebration that is held every April, Bark in the Park and Gospel Fest, which is held annually in February. Year-round outdoor recreation programs also are increasing rapidly in popularity, including Henderson’s annual Trails Day and regularly scheduled scenic hikes throughout the city’s extensive trail system. The Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve is another family-friendly destination. The preserve, which is located just off Boulder Highway, offers a variety of free classes for all ages, as well as free admission to stroll the grounds and enjoy the resident desert birds and other wildlife.

For families looking for arts and cultural entertainment options, Henderson’s Cultural Arts & Tourism department has an events calendar that is full of reasonably priced and free events that are not only easily accessible but also artistically and culturally insightful.

From parades and concerts, to plays and art festivals, the Cultural Arts & Tourism department has a niche for any enthusiast. The Henderson Pavilion, the largest outdoor amphitheater in Nevada with seating for more than 2,500 people, hosts performances by national artists such as Travis Tritt, Rodney Atkins and “Weird Al” Yankovic, while the Henderson Events Plaza, located in the heart of the Water Street District, hosts the city’s largest community events, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival, WinterFest celebration and classic car shows.

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