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Boredom-buster ideas to stay fit, have fun in Port Coquitlam over the holidays

Skating, swimming and Christmas crafts among the fun things families can do over the winter break in Port Coquitlam
Child Skating City of Port Coquitlam photo
Skating is one of the activities families can enjoy over the holiday season in Port Coquitlam. Photo via City of Port Coquitlam

The Grinch is not being allowed to set foot in Port Coquitlam this holiday season despite COVID-19 which is creating new challenges for socializing and fitness.

Efforts have been made to find a way to provide traditional Port Coquitlam activities — such as holiday skates and swims and centre-piece-making workshops — that respect provincial health orders.

There are many activities families can still do this holiday season. However, you must pre-register at for the following activities one week before the program start date:

• Holiday skates at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) will run from December 21 to 31. Pre-register one week in advance of each skate.

• Holiday swims at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre (HCRC) including length swims, public swims and leisure pool swims, will run daily from December 19 to January 3. Pre-register starting December 12.

• Toonie skate at PCCC and Toonie swims at HCRC on December 24 and 31. Pre-register starting December 17.

• Holiday centrepiece-making workshops at the Outlet in Leigh Square on December 16 (in person) or December 19 (virtual). All materials will be provided for both options. Pre-register starting December 11.

• Winter day camps for ages five to 14 will take place on December 21 to 23 and December 28 to 30 at the HCRC. Pre-register starting December 11. 

• Holiday themed after school youth programs are available at the Hyde Creek Youth Centre Thursday to Friday from December 10 to 18 and restarting January 7. 

Starting Dec. 14, residents can also pre-register for winter recreation programs and art workshops at (Dec. 16 for general public). Programs include:

• Public Skating programs at PCCC begin Jan.2. Skating lessons for ages 2.5 and up start January 11. 

• Swimming lessons at HCRC start Jan. 4. Lessons are available for all ages. Parent or guardian participation is required for preschool and swim kids 1- 4 levels. Lessons run Mon/Wed, Tues/Thurs or on weekends. 

• Outdoor Playschool at HCRC will run Jan. 11 to March 19 for children ages 3 to 5. Kids can explore Hyde Creek's beautiful natural forest and trails, play games and activities like shelter making, rock design, climbing and jumping, water and mud play and imagination building. 

• Art All Ways at the Outlet at Leigh Square for children ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 12, will run from Jan. 11 to March 8. Budding artists learn to express themselves through drawing, painting, clay, sculpture, mixed media, and print-making projects.

Residents are also invited to unleash their creativity in free two-part clay workshops with the city’s new Artist-in-Residence, Ratna Gandhi. The workshops will take place in December and January and draw inspiration from encounters with nature. Workshop participants will create unique ceramic tiles for the final art installation. All materials are provided and no experience is necessary. 

Pre-registration for bookings at the PCCC weight room is also available. Note: HCRC and PCCC will be closed for statutory holidays (Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1).

A number of protocols are in place to ensure health and safety during the pandemic, including requirements for everyone 12 years and up to wear a mask at all times as mandated by the Provincial Health Officer. Children ages 3 to 11 are also encouraged to wear masks.

The city’s reopening plans will be scaled back or changed as necessary to ensure public health and comply with coronavirus safety orders from the Provincial Health Officer.

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