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In the season of love, it’s easy to get swept up in roses, candy hearts and other expressions of love between star-crossed lovers. For the community recreation industry, February 14 — and the days surrounding it — means another round of holiday-themed events to engage members.

Among heart-themed dinners and dances, walks to promote wellness and fun nights for kids, there is a myriad of ways for community rec centers to turn Valentine’s Day into a special occasion for current and prospective members.

Several community rec centers, including the Sterling YMCA in Beverly, Massachusetts and the Ormond Beach Family YMCA in Ormond Beach, Florida, are using Valentine’s Day to engage the community. Here are a few examples:

Annual Valentine’s Day Dance — Sterling YMCA
Amanda Hindle, membership manager:

Every year, our YMCA gears up for a big Valentine’s Day celebration! Our Annual YMCA Valentine’s Day Dance kicked off at 4:00 PM on February 9th with a little pre-holiday fun for the whole family! We had snacks, music and amazing company — an ideal way to spread love for the whole family!

Click here to find out more about the Sterling YMCA and the Annual Valentine’s Day Dance.

Parents’ Night Out — Ormond Beach Family YMCA
April La Foucade, aquatics/childcare director:

Parents’ Night Out is typically an event the Y uses to show our appreciation for the parents affiliated with the aftercare program and members of our branch. The event is from 6:00 to 10:00 PM on February 14. I have partnered with Chick-Fil-A and they have generously donated a rather delicious popular meal to kick off the festivities. After the kids are nice and full, we plan to decorate Valentine’s thank-you cards for Chick-Fil-A to show our gratitude for being a part of our special evening.

We will then transition into the gym and kick off the competition. When the kids arrive, they will be given a pink, white or red bandana identifying their team — the team challenges were inspired by the show “Minute to Win it,” which holds a series of zany challenges to be completed with your team. We will complete the night with a dance party and additional games until parents arrive for pickup. I’m truly looking forward to a night of laughter and festivities with the kids!

Click here to find out more about the Ormond Beach Family YMCA and the Parents’ Night Out.

And if you’re looking for ideas for future Valentine’s Days, here are some other events from around the country:

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Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the former editor of Community Rec Magazine.

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