Whether you’re into art, exercise, sewing or dance, you can find a variety of classes that suit your interests at the Orlando Magic Recreation Centers. The centers, which are scattered in various locations around Orlando, offer a variety of programs for all ages, from youth to seniors.
This year, the centers have instituted some new programs for seniors that get them up and active, and out and about.
At the Silver Star Community Park on North Apopka Vineland Road, seniors can now participate in van trips, which are basically field trips to different places in Orlando. One of the van trips is called Culture Club and takes place on the first Thursday of every month from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“Basically, we go to different cultural places like museums or parks, just different places around Orange County that they can explore,” says Ginger Bickett-Fox, the recreation leader at Silver Star Community Park.
The club has already visited the Morse Museum and Leu Gardens and Bickett-Fox says that those trips have already been quite popular. Member Elizabeth Bentley has participated in the Culture Club’s past outings and says she’s really enjoyed them and hopes to see some new faces on future Culture Club trips.
“I think it’s nice for older people to get out and be together and see things they haven’t seen in years,” says Bentley.
Another Culture Club outing is scheduled for June 7, when the club will visit Central Park in Winter Park.
On the third Thursday of each month, seniors can also participate in a similar van trip called Go Fish, which is a fishing trip led by Bickett-Fox. Participants will get to travel to different lakes in the county and they can also bring their own fishing equipment.
Both van trips cost $6 and participants can bring spending money if they wish.
If the van trips aren’t active enough for you, there’s always the Active Adults class, which is also available at the Goldenrod location as well as at the South Econ location. This class is free for those who already have a fitness center membership at the rec centers.
During this class, which meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9-9:45 a.m. and on Monday and Thursday afternoons, participants will learn proper strength training techniques, such as how to properly lift weights. Participants can also ask questions and seek help with using the gym equipment.
“They like the idea of having their own time in the gym. And of course I’m there to assist them, talk to them and encourage them,” says Bickett-Fox.
Although Active Adults is a fairly new program, it’s already become a popular one at both the Silver Star Community Park and the Renaissance Center, located on South Econlockhatchee Trail.
“He [fitness instructor Louie Antuna] started out in January with 10-15 people in his class and is now up to over 40 each week,” says Sheryl Fleming, the site director for the Renaissance Center.
That center also has some new classes such as Zumba Gold, which is a toned down verison of Zumba that is specifically designed for seniors. That class costs $5 to attend and is held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 a.m.
“It [Zumba Gold] is getting more popular each week also,” says Fleming. “A few other classes that are somewhat new are Cardio Kickboxing, Hawaiian Dance, Needles and Threads, The Psychic Experience and Argentine Tango Dance lessons.”
With so many new classes to choose from, it will be difficult to bored at the rec centers this summer.
By Marisa Ramiccio