We know Parks and Recs are always looking to improve your offerings and engage your members in new ways. In an effort to grow your business, and keep communities active, we’ve put together a list of new and super-fun activities that could be in next season’s catalog.
Not just for the hard core athletes anymore, boot camps are popular with young, old, men, women and anyone looking for a focused, intense road to kick their rear ends into shape. With high rates of success, these every-day, group workouts hold members accountable to dynamic leaders and cohort groups. Participants move through the process together, watching each other change and grow (or shrink!) along the way.1
There’s more to water exercise these days than water aerobics. Paddleboarding, parasurfing, surfing and water bikes offer amazing cardio and core workouts. Don’t have a large body of water? Consider paddleboard yoga in a pool. Even the most experienced yogis will be challenged by holding bakasana while balancing on a paddleboard.2
A new favorite of Millennials, these fitness classes use a ballet barre to sculpt lean muscle by moving through high-intensity moves followed by brief moments of active recovery. They’re certainly not your old-fashioned ballet class anymore. With pricey studios popping up across the country, parks and rec departments have a great opportunity to offer more affordable, community options.3
Cardio Dance Party/Groove
Who doesn’t love to dance? Unlike other classes where you may learn choreography or break between songs, Cardio Dance Parties are geared to create the vibe and activity you would have at a late-night club – Nonstop dancing, varied movements and lots of fun.4
While geocaching has been around for a long time, there is still great opportunity to develop programming around the fun, outdoor, real-life treasure hunt. Who knew millions of secret capsules have been hidden across the whole world?!? Wherever you are, you’re likely to find them in a short walk or bike ride away. All you need is your smartphone. Fun for all ages, consider a community-wide geocaching competition or week-long kids camp.5
Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. Similar to geocaching, participants use coordinates to find and capture virtual characters. Your surroundings in real life will determine what Pokémon types will be available for capture. For example, Fire and Rock types are found in arid Mountainous regions; Grass, Bug, and Flying types will show up in grassland areas, etc. Wonderful stories have been shared about how Pokemon Go has engaged children with special needs like autism, or older adults who are looking for ways to venture out in their neighborhoods. What we love about this idea is that the system is already in place, you just need to capitalize on it to get members out and active!6
Visit any park or residential neighborhood with trees and you may come across what looks like young people tightrope walking low to the ground. Slacklining, which originated in the climbing world, is catching on for its core workout, balance and outdoor meditative benefits. It’s a great infusion into workout classes, and a great way to get interested members outdoors and into your parks.7
Unique Outdoor and Indoor Landscapes
Wherever you live, there is something in your landscape that is unique to your community. Neighbors love nothing more than to experience what is special about where they live. If you want something new, that members will love, look no further than around you and build activities that are unique to your community. The rivers, the lakes, the mountains, the oceans, the flat lands, all offer the opportunity for activity, health and togetherness.
And don’t forget about the beautiful potential of community partnerships. Yoga at the art museum, art classes in special architecture, etc., all foster a feeling of uniqueness and blended opportunity.