Five-year-old Kaelen Murray rides down a slide his family made at Adventure Park on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Fun for all at Adventure Park

Jeanine Eyers watched her 10-year-old son Gabriel have the time of his life building and playing with dozens of other children.

Gabriel, who has autism, was able to play in a way he was never able to at the Adventure Park event at Red Deer’s Rotary Park on Saturday.

“It’s nice to come out and let him experience building and touching other things. He was sawing earlier and he’s never sawed a piece of wood before – he’s pretty proud of himself for that,” Eyers said.

The event, which was hosted by AMPed2Play, the City of Red Deer, Youth HQ and Kerry Wood Nature Centre, encourages children to build with tires, planks of wood and boxes and other items.

Eyers said watching her son play and laugh with the other children at Adventure Park brought her “so much joy.”

“Everyone is included and accepted here,” said Eyers. “There are lots of other families with special needs kids here too and that’s really neat.”

Nicki Penney’s three-year-old daughter Katie was having a great time crawling into a big blue barrel and rolling around. She wasn’t the only Penney enjoying the day, Nicki Penney added.

“I think her dad is having just as much fun as she is,” she said. “This is one of those things you don’t really want to do at home because it can be kind of a mess. When we heard this was happening, we had to come.”

Ashton Sharp watched her nieces and nephews slide a box down a zipline that adults helped them construct. If there’s another Adventure Park in the future, she’ll bring them, she said.

“We were thrilled when I saw the post online. Right away we loaded the kids in the car and they’ve been busy ever since,” said Sharp.

Brandi Heather, principal owner at AMPed2PLAY, was inspired to bring one to Red Deer after learning about one in Calgary.

“We thought Red Deer needs a place for kids to be inventive, inclusive, creative and imagine possibilities out of stuff that isn’t typical play equipment,” she said.

Heather said she hopes for Adventure Park to become a weekly event next year; AMPed2Play will have discussions with the city in an attempt to make that happen.

Some schools have shown interest in hosting Adventure Park, as the event has math and science elements built into it.

“The kids are like engineers and designers – they’ll tell you exactly how things work. They’ll actually test it out too and if they fail they figure out why it didn’t work and make the needed changes,” said Sharp.

sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

 

Jeanine Eyers and her 10-year-old son Gabriel at Adventure Park on Saturday in Red Deer’s Rotary Park. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month