Great Day of Play offers activities for everyone
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
August 27, 2012 · 3:55 PM
When Redmond resident Kristin Kalning took her son Binyam to see the Massive Monkees for the first time earlier this year, he fell in love with the Seattle-based breakdancing crew.
It's no surprise since the 4-year-old enjoys dancing at home with mom.
"He likes to dance and he likes to do gymnastics," Kalning said.
And since that first show months ago, she and Binyam have been following the Massive Monkees and their performances. So it was especially exciting for them when they learned the b-boys and b-girls would be performing at the City of Redmond's Great Day of Play this year.
The event was last Friday and in addition to Massive Monkees, there were performances and demonstrations by the Hot Dog USA Jump Rope Team from Kirkland, Redmond's Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios, Jazzercise and more. The Redmond Senior Center (RSC) even joined in on the fun and surprised the crowd with a flash mob performance to LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."
This is Great Day of Play's second year and Redmond's events and marketing administrator Lisa Rhodes said the event has at least doubled in the number of attendees and participants in the 5K fun run/walk. In other areas such as the 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament, she said they just about quadrupled — going from eight teams to 31.
Other activities included a 3-on-3 soccer tournament, skate clinics for kids with Skate 425, spin bike competitions and a rock climbing wall. Rhodes said the goal of the event is to address childhood obesity and get people exercising.
"We want to get families out and moving," she said.
Matt and Suzy Hoover — formerly of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" — spoke at Great Day of Play and said being active and playing are good ways to stay healthy, but are also an opportunity for families to bond and spend time together.
They said in the current economy, it's easy to stop being active as people cancel their gym memberships to save money. However, the couple said there are other options such as walking along local trails and playing on the playgrounds since there is no rule that states parents aren't allowed to play on the equipment.
"There's so many little things we can do," Matt said.
Great Day of Play's programming provided a variety of activities and Rhodes said the goal of bringing in performers such as Massive Monkees exposes the community to something different — breakdancing — they probably weren't familiar with before.
Kalning agreed, saying breakdancing is "something with a little edge" and different from typical organized sports such as soccer, baseball or basketball. She added that it also gives kids another artistic outlet to express themselves.
While Kalning and Binyam were enjoying the moves of Massive Monkees, Lydia Liu and her daughter Peishan Peng had a great time during one of Skate 425's clinics as they took one of the skateboards for a spin. This was Peishan's first time on a skateboard, but that didn't intimidate her.
"She likes to try anything new," Liu said about her daughter.
Liu said she likes to give her daughter as many chances as possible to be active and participate in outdoor activities — especially when the weather is nice, as it was on Friday.
"We cherish every day of sunshine," Liu said.
City of Redmond Mayor John Marchione said in addition to getting people moving, Great Day of Play is a great way to wind down the summer and get ready for the upcoming school year. It's also a fun and cheap activity for the whole family and they don't have travel far to enjoy it.
"People are looking for activities to do in their own home town," Marchione said.
Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at email@example.com or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.