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home : features : arts & entertainment February 6, 2016

6/11/2014 10:46:00 AM
No time to be bored: 5 'staycations' for kids and families
PVTrib photo/Briana Lonas
Sky Baker-Ford, 12, enjoys the slide at the Mountain Valley Splash Aquatics Center in Prescott Valley - a popular spot to cool off during the summer.
PVTrib photo/Briana Lonas
Sky Baker-Ford, 12, enjoys the slide at the Mountain Valley Splash Aquatics Center in Prescott Valley - a popular spot to cool off during the summer.
Briana Lonas and Sue Tone
Prescott Valley Tribune

Many activities can fill the time for youth on summer vacation, including some little known areas that people pass by every day.

The Town of Prescott Valley maintains 23 public parks - most with playground equipment - 20 multi-purpose athletic fields, a multi-use trail paralleling Highway 69, miles of trails, the Mountain Valley Splash Aquatics Center - open seven days a week - and the popular 100-acre Fain Park.

Five choices for "stay-cations" this summer are:

1. Fain Park includes picnic ramadas, a lake stocked with trout, hiking trails and limited gold panning. Take Highway 69 to Prescott East Highway, turn on Second Street, and then turn right on Fifth Street, the entrance to the park.

Fain Park also includes the Fitzmaurice Ruin, a multi-room prehistoric, stone pueblo overlooking Lynx Creek. Close to 900 years ago, this pueblo complex was constructed and inhabited by up to as many as 100 people beginning around AD1100. Visitors must be accompanied by a site steward, so call Parks and Rec at 928-759-3090 in advance to set up a tour. Large and small groups are welcome, but it's best to have more than just one or two people.

Fishing is available at Fain Lake and requires obtaining a fishing license for kids 10 and older. A youth Combination Hunt and Fish license for individuals ages 10-17 is $5 and is valid for resident and non-resident youth. These licenses include general hunting and fishing privileges for state waters, plus trout, two-pole, Community (Urban) fishing privileges and more. Youth younger than 10 and blind residents do not need to purchase a state fishing license to fish in Arizona. Adults may buy a general fishing license for $37 or Community fishing license for $24. Short-term hunting or fishing license is $15/day.

2. The Skate/Bike Park is located east of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona, which is on the southeast corner at the intersection of Loos Drive and Robert Road. Summer hours are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. A reminder to park visitors that foul language and gestures are strictly prohibited within and surrounding the Skate/Bike Park. Helmets, elbow and knee pads are recommended for use.

3. Mountain Valley Splash Aquatics Center offers Open Swim times from 1 to 4:30 p.m. daily, including Sundays. Prices range from $1 for children 5 years and younger to $10 for a family of five. Pool passes through Aug. 3 also are available, as well as swim lessons. Call the Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation for more information at 928-775-3165.

4. The Iron King Trail provides hikers and bicyclists with views of Prescott Valley's open grasslands and the rock formations of Granite Dells and Watson Lake in Prescott. It begins west of Glassford Hill Road, north of Spouse Drive.

A short drive north to the summit of Highway 89A between Jerome and Prescott Valley brings families to the Mingus Recreation Area. Here one will find views overlooking Verde Valley communities and two campgrounds at Mingus and Potato Patch (across the highway). Hiking trails wind across the mountain from easy and short to lengthy and challenging. Family campsites are first-come, first-serve. Campers must reserve group sites in advance.

5. The Entertainment District - Patrons may enjoy air-conditioned entertainment at Harkins Theaters 14. This summer, youth can purchase a special Summer Movie Fun pass for $7 and enjoy 10 weeks of movies Monday through Friday at 9:45 a.m. For more information about the movies and the Summer Movie Program, call Harkins at (928) 775-2284.

Also, Freedom Station fun lasts all summer with extended hours on Friday and Saturday 'til midnight. Kids can enjoy a variety of fun and family packages including Laser Tag at $4 per game, Wild West Mini Golf, air hockey, indoor rock climbing and a full-service café.

Specials include:

• Munch n' Mondays for a $5 pizza.

• Double Token Tuesdays when you spend $5.

• Thrifty Thursdays with a purchase of an all-day soft play wristband for $4.50 plus tax. Kids under 12 receive a free kids meal or 20 free tokens.

• Family Happy Hour Fridays - Families may purchase any attraction or a slice of cheese pizza for .99.

Freedom Station opens every day at 10 a.m. For more information, call (928) 775-4040.

The Entertainment District also has Summer Events: The Prescott Valley 'ED' features 60 acres of family fun and activities, a place to shop, eat, mingle with friends, movies, outdoor concerts, golf and games.

For the month of June, these events are planned:

• June 14: Dewey Classic Cars at the South Parking Lot from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• June 16: Every Summer Monday - Fusion Movement

• June 23: Every Summer Monday - Shin Pu Ren Karate

• June 27: One80 concert at 7 p.m.

• June 30: Every Summer Monday - PV Historical Society

Among Prescott Valley's "stay-cations," the town also has:

• Movies Under the Stars offers family fun and movies on the cool grass of the Civic Center Amphitheater every Thursday in June. Movies start between 7:30 and 8 p.m. and include:

Thursday, June 12: Despicable Me 2

Thursday, June 19: Over the Hedge.

Thursday, June 26: Night in the Museum.

For more information on this event, call 928-759-3090.

• Open Gym operates on a Monday through Thursday schedule from noon to 4 p.m. through July 31. Parents are required to sign a waiver on the first day of participation, and must pick up kids by 4 p.m. Water is only permitted beverage/food item in the gymnasium. Call Parks and Rec at 928-759-3090 for more information.

• A unique summer adventure for high-school aged youth is the Game and Fish Youth Conservation Corps in Yavapai County, sponsored by several agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service.

Each summer, the program hires 30 high school students for a six-week program. During the school year, representatives promote the Corps through quad-cities schools and students are chosen through a lottery drawing.

The youth receive minimum wage and work with different agencies that include the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The youth perform many tasks such as horse corral repair, soil erosion mitigation, trail work, watershed protection and fire prevention.

For more information on the program call the Department of the Interior, Office of Youth at (202) 208-4417.

• Tim's Toyota Center - Upcoming events include ELEVATE Music Festival, June 20-22; Ted Nugent, July 10; and Gem and Mineral Show, Aug. 1-4.

• Prescott Valley Days - This event begins Thursday, June 12, and ends Sunday, June 15. The weekend event features a carnival, PV Idol competition, free concerts by well-known local bands, a parade, tractor pulls, demonstrations by local dance and martial arts groups, and more. For more information, call the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce at (928) 772-8857.

Related Stories:
• Science is theme for summer reading program
• Indoor fun appeals to kids during summer

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