By ADAM JACKSON
Children in Ponoka had a few places to spend time this Christmas break.
Free skating and drop-in hockey is available all winter from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex.
Drop-in hockey usually involves 10 to 20 participants of all ages who just want to play a friendly game of hockey. The participants must wear helmets and equipment is recommended, but not necessary.
“It’s pretty much everything that you want out of it,” said Kellan Williams, a frequent participant of the drop-in hockey.
Free skating is available on the small ice surface at the arena, and is used for figure skating or people who just want a leisurely skate.
Myles MacPherson, 42, who is in Ponoka visiting his sister, is impressed with the complex. “They take care of this place, and it’s fantastic for families. With small children, it’s important to have facilities like this.”
Another place for youths to spend time is at the Ponoka Aquaplex. For a nominal fee, parents and children alike can enjoy the pool between, which includes a hot tub and many other toys for everyone.
The aquaplex is available for free swimming between 1 and 3 p.m. when school is not in session. Attendance at the free swim is a little hit or miss, but there are usually 10 to 60 participants on any given day.
Tara Newton, 40, brings her two children, who are seven and eight years old, to the aquaplex when she can.
“(The kids) need a break from the electronics and this is a great place to go,” said Newton.