From disc golf to STEM camps, here's how to keep your kids busy in Metro Vancouver this summer

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      Parents who have been working at home while their kids have taken to online learning might be daunted by the fact that those blessed children are already bored with so much time around the house—and summer hasn’t even started yet. Fortunately, there are tons of activities to keep small adults entertained and engaged over the next two months.

      Disc golf—the sport featuring a Frisbee-like object rather than a golf ball—is teeing up to be more popular than ever. Generally, it’s far less frustrating than regular golf, though the object of the game is the same: to get the disc from a start line (tee) to a target (an elevated metal basket) with the fewest number of shots (throws). Along the way are obstacles like shrubs, trees, water hazards, and slopes that make the task at hand, literally, that much harder.

      Disc-golf courses throughout the province are open, depending on the jurisdiction; it’s up to individual municipalities to determine. Phase 2 of B.C.’s Restart Plan allows activities to resume in a limited way, focusing on casual, unorganized play and training.

      “Disc golf is a perfect excuse to get outside,” says Leanne Fulton, who works in communications with B.C. Disc Golf. “We’re asking people to stick to the public health officer’s guidelines on the disc golf course: social distancing, keeping groups to four or fewer, using good hand hygiene, not sharing equipment, avoiding high fives and handshakes, and staying home if not feeling well.”

      Foot golf is another variation on the original sport, only you kick a soccer ball along the fairways. The targets are larger holes in the ground marked by their own flag. This version moves along a lot quicker than the traditional game, even if you end up in a sand trap every three holes.

      If biking is what keeps a smile on your beloved’s face, try out some new trails, whether they’re challenging ones with drops and dips on the North Shore or pleasantly flat paths along Richmond’s dykes. For those who prefer to ride roads, RBC GranFondo Whistler is making its training programs available for free download this year, for beginner to advanced cyclists, because the ride from Vancouver to Whistler is cancelled for 2020. Come up with your own personal goal or simply train for fun via Fondo clinics by Trek, with experts from SportMedBC providing a weekly email with tips and coaching guidance.

      ln keeping with the virtual theme, online fitness classes for all ages have become commonplace since the onset of the pandemic. Check out local community or recreation centres as well as private gyms for yoga, Zumba, boot camp, core, and other workouts geared specifically to youth that are being offered via Zoom, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, and other platforms.

      Despite so many summer camps being cancelled due to COVID-19, there remain plenty of options online. For young’uns who enjoy STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), UBC has Geering Up camps for students from kindergarten right through to Grade 12. The programs include demos, design challenges, and more. STEM Camp, meanwhile, is a national not-for-profit organization that offers virtual experiences like Fortnite and Avengers Scratch Coding for kids aged five to 13.

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