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Cameron Jones, 12, shoots hoops with an inflatable ball at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center.

DECATUR — Winter shows no sign of losing energy, and neither do the children.

Local Parents Night Out events can let the kids run around in a safe environment and give parents a chance have time for themselves, too. The monthly outings are supervised by qualified adults and staff providing fun activities and nourishing meals.

“It gives the parents an outlet where they know the kids will be safe,” said Jacqui Hupp, youth development director the Decatur Family YMCA.

On Saturday, Hupp and the YMCA staff will be supervising various physical activities that include basketball, relays and other interactive games. They will also have art activities and serve the children dinner. At future events, swimming will be available. YMCA Parents Night Out will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on the second Friday of each month.

According to Hupp, activities will vary. “They will do something hands-on. It is up to the age group and the staff,” she said.

The staff at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center offer similar activities during their Parents Night Out evenings.

“Anything to burn off that energy,” said Cait Black, DISC assistant manager. “We want to wear them out.”

Although the DISC has a monthly Parents Night Out event, the staff does not have a set date, due to the partnership with Millikin University and its athletic teams, which use the facility.

DISC events begin the evening with dinner, such as pizza, cookies, juice. Then move on to kick ball, rock wall or games. The bounce house is usually open for the youngsters. Depending on the temperament of the kids, the staff will provide calmer activities such as coloring books or crafts.

Parents Night Out is not only good for the younger members of the family, but also the older ones, staff noted.

“We try to cater to the kids’ needs and likes,” Hupp said. “But we want everyone to have good time.”

The Parents Night Out events gives parents an opportunity to spend time together.

“Or they can get things done without distractions from the little ones,” Black said.

The children also see the fun they can have at the facilities. Black said children many times return to the DISC to take part in summer camp programs and others classes after enjoying a Parents Night Out.

“It exposes them to the facility, and they stay active,” Black said.

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Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR

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"Together Decatur" Columnist and Food and Drink Reporter

“Together Decatur” columnist and food and drink reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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