Families often join the YMCA of Greater Omaha primarily to swim or hit the gym. After all, those are the cornerstones of membership in the longstanding community organization.
But after a closer look, families quickly discover there’s more to enjoy than a dip in the pool.
That’s by design, says Sha Foland Bemba, YMCA of Greater Omaha’s executive director of membership and wellness.
“Family programming is not a new concept,” Bemba says. “What’s new is that the YMCA is being very intentional about family programming and making sure it’s offered at times that are convenient for families.” And relevant to their interests and needs.
One perk of a family membership is a monthly Parents Night Out at each YMCA location. Children ages 3 to 12 enjoy games, movies and crafts while their parents enjoy time to themselves.
Each event runs four hours and is free with membership. Some YMCA locations also offer themed events and Family Fun Nights. Ages, activities (Legos, STEM challenges, etc.) and dates vary by location.
The Southwest YMCA’s popular First Friday Family Fun Night, for example, features a bounce house, family swimming and a healthy snack.
The Childwatch program provides children ages 6 weeks to 7 years a safe, fun place to play while their parents enjoy YMCA facilities and classes.
At the same time, most YMCA locations offer a family fitness component where school-age kids can join a parent in a family-friendly class once a week or once a month. And all YMCA locations have dedicated family swim and gym times.
“Parents have said that they enjoy the many options at the YMCA,” Bemba says. Parents Night Out, themed events and Childwatch, parents say,allow them to be better parents when they are with their children. “Mom and/or dad can have some ‘adult’ time with other adults, which allows them to have more patience and engagement with their children when they are together as a family.”
“Families love to have something to do together,” Bemba says. “At the YMCA of Greater Omaha, parents can model being active and healthy for their kids. Another benefit is the opportunity to meet other families who share your interests and values and develop friendships.”
A SAMPLING OF PROGRAMS AT THE SOUTHWEST OMAHA YMCA:
• Family Fitness, Monday evenings during the school year
• Youth Kickboxing (for parents and children together), Tuesday evenings
• First Friday Family Fun Night, monthly during the school year
• Family Pickleball, Tuesday evenings
• Family Swims, various days and times
AND AT THE SARPY COUNTY YMCA:
• Family Fitness, first Friday of the month
• YFT (family workouts), the first and third Saturdays of the month (more often in the summer)
• Open gym, various times
• Open swims, various times
• Parents Night Out, second Friday of the month, 6-10 p.m.
Click here to learn more about family memberships and the ever-expanding variety of things to do at the YMCA of Greater Omaha.