Waterside break

Participants in the YMCA’s 2020 family scavenger hunt take a waterside break.

In an effort to provide an outlet for area residents to stay active, healthy and safe with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh is holding a series of physically distanced activities for the 29th annual celebration of Healthy Kids Day.

Prior to the pandemic, the daylong event featured activities such as games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and competitions to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines.

Sidewalk chalk

A youngster comes up with a creative use of sidewalk chalk during a YMCA Healthy Kids activity.

This year, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh will host a series of events throughout April and May available to YMCA members and nonmembers.

Through April 30, individuals and families are invited to participate in a family scavenger hunt. The activity features a virtual scoring system that families can take with them on their smartphones to the contributing parks to complete tasks such as finding landmarks within the park, completing activities, answering questions, taking photos of wildlife and more.

Families can complete one park for fun or attempt to complete them all for a chance to win a prize pack including a free one-year family membership to any YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh location, a free week for a child at a YMCA Day Camp, one free fall Guides and Princesses Campout for a father and son or father and daughter, pool passes from the parks and other YMCA merchandise. Other chances for bonus points and prizes will be offered, as well.

Scavenger hunt locations are South Park, 3730 Buffalo Drive, South Park Township; Settlers Cabin Park, 608 Ridge Road, Robinson Township; North Park, 303 Pearce Mill Road, McCandless; Allegheny Park, 810 Arch St., North Side; Sampson Family YMCA Park, 2200 Golden Mile Highway, Plum Borough; and Avonworth Community Park, 498 Camp Horne Road, Kilbuck Township.

To register, visit www.pittsburghymca.org/scavengerhunt.

Those who participate in the scavenger hunt, they will be invited to enjoy a free week at any YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh location from May 3-8 to celebrate Healthy Kids Week. Activities will include yoga, camp crafts and more.

Locations are at Spencer Family YMCA, 305 Church Road, Bethel Park; Allegheny YMCA, 600 W. North Ave., North Side; Baierl Family YMCA, 2565 Nicholson Road, Franklin Park; Thelma Lovette YMCA, 2114 Centre Ave, Hill District; and Sampson Family YMCA.

“As adults, we know that 2020 was difficult on so many levels,” said Todd Brinkman, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh vice president of youth development. “It’s important to remind ourselves that as much as we try to protect our kids from worry, they faced many of those same difficulties. As communities continue to reopen, the Y is here for families, helping kids recover both physically and mentally from a stress-filled year. When a child is healthy, happy and supported, they can make great things happen.”

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