After a year of shutdowns and cancelled activities due to the pandemic, Easton residents have a lot to look forward to in addition to getting outside this spring season. Popular spring programs and events are opening up again while continuing to follow safety protocols as the pandemic is still ongoing.
With the weather starting to warm up and as flowers beginning to bloom, being outdoors can be pretty inviting. Which is why the Easton Community Center along with the Easton Park & Recreation Department have planned lots of outdoor programs and events.
Tina Turechek, ECC art and marketing director, and Lisa Farasciano, who is responsible for spring and summer programming for Park & Recreation, said their organization has activities for residents of all ages to enjoy.
“This spring we are mainly focusing on reopening our Teen Center and a variety of summer camps,” said Turechek. “We recently reopened our fitness center, and we want to bring back our April Vacation Camp, Parents’ Night Out events and youth sports and enrichment classes.”
The sports and enrichment classes include skateboarding, indoor T-Ball, soccer, flag football and ballet, to name a few. An April Vacation Teen Camp will be offered with changes to the program this year regarding protocols and administration.
“The first plan is to introduce our new Youth and Teen Director, Austin Ward,”said Turechek. “He has worked at the ECC for seven years and was once a teen in the Teen Center when he was in middle school. We are very lucky to have him on the ECC staff, and he is very excited to jump into the position and reopen our Teen Center.”
The Park & Recreation Department will hold its annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza at the New Friends Playground and the Kids Fishing Derby at Aspetuck Park will make a comeback this spring.
“Our annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza is such a fun event for the little ones because they get to hunt for eggs, try to find the ‘Special Egg’ for a special prize, and get to see and take pictures with the Easter Bunny,” said Farasciano.
“Aspetuck is such a beautiful park,” she said. ““We love to see the kids come out and spend the morning at the pond. We stock the pond and offer prizes in several categories.”
The Easter Egg event will take place on March 28 at noon and the Fishing Derby on May 2.
The Easton Arts Center is located inside the Easton Park & Recreation office at 652 Morehouse Road (660 Morehouse Road Complex, which includes the Senior Center, Easton Country Day School and the Board of Education). A listing of Easton Arts Center activities and events is available here.
“The Easton Park & Recreation After-School Programs start right after spring break on Monday, April 19,” said Farasciano. “That day we have Bring the Hoopla, 6 Days Around the World and Pre-K French and Spanish. We are very excited about offering more Pre-K Programs this season.”
As far as following Covid protocols go, both the ECC and Park & Recreation are continuing to follow state guidelines as well as CDC guidelines and carrying on with what has worked for them in the past.
“Safety always comes first at the ECC,” said Turechek. “So, with each new program that opens we create program-specific protocols. For example, we are only allowing our members to use our gym, and they need to call in advance to make an appointment because we are limiting the capacity to only 50%.”
Farasciano says that the ECC will offer a full slate of spring programming while continuing to follow the rigorous safety protocols first implemented last fall.
“As of right now, our spring programs are staying the same as they were for us in the fall with social distancing even when outside, temperatures were taken when each student arrived at a program, wearing facemasks (students and vendors), washing/sanitizing hands often, and sanitizing areas,” said Farasciano. “We are here to provide fun programs and events for the residents of Easton, but also to keep them and our staff safe. With the vaccine in play now, I am very confident that things should run just as smoothly if not better this spring and summer.”
The ECC has received significant support from the community regarding reopening its programs, according to Turechek. “We have been very lucky to receive a lot of support and positivity from our community this past year, and we think everyone is looking forward to us reopening the building fully.”
In addition to the many opportunities to participate in these exciting spring activities, Easton families can also look forward to a robust schedule of summer programming and events.
“We are offering three Movie Nights Under the Stars this summer, one in June, July and August,” said Farasciano. “We are also looking to hold a movie night in late September, and show “Beetlejuice”. Our Sunshine Day Camp is also running again this summer, and we are thrilled the campers will be outside playing games, getting dirty, doing crafts, playing on the beach and just having fun!”
More information about the programs offered by the Easton Community Center and the Park & Recreation Department can be found on their respective websites: