Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Senior walks in AC, library putt-putt

Orange provides a range of activities

Early morning walks in air conditioning. A play village for children. Miniature gold inside the library. A cool, mysterious escape room.

The city of Orange is continuing its effort to provide family fun activities for adults and children. Last week, the city council agreed to spend nearly $65,000 on a kids village for the new Cove Recreation area, and a new summer schedule was released for the Recreation Center, which opened this past fall.

The recreation center has room for two basketball courts or two volleyball courts and has been used mostly for kids and teen activities and sports. However, more things are being added.

The Recreation Center off Orange Avenue in the Orange Orange Historic District is where the city's old natatorium was built. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., except when closing at 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Weekdays, the center is closed from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. for staff changes. Soft-soled athletic shoes must be worn.

The schedule will be in effect until the end of the summer.

Now, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., senior citizens are invited to walk around the hall in the air conditioner all six days open. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a parents free time for kids ages 6 to 12 to play. At the same time frame on Wednesdays and Fridays, basketball for all ages is scheduled.

At 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. then again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, free play is scheduled. Those times are also given to volleyball on Wednesdays and basketball on Thursdays.

While most activities are for ages 6 and older, free play is the time when younger kids can play in a designated area to play bouncy ball and other simple play with each other.

The Orange Public Library on Fifth Street in downtown has been hosting events for all ages during the summer, including the traditional summer reading program for school-age readers. The program's annual Library Carnival will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, July 26. The event is open for all ages.

On Tuesday, July 25, the library staff is setting up an 18-hole mini golf course that will be open for play from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Equipment will be provided and players will demonstrate their putt-putt skills through obstacles and bookshelves. No reservations are needed.

Another library-designed escape room is scheduled to begin Monday, July 24 and run through August 19. Reservations will be needed for this popular team game for all ages. The theme is the Forbidden Forest and players will enter a mystical world and follow clues and go through challenges to get out of the enchanted forest as quick as they can. One clue is that being a Potterhead may give a little boost to quickness. Reservations may be made at the library, 409-883-1086.

More progress was made on the upcoming Cove Recreation Area off DuPont Drive. The city council approved a bid of nearly $65,000 to put up a miniature, kid-sized play village that will be set up in an area with protective rubberized surface fillings. City Grants Planner Rita Monson explained the new play area and how the city is using a federal Community Development Block Grant to pay for it.

The recreation area is on the site of the old Cove school. The city condemned the building and spent nearly $250,000 two years ago to demolish and remove the rubble from the site.

The site will is planned to have a walking path, picnic area, playground area, covered area, and be handicap accessible. Dow Chemical has donated money toward the park's development. The city will also allocate some of its annual block grant money.

A kiosk is already installed at the site and the kiddie village will be the first play spot. The purchase for the village includes tot-sized buildings, a barnyard, and traffic lights.


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