Seattle Parks and Recreation offering virtual resources to stay connected in the new year

If you’re thinking, "New Year, New Me" local resources are actually just a click away for you through the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.

The options are abundant. From line dancing, to gentle yoga, fitness, group meet-ups, and even arts and crafts are all offered.

The specialized program team produced over 200 different virtual programs in 2020, which are available on YouTube.

They had to get creative this past year with social distancing measures, even offering a virtual class on learning how to swim in your bathtub.

"I think with New Year’s many people think what am I going to do differently both for myself and my loved ones," said Justin Cutler, Recreation Services Director. "Family members that want to take our soul line dancing class with a family member who lives in a different part of the country are able to take those classes together despite their physical distance."

As we define purpose in 2021, Dr. Kira Mauseth of the DOH Behavioral Health Strike Team said we need to set goals and resolutions that are reasonable and reachable.

"Remember that connection can be anything that can prevent us from being isolated. That can include things like sharing time with friends and family creatively and safely or anything that’s connecting us to something bigger than ourselves," said Dr. Mauseth.

According to Mauseth, the other ingredients of resiliency including connection are hope, purpose, flexibility, and adaptability.

This past year, the number of visitors to parks has dramatically increased, and Cutler said they are integral in providing the community with a safe place to relax, connect, and unplug.

"I think our resolution is to continue to provide exceptional recreational services that support people, connecting and living the healthy life that they want to live," said Cutler.

You can check here for a schedule of upcoming activities through Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Cutler also recommends families access Teen Hubs across the city that offer WiFi, food and an ear for teens who may be feeling socially isolated. "Rec'N the Hubs" is also another way for young people to connect safely during the pandemic across city parks.

They are also offering childcare at several locations. Cutler said there is a cost, but some families may qualify to receive a substantial scholarship.