You're Invited to a Play Date

Grab the stroller, dust off the bikes, don helmets, pads and skates. Walk, roll or stroll into Lee County’s first public play date at Streets Alive Lee, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Fort Myers, the signature event of Healthy Lee.

Many River District streets will be closed to motor vehicles so people can bike, walk or skate without having to constantly watch for cars. There will be dancing, games, sports and activities to try for free. Children should wear their helmets to decorate with the latest Mohawk style or create their own helmet hairstyle. Bring roller blades, skateboards, scooters or wheel chairs to roll along the car-free streets.

Parks, parking lots and closed roads will host pre-schoolers chasing bubbles, tossing bean bags and playing ball games and chalk games. There will be dancing with USA Dance. Lee County YMCA and Community Tennis Association instructors will lead individual sports and team sports. Beginners and rusty players, trying their skills after years without practice, can join the outdoor fun.

“Streets Alive is like a parade turned inside out,” said Kate Gooderham, president of Streets Alive Lee. “All the people accustomed to watching a parade will join in the marching, running, wheeling and laughter all along the way.”

People of all ages and abilities can design their own play or join in the free activities offered at Streets Alive Lee. Activities such as a sock derby by the Fort Myers Derby Girls, stretching and strengthening with Gulfcoast Village resistance bands, a prayer labyrinth and US Coast Guard Boot Camp target a wide variety of interests and skill levels. Swimmers can receive an introduction to sailing from Edison Sailing Center, or an introduction to paddleboarding by Paddleboard Southwest Florida.

Yes, even the athletic teens and 20-somethings will find fun and challenges at Streets Alive Lee. For the adventurous, there will be Body Combat by the YMCA. The US Army will have a pull up station.

“All that activity should bring on a healthy thirst and appetite,” said Gooderham. “We’ve arranged to have restaurants along the route open for business. Vendors will be stationed elsewhere offering delicious, nutritious food and beverages for sale.”

In addition there will be some food preparation demonstrations and samples to try. A celebrity chef will prepare a diabetic friendly meal.

“We hope through Streets Alive that everyone, regardless of age or ability, will either discover or rediscover activities that are fun and help them to be and stay active,” said Gooderham.

Some sponsors are offering prizes (while supplies last) for those who try activities at each Activity Village and complete a survey. Others will show individuals how one’s health is changed with activity, and reward the participant with prizes.

Two bicycle shops, Fort Myers Schwinn Cyclery and Bike Route, will be on hand to help out with minor repairs and guidance to bicycling fun. Bike Route will have some bicycles available for rental. Renters must supply their own helmets.

Everyone who stops at one of two Information booths will receive a free Lee County bicycle route map. Information volunteers will show people how to win a two-night stay at South Seas Island Resort.

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