Six ideas for your LL summer
By Heidi Scott
As the days get warmer and everybody seems to come out of hibernation, plenty of options are available for seniors looking to fill the beautiful days. Here are five activities that aim to better the lives of folks living in the Liberty Lake area.
1. Slam the pickleball
This inter-generational activity is exploding in growth nationwide. From 9 to 90 (and beyond), people in every age group are enjoying this modified tennis sport.
Locally, a group of about 25 enthusiasts gather from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday to play pickleball at the HUB Sports Center, 19619 E. Cataldo Ave. The cost is $2 for seniors, which includes paddles, balls, facilities and instruction. The only thing players need to bring is a pair of comfortable tennis shoes.
For those new to the sport, a beginner's clinic is being offered at the HUB from 3 to 4 p.m. June 2 followed by open play from 4 to 6 p.m. The cost is a suggested $5 donation for the clinic, or $2 for the open play only. As always, equipment is provided.
For more, call the HUB at 927-0602 or visit hubsportscenter.org.
2. Aim for the green
Liberty Lake is a golfers' mecca. Trailhead, MeadowWood and Liberty Lake golf courses all host clubs for men and women, with seniors comprising much of the membership in several of the clubs, particularly at Trailhead, 1102 N. Liberty Lake Road.
There, nearly 30 members of the Ladies Club meet Wednesdays at 8 a.m. to play nine holes. The Men's Club averages between 12 and 20 people and meets Thursdays at 9 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. With a different game every week, members are not required to come every time. Both clubs cost $50 to join and include a GHIN handicap.
One club geared particularly toward seniors, the long-running Over the Hill Gang that plays Liberty Lake and MeadowWood on Mondays, is for golfers age 60 and older.
3. Swim for fitness
The Liberty Lake Athletic Club, 23410 E. Mission Ave., partners with Spokane Falls Community College's ACT 2 program to offer an aquatic fitness class in town. Geared for seniors, the class has a goal of strengthening and toning all major muscle groups as well as increasing flexibility and joint integrity.
It is held 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays over the summer and costs $39. Bring your own suit, towel and water bottle. Water shoes are also recommended. Visit www.campusce.net/spokane and look for the "Get Fit" button to register.
Similar classes are also available in Spokane Valley at places like the YMCA (777-9622) and Evergreen Fountains (922-3100).
4. Reel in a big one
Liberty Lake is a great place to fish in a region full of great places to fish. In fact, USA Today recently featured a story about the 76 fishing lakes around the greater Spokane area.
Recommended fishing destinations include 5,000-acre Long Lake for its huge kokanee trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass and yellow perch; Fish Lake, which boasts the largest tiger trout ever caught; Clear Lake, a good family spot with plenty of lodging and equipment rentals; Eloika Lake, with a reputation for plenty of largemouth bass; Newman Lake, a destination for award-winning Tiger Muskies; and Hog Canyon Lake, a hot spot for rainbow trout.
No matter your preference, this area has plenty of options for anglers of every age and skill level. Visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing for information about fishing licenses and maps.
5. Dust off the past
There are many affordable ways to engage the mind during the summer, some of which are as accessible and inexpensive as a trip to the library.
For a more in-depth and collaborative approach, try a class offered by the Community Colleges of Spokane, many of which are taught at sites throughout the area.
One example is a history class taught by Don Popejoy, a local author and expert in American History, called "Turning Points in American History – Part 2." (This class stands alone, so it is not necessary to have taken Part 1.) The class will be held at CenterPlace, the regional event center located at 2426 N. Discovery Place in Spokane Valley. Each session of the class focuses on a different turning point in the nation's history, including topics such as the Cold War, Watergate or the Manhattan Project. The cost is $68 and it runs on Tuesdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. June 18 through Aug. 27. Register by clicking the "Explore History/Culture" link atwww.campusce.net/spokane.
6. Spend time at the Spokane Valley Senior Center
Seniors 50 and up can enjoy the Spokane Valley Senior Center, which offers a full lineup of activities Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and some evenings.
Physical fitness programs include gentle exercise classes like chair fitness to more active classes like aerobics and Zumba.
Self-improvement classes cover everything from computers to gardening to knitting, and there are also clubs like the Red Hat Society, Greenhouse Support Group and a book club.
Look for games and sports as well, with table tennis, bingo, poker and Mah Jongg, to name a few. The Senior Center also offers Wellness Checks with certified professionals and other educational programs to keep you fit and active.
A membership fee of $20 per year includes access to all the events and subscription to the monthly newsletter. The Spokane Valley Senior Center is located in the east wing of CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place. For more, call 926-1937.