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Kids' events abound at recreation center

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — The ice rink at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center was full of witches, pirates, a dinosaur, a ghost, a wizard and several princesses as the center hosted its third-annual Monster Mash on ice celebration Oct. 28.

Children and parents had a rare opportunity for a free afternoon of ice skating and Halloween games. Children could win a prize by tossing bean bags into a black cauldron, make their own "ghost" suckers, play Black Cat Toe (a Halloween version of Tic Tac Toe) and try their hand at pumpkin bowling.

Many enjoyed the opportunity to ice skate, especially as they haven't done it very often.

"I like how they did free ice skating," said Lindsay Kaelberer, of Cottonwood Heights, who brought her daughter, Elizabeth, 5, and friend Grace Klekas, 6. "The kids were surprised at how well they liked it because they'd never done it before."

Salli Brown of Cottonwood Heights was proud that her daughter Jillian, 3, made it around the rink. Jillian was excited to came to the event dressed as Belle after meeting her on a family trip to Disneyland. She said it was "hard work" skating around the rink.

Laurel Warr, also of Cottonwood Heights, said her children both enjoyed ice skating as well. Her daughter Sarah, 12, who was dressed as a fairy princess, was tentative about going out on the ice, but David, 9, had a great time and went right through the center of the crowd.

David came to the event with his Webelos Scout group. His den mother, Carol Larsen, came to the event two years before when Cottonwood Heights held it for the first time and thought it would be nice for her Scouts to attend, as well as her grandson, Dallin Nelson, 6. She said the event was good to unify the community.

"I think it's a real nice thing they've done to provide this event for kids in the community," she said. "It really brings the community together."

Kaelberer liked how organized the event was.

"I'm impressed by how well put together and how organized it is," she said.

In addition to the Monster Mash on ice, the recreation center plans several public events throughout the year.

On Thanksgiving morning it will host a 5K run.

"It's been popular the last couple of years; we already have people signing up," said Cari Morgan, Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center marketing manager.

Registration for the 5K is $20 a week before the race and $23 after. The center is also offering a step and ab workout and cycling classes Thanksgiving morning.

"(People) can burn some calories before they eat," Morgan said.

On Nov. 28 the center will host a free health fair. They will offer flu shots and hepatitis B shots for a minimal fee.

During December the recreation center will have a Skate With Santa event. The skating event is free for Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center members, $3.50 for youth non-members and $4.50 for adult non-members. They will also have a Swim With Santa event. The swimming event is free for Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center members and $4.75 for non-members. This is the third year for the Monster Mash event. Community members appreciate the center hosting the event.

"It's nice of them to do this. I appreciate them doing it and putting it on for free," Warr said. "It's been really fun for (my kids) to dress up in costumes (with) their friends."