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BETHLEHEM — With so many Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, shopping temptations and more hearty holiday meals to come, it could become quite tough to stick to one’s regular exercise routine or stay fit during this time of year.
Despite this general mindset, Carl Oropolla, the executive director of the Bethlehem branch of Capital District YMCA, said he believes that “people during this time of year are more determined to stay fit and active, and even though many think about the food and shopping, that gives people yet even more motivation.”
Located at 900 Delaware Ave. in Delmar, the branch has scheduled a number of events and activities to welcome residents to stay active during this festive season.
Oropolla said that during the month of December, the Bethlehem Central High School hockey team will play Queensbury High on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the YMCA. Also, on Dec. 28 and 29, various hockey teams from out of town will come and play at 3 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. respectively, which will be open to the public. Oropolla added that “generally large crowds” come out for these games.
Andrea Fecteau, the branch’s office assistant, scholarship coordinator and member service manager, said that a family movie night is planned for Friday, Dec. 7. Expect treats like popcorn and hot cocoa, she added.
Also, the Winter Ice Show will occur on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 12 to 2 p.m. which is held by the Albany Figure Skating Club. It will feature young figure skaters from across the Capital District who will perform both solo and in groups. Keep an eye out for a bake sale and basket raffle there too, all proceeds of which will support the club’s activities and programs. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and it’s free for children aged 5 and under.
Rusty Decker, the branch’s program and rink director, said that on Sunday, Dec. 23 from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m., its ice rink will showcase a public skating session “with a holiday twist as there will be a Christmas tree at the center with presents all around.” There will also be hot chocolates and snacks for attendees.
The session’s admission prices are the same as they are all year round. For YMCA members, it’s $2 for adults, $1 for students, free for children aged 5 and under, and $1 for skate rental. For non-members, it’s $5 for adults, $4 for students, $3 for children aged 5 and under, and $2 for skate rental.
From Dec. 27 through 30, people can take a lifeguarding course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To sign up for that, visit https://cdymca.org/programs/.
With all these events for the festive season, Oropolla said the branch expects a surge in attendance “because families and college students generally come home here to visit for the holidays. The weather also limits outdoor activities.”
Regarding numbers, he said the branch has 10,500 members and “usage of the Y is high in the holiday season. It’s upwards of 35,000 swipes per month.”
He concluded that “our branch boasts a welcoming space inside to hang out with family friends. So come on in!”
For more information about the branch and up-coming events, visit https://cdymca.org/locations/bethlehem-ymca/.