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Seidel: Spring into something new

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
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The Geneva Park District offers new experiences to boost energy and mood, writes Natalie Seidel, marketing coordinator for the park district.

Today marks the first day of spring. As temperatures rise and the ground thaws, winter’s melancholy melts away. Birds begin to chirp as the world seems to start anew. While blooming flowers and budding trees might be a few weeks away, springtime is ripe with new beginnings. 

This refreshing season motivates us in many ways. Spring cleaning allows us to refresh our homes and let in the sunshine. Spring makes us feel better. It’s scientifically proven – according to a 2002 study by the Baker Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, sunlight can increase the body’s production of serotonin, which lifts mood and increases energy. 

With that in mind, springtime is the perfect time to get active with your family. Plant something green, go on a picnic or fly a kite. Or why not try something entirely new? Have you always wanted to ballroom dance? Now is the time.

Recent research shows that new experiences can give you a rush. According to Gregory Berns, M.D., author of “Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment,” doing something novel releases the brain’s reward chemical, dopamine.

He adds, “What we’ve discovered in the last five years is that dopamine is also a motivating chemical that gears us up to do more.” In other words, trying something new, such as learning the rumba, could inspire you to take on new projects at home or work.

The Geneva Park District offers new experiences to boost your energy and mood. Adults can try ballroom and swing dancing at the Stephen  D. Persinger Recreation Center on Friday evenings starting April 5.  

Get creative at B.Y.O.B. Painting: Girls Night Out, and create an oil painting while sipping on a favorite beverage, from 6 to 9 p.m. April 19.

At Designing Your Home: Choosing Colors and Mixing Patterns, participants will gain the confidence and knowledge to successfully update any room in their house. That is April 3 and 10.

Mothers and daughters might enjoy creating a new planter for their garden in Fairy Garden 101 at Heinz Brothers Greenhouse, April 13 and 14. Or get active with your little one at family Zumbatomic classes. 

Children who want to try out cheerleading and dance will find the perfect opportunity during Wednesday morning’s Let’s Cheer and Dance classes. 

Believe it or not, the Geneva Park District already is gearing up for summer. Registration for youth summer camps and swim lessons is open. Sunset Pool opens Monday. 

To save cash, think ahead and buy an Early Bird Pool Pass, which is available to residents Tuesday (April 6 for nonresidents). Celebrate Stone Creek Miniature Golf Course’s 25th with an early bird Putt Putt Pass and save even more.  

Information on these programs is available at www.genevaparks.org. “Like” us on Facebook for instant updates on all our latest happenings.

• Natalie Seidel is the marketing coordinator for the Geneva Park District and can be reached at 630-232-4542. Email her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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