Fall into fun with Columbia Association

By Tripp Laino

Labor Day might mark the unofficial end of summer — but at Columbia Association (CA), we think there’s no reason not to have fun in the fall!

Sure, school’s back in session, but there’s plenty of weeknight and weekend activities the whole family can enjoy — and some for just the adults, too.

Columbia BikeAbout

Saturday, Sept. 23, 9:30am-1pm

The free, family-friendly 10-mile ride, expected to be completed by 1pm, winds through Owen Brown, Oakland Mills and Long Reach.

Riders will learn along the way, including the answers to why our power lines are mostly underground and why Columbia’s street names continue to confuse and amuse. Young families will be guided around Lake Elkhorn. Following the ride, participants can refuel at the Owen Brown Festival, beginning at 11:30am. For more information, or to register, visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/bikeabout.

YTC Open House

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 6-8pm

The Open House is a great opportunity to meet staff and learn how to get involved in various programs, clubs and committees offered by YTC @ the barn. Registration for the 2017-18 drop-in enrichment program will be also be accepted.

Erase Hate Through Art

Oct. 8-29

Columbia Art Center’s Main and Window Galleries

The fourth annual Erase Hate Through Art exhibition is an examination of the phenomenon of bullying and hate crimes through the eyes of artists as a means of prevention. The show features the artworks of more than 50 artists from Maryland, Virginia, New York, Indiana, Florida and New Mexico.

Sponsored by How Do You Like Me Now Productions, Inc. Curated by Grant Myers.

Reception: Sunday, Oct. 8, 1-4pm. Reception includes performances and poetry presentations.

Excite Columbia returns Tuesday, Oct. 10 with a new format!

Excite Columbia citizens academy includes three Tuesday sessions (Oct. 10, 17 and 24) that are intended to provide you with a closer look at how Columbia Association works, the part it has and continues to play in Columbia, and an informal setting to talk about your vision for the future of Columbia.

Refreshments will be provided. The sessions run from 6:30-8:45pm each evening. Preregistration is required; those who sign up for it are expected to attend all three sessions.

Ballroom Lessons

Thursday, Oct. 12, 7:30-9pm

$25 advance registration; $30 at the door

Put your best foot forward. These fun-filled, easy-to-learn dance lessons will leave you feeling comfortable and confident on the dance floor. During each session, two different dance styles will be taught for 45 minutes each.

Partner not required. This session will focus on rumba and waltz. To learn more, visit HavenontheLake.org/events or call 410-715-3020.

Yoga for Back Care

Saturday, Oct. 28, 2-3:30pm

Early registration: $25 (members and non-members; ends Monday, Oct. 23); regular registration: $35.

This workshop is for anyone who has (or has had) back pain or discomfort, or those who want to improve their back health. In this workshop, you’ll realize that you have the power to reduce the chance of back pain occurring or recurring if you have an old injury or chronic condition. We will cover a basic introduction of back anatomy and physiology, common causes of back pain, why yoga asana practice is better for a healthy back than other exercise programs and yoga postures to strengthen, support and soothe your back.

No previous yoga experience is necessary to attend the workshop. This workshop is not suitable for those with severe, acute back pain.

Singular Sensations Annual Holiday Art Show

Dec. 7-17

Now in its 20th year, this annual show features a wide selection of art for sale at $150 or less. Ideal for holiday shopping and home decorating! Attention artists: To obtain an entry form to participate in the show, please call or email the Art Center.

Reception and live music: Thursday, Dec. 7, 6-8pm.

Take advantage of your Play membership!

Did you know that your Play, Columbia Fit&Play and Golf Fit&Play membership has a ton of extra benefits?

All Play membership types receive free mini-golf, unlimited batting at the batting cages from 6-8pm every day, and free admission to Columbia SkatePark! It’s a great family outing, or a way to hone your skills for baseball or softball — come out and play with CA!

If you can’t stand the heat — get on the ice! Columbia Ice Rink is expected to reopen Monday, Aug. 14, offering plenty of time to skate before school begins. All Play membership types (Play; CA Fit&Play; 5Day Golf&Play; and Golf Fit&Play) receive free admission to Columbia Ice Rink — skate rentals are $3.50 for all visitors. Admission for other CA members is $7 per person; Columbia Cardholders are $8 per person and non-members are $9 per person. See the schedule at ColumbiaAssociation.org/icerink.

Much to see and do at the East Columbia 50+ Center

Howard County’s East Columbia 50+ Center has been a vital part of the Columbia community since its doors opened in 1984. Located inside the East Columbia Library in Owen Brown (6600 Cradlerock Way), the center continues to thrive despite the library renovations, which are expected to last until November 2017.         

We serve the community that is 50 years of age and beyond. Membership is free and privileges extend to all eight 50+ centers in Howard County. Some of our classes and events are free, while others have a fee.

Our programming includes exercise classes, social events, and other educational and recreational activities. That includes yoga, tai chi, poker, chess, dance, mahjong, legal services, health and wellness programs, movie nights, and a group called Sew Who Cares that recently wrapped up its latest project, making hats and scarves for shelter animals to help spruce up their photos and hopefully speed up their adoptions.

We’re proud to work closely with Columbia Association. Our agreement with CA means 50+ Center members get exposure to first-class fitness instruction in strength training, Pilates and Zumba for a nominal fee. CA has also supported our walking group by offering initial kickoff festivities and measurements so that participants can monitor their progress.  

Many of our members participate in CA’s Columbia Community Exchange TimeBank, finding opportunities to help others and themselves in a meaning and purposeful way. We have developed numerous programs together.

We continue to host CA’s World Languages Café every month on the fourth Tuesday evening.  Although not limited to the 50+ population, it is a wonderful monthly event that allows our community an opportunity to hear, speak and recall a second language. There is a palpable vibrancy in observing the evening and we a thrilled to have the program at East Columbia 50+.

Probably our greatest endeavor yet has been the addition of CA’s Youth and Teen Center to our technology program. We recognize the need to offer computer, tablet and phone instruction for those who might not be as familiar or comfortable with the latest technology. But we were challenged with limited staff and questions beyond our abilities. Enter the student geniuses, who obtain service hours and valuable intergenerational experiences. Our members leave feeling empowered.

There’s always so much going on. To see a schedule of activities at all of the 50+ Centers, please Google “East Columbia 50+ Center” and then click on “Register For Classes Online.”

We look forward to seeing you!

Meridy McCague

Director, East Columbia 50+ Center