We’re committed to offering children and youth recreational opportunities that support their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Throughout the pandemic, we continue to offer activities with a focus on fun and connection!

We also post weekly virtual events on our website.

Register for a program

On this page:

  1. COVID-19 updates
  2. Safety measures
  3. Virtual programs
  4. In-person programs
  5. Camps
  6. Accessibility and support
  7. Free activities
  8. Resources for parents
  9. Emergency childcare
  10. Mental health resources

COVID-19 updates

Most City of Kitchener facilities and all libraries are closed for public use

Ontario is in a state of emergency and under a stay-at-home order. This is in addition to the current provincewide shutdown.

Residents are encouraged to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

Visit our COVID-19 updates page to learn what's open and closed as well as how city services are affected.


Safety measures

Here is what you and your child can expect at our in-person child and youth programs:

  • program staff will be screened daily and provided with required information and training on work specific procedures and processes related to COVID-19 
  • provincial public health directives are being followed to minimize risk
    • number of participants and staff in a room
    • acceptable program activities
    • increased frequency and supervision of hand hygiene
    • enhanced cleaning protocols and frequency
    • physical distancing expectations
  • participant screening will take place every day before attending program
  • to minimize the risk to program participants and staff, non-program participants will not be allowed beyond the screening table
  • we will be attempting to place siblings in the same group to limit household exposures
  • there will be no offsite field trips, or onsite special guests

These are just some of the current practices and protocols we are putting in place. More specifics will be distributed in the program information package around one week before the start of programs to capture the most current directions of the provincial and federal governments, and the Region of Waterloo Public Health Unit.

Our programs will continue to offer children and youth opportunities to be physically active, creative, expressive and connected and support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of children and youth and their families.  


Virtual programs

Register for one of our virtual programs to have fun at home and try something new.

Virtual "March" break program

Age: 8 to 11 years

Join us for our "March" (now April)  Break Virtual Camp Program happening from April 12 to 16 this year – interactive live on-line camp activities led by at least 2 experienced City of Kitchener camp staff. It is like camp, but from a distance with a focus on social interaction and connectedness between children! Make new friends (we will help!) or join in with friends you know, play games, participate in physical activities, and have fun as a team!

Register

Camp-in-a-box

Age: 5 to 11 years

Camp in a box brings classic camp programming right into the home. Each box (junior or intermediate) guides children through 15 age-appropriate activities specifically chosen for the upcoming season including crafts, intriguing science experiments and activities that encourage them to interact with nature in creative ways. A great way to fill down time, bring family together and provide an outlet to promote their creativity, letting their imagination flourish!

Register

The Heart of Hope Project

Age: 9 to 12 years

When kids are overwhelmed or afraid due to things going on in the world, or in their lives, focusing their attention on hope can help them to cope and thrive. Most people think of hope as an emotion, but it is actually a way of thinking made up of goals, pathways to those goals, and agency (belief in ourselves). Good news - hope is learned!

Research has shown that “hope is associated with many positive outcomes, including greater happiness and better academic achievement.” (American Psychological Association)

The Heart of Hope Project is a live and interactive program with a focus on social interaction and connectedness between children as they engage in group activities and discussions that encourage them to reflect on hope, empowerment, self-awareness, self-esteem and many more topics that are similar in nature. This project will emphasize the power of hope while children reflect and engage on it through learning, games, crafts, and activities.

For example, one activity will be building and/or making something, showing kids they can change things by taking what is in front of them and working to turn it into something more... something better. Another activity will include setting a simple goal and coming up with the steps needed to take to make it happen, when they are going to do each step and helping them stick with it by giving them the tools needed to do what they want to do. Activities will also provide participants with the opportunity to share their thoughts and see the power of their own actions on others - and themselves- through a weekly individual themed-challenge.

Make new friends, play games, participate in fun-filled activities, and have fun as a team!

Register

Plots and Thoughts

Age: 11 to 14 years

Storytelling connects us, helps us make sense of the world, and communicates our values and beliefs and a good story makes us think and feel, helps us understand others and connects us. Using a zoom meeting format, 2 staff will lead young writers through an exploration of the world of creative writing in this virtual, live and interactive program where you will design, plan and write your own short stories. Participants will walk through the writing process, create characters and complete the program with a bound copy of a story written entirely by them.

Virtual Teen Zone

Age: 12 to 17 years

Teen Zone is an online program that allows participants to hang out in a supported virtual space with our staff and engage in different themes, games and activities. Youth can also help create some of the fun things they want to have happen in this program. Activities could include trivia nights, bingo, group games, guided art and so much more! A great way to interact with peers and stay active at home.

Register

Kitchener Youth Action Council

Age: 14 to 24 years

If you're between age 14 and 24 and tired of doing things the same old way - consider joining the Kitchener Youth Action Council (KYAC) and help make a positive difference for everyone in our community. This inspiring group of young people aims to make Kitchener a better place by working with adults who support their ideas and actions. More information available on our KYAC page.

In-person programs

We are not currently offering in-person programs due to the provincewide shutdown. Subscribe to this page to get an email when we post an update.


Camps

Visit our camps page to learn about:

  • summer camps
  • March Break camps
  • holiday camps
  • PD and PA day camps

Accessibility and support

If your child has a disability and needs help to take part in a program, you can request leisure support.

We offer financial support through our leisure access fee assistance program.


Free activities

Check out our week at a glance page to find free activities for the whole family.


Resources for parents


Emergency childcare

The Region of Waterloo is offering emergency childcare for parents who provide critical services in our community (list of eligible workers) who have exhausted all other care options for their children. Fees will be paid by the province. Care is available for children from birth to age 12.


Mental health resources

  • Here 24/7 mental health crisis support offered by KW Counselling by phone at 1.844.437.3247 or online 
  • Front Door child or youth mental health support. Call to make a telephone or video appointment. Please contact them directly at 519-749-2932, and press “1“ to speak to staff. 
  • Kids Help Phone- 24/7 virtual support service offering professional counselling, information and referrals as well as volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French at 1.800.668.6868. 
  • Good2Talk A free, confidential mental health support service providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to postsecondary students in Ontario, 24/7/365.  
  • LGBT Youthline: If you’re a LGBTQ2+ youth and want to talk with another youth who might get what you are going through you can reach out to YouthLine. Call 1.800.268.9688 or text 647.694.4275. Please note they are only available during certain times. You can also CHAT LIVE with someone who gets it on their website.
  • Big White Wall: An online support environment for people looking for help with depression and anxiety. Free to all Ontarians.