kids playing soccer

Youth & Family Programs

We are proud to offer programs that meet the needs of our community's youth - from Nursery Song and Sign to Wheel Pottery for Teens, we have classes and events to suit all ages and interests. We also offer numerous opportunities throughout the year for families to connect and enjoy quality time together.

Want to explore this season's full program offering and register your child? Follow the links to our digital activities guide and use the 'enroll now' buttons within the guide for easy access to our registration site.

Just curious about what we offer? Read more about each of our program areas below.


Young Birders Club Southwest Chapter

Kettering PRCA and Centerville-Washington Park District are collaborating to bring the joy of birdwatching to our youth. We are now the Southwest Chapter of the Young Birders Club of Ohio. Bird watching and identification is a fun and rewarding hobby and also a great place to make friends. Light snacks are provided. Participants must become members of the Ohio Young Birders Club and be between the ages of 11 – 18.

Visit for information on seasonal Ohio Young Birders offerings.

Young Birders Club Southwest Chapter

Explore youth and family programs

swimming lessonWe offer Learn to Swim classes year round! The Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department is proud to offer American Red Cross Swim programs for people of all ages and abilities. All classes are held at the Kettering Recreation Complex main pool.

The swimming and water safety program helps people of all ages enjoy the water safely and act effectively in an emergency situation.

Courses are fun, interactive and lead participants to incorporate swimming and water safety into their lives, whether they make swimming a part of a lifetime fitness plan, swim or dive competitively or even train to become Water Safety Instructors.

Parent and Child Aquatic Programs

Developed for children 6 months to 3 years, Parent and Child Aquatics helps young children get ready to swim by emphasizing fun in the water. Parents and children participate in several guided practice sessions that help kids learn elementary swimming skills, including water entry, bubble blowing, front kicking, back floating, underwater exploration and more.

Preschool Aquatic Programs

Children ages 4 and 5 learn water safety, survival skills and essential swimming concepts in a safe and fun environment. Skills are age-appropriate, allowing students to achieve success on a regular basis.

Learn to Swim Programs

The American Red Cross six-level Learn-to-Swim program is unlike anything offered by other learn to swim programs. The program is designed for children over 6 years all the way up to adults, and students progress through the levels at their own pace, mastering the skills in one level before advancing to the next. Each level of our Learn-to-Swim class includes training in basic water safety and helping others in an emergency, in addition to stroke development.

  • Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills
  • Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills
  • Level 3: Stroke Development
  • Level 4: Stroke Improvement
  • Level 5: Stroke Refinement

Participants must receive a certificate of completion or approval from the Aquatics Instruction Coordinator before moving on to the next level. Each participant will receive an American Red Cross Achievement Booklet. Bring your booklet to class and your instructor will complete the skills check off pages for you!

Please be aware that sometimes it takes more than one set of lessons to master the skills required to move up to the next level. If you are unsure of which level to sign your child up for please email and mention that you want to schedule a free swim test for your child.

swim appThe American Red Cross offers a free mobile app to help parents and caregivers of young people learning to swim. The app is designed as a companion to the Red Cross Learn-to-Swim lessons and preschool aquatics programs, and provides water safety information to adults and children. It is ideal for adults or children who want easy and accessible information on water safety and drowning prevention.

The app can be found at (click swim app) or downloaded directly from the Apple or Google Play app stores (search: swim American Red Cross).

kids making potteryKids of all ages – from preschool to teens – will enjoy building creative skills through hands-on learning.  Rosewood Arts Center offers over 100 classes every year. Join our arts educators to learn about theatre, dance, painting, cartooning, clay and much more! Kids go beyond the usual art class basics to explore their creative sides.

Read our blog post on the benefits of artmaking for kids – it’s so much more than just creative fun!

Looking for a fun project to do at home? Our Art From Home page is full of great suggestions from the Rosewood staff and faculty!

family planting treesThe Habitat Environmental Center is proud to give families the opportunity to experience nature together. We offer programs year round, so be sure to check out what we’re offering this season.




green heart graphicChildren (and grown-ups) should head outside EVERY day and breathe in some fresh air. Make it a part of your day to spend at least 15-20 minutes outdoors. Studies have shown that taking some time in nature can increase brain function as well as creativity. It also helps us sleep better, boosts the immune system, reduces stress levels and puts us in a happy mood. If all of that isn’t enough, research shows that, through outdoor exploration, children become inventive, imaginative and more in touch with their senses.

Here are a few fun and educational activities to get you started. Feel free to modify these or come up with your own!

*When you visit a park, we strongly encourage you to practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC.

1. Take an Animal Home Hike: Search for animal homes in deciduous trees (the trees that drop their leaves). Nests and holes should be more visible now. Look for tracks in the mud.

2. Make Pine Cone Bird Feeders: Make a bird feeder from a found pinecone, cover it with peanut butter or shortening, and roll it in birdseed. Place the pinecone on a window ledge for observation or in the crook of a tree.

Blend one part peanut butter (or suet, if available) with five parts corn meal and pack the mixture into the crevices of a large pinecone. This Audubon-approved, all-season mixture will attract woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, and warblers.

3. Journey to Pondview: Walk, bike or drive to Pondview Park (3036 Pondview Drive in Kettering). Find the trees with faces and take a selfie with your favorite one. Hint: These trees sit in a row near the meadow.

4. Be a Naturalist: Make a Nature Journal and take it outside on an adventure. Be sure to take a pencil to make sketches or to write down what you see.

5. Find a free “bird app” on your cellphone, iPad or computer (such as Ebird) and learn to identify birds (by sight and sound) that you have seen in your yard or park.

6. Log about a log: Find a log and visit it often. Record your findings with drawings and words, like a real naturalist would. Don’t forget to include visit dates so you can track the changes that you see.

7. Have a picnic. Dress for the weather and take your lunch or dinner to your favorite park to eat or just spread out a blanket in your yard. Be green!

8. Night Hike: Bundle up and head outside after dark. Pick a nocturnal animal and imagine what they might be doing at that moment. Describe what you hear, see, and smell to your hike buddy. (Just remember – our parks close at dusk. We recommend using your backyard for this one!)

9. Wildflower walk: You don’t have to walk far to see flowers such as crocuses and snowdrops poking up through the leaves left behind last fall. Write a description or sketch them in your nature journal.

10. Nature Poet: Write a poem about what you see, feel, hear, and smell after your next outdoor adventure. Send it to us, and we’ll publish our favorites on PlayKettering!

11. Research the upcoming full moons to discover the meaning behind their names. Head outside (with binoculars if you have them) to get a closer look.

12. Make a kite: Construct a kite from your own design or from the internet using materials around your house. Then…Go fly a kite!

13. ID a tree: Read up on trees common to our area and see how many you can identify based on bark, leaves and other characteristics.

14. Unless: Read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, and you’ll know what we mean because we mean what we say. Find a way to help the earth!

The Habitat Nature Center allows all ages to learn about nature, how we all impact our world and how to make a difference in it. We offer year-round programs, so be sure to check out what we’re offering this season.

Habitat Adventures

touch a truckEach season, we offer exciting opportunities for family-centered fun! Bring the kids and enjoy popular programs like our springtime Easter Egg hunts, Touch a Truck in the summer, Princess Party in the fall and Breakfast with Santa in the winter, plus many more.

kids ice skatingWhether you or your child are interested in learning to maneuver around the ice during open skate with friends, spin and jump like a figure skater or playing hockey, we have a class for you!

Ice Skating Classes

The Kettering Ice Arena is proud to welcome you to the Learn to Skate USA program, a nationally recognized ice-skating program. This program offers standardized curriculum designed to help skaters of all ages and abilities master the basics of ice skating. Classes are taught by US Figure Skating certified professionals.

Learn to Play Hockey

Want to improve your hockey skills? The Learn to Play Hockey program will help skaters develop necessary skills beneficial to playing hockey. Learn to Play Hockey is instructed by our certified professionals.

Youth Hockey

The Kettering Ice Arena is home to several hockey organizations. The Dayton Hockey Association is open to boys and girls from ages 5 to 15 for beginners to advanced levels. For more information about the DHA, contact 937-296-2587 and ask to leave a message in the league’s voicemail box #4869 or visit their website at

We’re proud of the vast array of youth activities we offer. We realize that today’s youth are individuals and must be allowed to make individual decisions when selecting activities that best suit their interests. We’re committed to offering safe, healthy and fun alternatives to our community’s youth.

boy cooking

Youth and Teen Programs

From Healthy Hands Cooking to Middle School Madness, we have lots to offer to kids and teens looking to find a hobby and to parents in need of a safe space for their kids to PLAY!


kids on slip and slidePreschool Programs

The preschool years are a time of exploration, and we’re thrilled to offer a wide variety of activities designed just for your little ones. Check out our robust music offerings from ages infant through five years, ‘no knife skills’ cooking for the youngest chefs and special events like Color-FEST and Bubble Fest!

Close window