With COVID restrictions eased, Ridgefield offers these recreation activities this summer

RIDGEFIELD — The dreary weather over Memorial Day weekend may have put a damper on opening day at the Spray Bay, but with COVID restrictions eased, the Parks & Recreation department is anticipating a surge of visitors soon.

“The Spray Bay always opens (for the season) Memorial Day weekend, (but) I was told it wasn’t turned on because the weather was so bad,” said Kathy Fassman, marketing/programming supervisor for the Parks & Recreation department.

With rising vaccination rates and most COVID-19 restrictions lifted, Ridgefield’s Parks & Recreation department is maintaining some pandemic-related protocols for comfort and safety reasons.

Inside the Recreation Center, fully vaccinated visitors are not required to wear masks while those who are unvaccinated, children and children’s program instructors are required to wear face coverings. However, individuals of any age and vaccination status can go maskless at the department’s outdoor facilities.

The center’s indoor pool — which is the only one located in town — is open for members only with a reservation. Its whirlpool, sauna and steam rooms will remain closed pending guidance from the state Department of Public Health, Fassman said.

The center is now allowing drop-ins/non-members at the Spray Bay, but they must pay a $10 fee. This will enable staff to “keep an eye on the numbers in that space,” Fassman said of the area that is limited to 65 people. The outdoor water playground can typically accommodate 150 people or more.

For drop-ins/non-members, adults with paying children are free and children under the age of 2 are admitted free with one paying adult, Fassman said.

Before the pandemic, members could bring guests to use the Parks & Recreation’s amenities, but no guest passes will be offered for the 2021 season. Resident Suzanne Brummitt, who moved to Ridgefield last fall, hopes the department will change this policy before summer’s end.

“My 3-year-old granddaughter, who has seen (Spray Bay) from the playground, keeps asking when it will open,” Brummitt wrote in an email. “While I understand continuing concerns about COVID, these are both outdoor venues, and Connecticut is making great progress toward reopening.”

Fassman said the department is keeping tabs on local COVID-19 data to gauge if it can reinstate guest passes later this summer.

As for its other offerings, the center has seen an increase in the number of people attending its group fitness classes. Its eight-week Adventure Camp program has already sold out.

In the past, Adventure Camp was typically offered to children ages 3 through eight grade and serviced about 300 kids per week. This summer, the program was only opened to children ages 4 through sixth grade, and will service roughly 160 kids a week.

“Due to (having) limited space in our building for rain days, we are not offering it to middle school kids at this time,” Fassman said.

The Recreation Center is located at 195 Danbury Road. For more information about amenities, hours or other offerings, visit www.ridgefieldparksandrec.org.