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The Rappahannock YMCA has held a spot on our Family Favorites list as long as we’ve had one. It is a top contender for several great reasons, all of which fall under “community.”

Anyone who is a member of the Rappahannock YMCA will tell you it feels more like a community center than a gym. It offers preschool classes, physical therapy sessions, swim lessons, massage, many styles of exercise classes and activities for seniors and those with sensory difficulties. The center also hosts fun runs, and yes, a monthly free Parent’s Night Out for members with a family membership.

This service is part of your monthly family membership and, if I’m being honest, is worth the entire membership. I have three young kids. Being able to drop them off at a place they know and love from 6:30 to 10 pm once a month is amazing. It means my husband and I get a date night every month to look forward to with preset babysitting. Some months we don’t go out. We drop the kids off and go back home to catch up on shows, play a game and make dinner together.

So what happens at Parent’s Night Out? Kids 8 months to 12 years old get to play, watch a movie, do a craft, swim (optional) and have snacks (you pack one). Check your Y to see when Night Out is and when signups start. As you can imagine, space fills fast!

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Pouches' Community Corner

Cooking Autism

Cooking Autism, Inc. is driven to help children with neurological disorders (including autism) learn how to cook. Participants are encouraged to pick up critical communication skills, learn how to work as a team and be more independent. They can build skills in math, reading, and science, and learn about cooking-related topics such as health and nutrition.