Yay! Free family fun returns to Wade Oval for summer Saturdays

Yay! Free family fun returns to Wade Oval on Saturdays

Art, action, and adventure are returning to Wade Oval in University Circle for the next six Saturdays when YAY! Saturdays—a free children’s activity series presented by University Circle Inc. (UCI) begins this Saturday, July 23 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Each YAY event will feature workshops and excursions led by museum and educational partners in the series’ Discovery Zone; fitness classes and yard games for K-8 students in the Shape-Up Zone; and live theater, music, and dance performances in the Fan Zone.

Healthy food and beverage options will be available for purchase.

“The community’s response to YAY has been nothing short of fantastic,” said UCI director of events & engagement David Robinson in a statement. “It shows there is a real need for fun and enriching educational activities throughout the summer, and that’s exactly what we’re providing at YAY.”

In addition to the programmed activities, YAY will once again have a special focus on literacy. Each week will begin with storytelling on the Kulas Community Stage. Families can also participate in a Story Walk around Wade Oval, courtesy of UCI’s Community Education department. Pages from children’s books will be printed on signs and placed at intervals to encourage families to walk around and read the stories together. The books will change each week and will feature diverse authors and illustrators.

In addition to the Story Walk, UCI’s early childhood education team is partnering with the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank and the Hershey Foundation to provide a curated selection of free books to event attendees.

“YAY is really focused on activities that engage parents, and children, and are both fun and learning-focused.” said UCI director of community education Arin Miller-Tait in a statement. “Reading aloud as a family is not only great for developing young minds, but there’s evidence that it strengthens family bonds and reduces parent stress. We want families to think of University Circle as a place they can come to and learn together, but we also want them to take that experience home with them.”

Registration for YAY is recommended but not required.