It’s a Friday night and you’re looking for an activity that is fun for the whole family. You’ve already seen all of the good movies and the park isn’t as fun as it used to be. So what do you do?
Rather than spend the night inside watching television, you could be like many other parents in the Chapel Hill area and use Get Out Play, a quickly growing website that has a calendar of family-friendly events from a variety of local places, all just one click away.
Courtney Wright, co-founder of Get Out Play, was in the same situation that many other parents were when she became a mom and began looking for fun things to do with her children. Even though she had lived in Chapel Hill for years, she still had trouble finding events in the area.
“When I became a mom I was so overwhelmed with what to do and researching what to do with my kids at a certain age,” Wright said. “We wanted to bring people together so they could find what they wanted to do in one easy place.”
Thus, Get Out Play was born. Wright and two others, Sabrina Sampey and Michelle Bragassa, work together to find events in the area and place them on a calendar that is accessible for all, easy to navigate and makes finding activities for any day of the week a simpler task for busy parents.
“Until I started looking at the different calendars, I didn’t realize how much places like the local library do for the community,” Wright said. “There are so many parks in the area that my family hasn’t been to and we are trying to make a map of places we can hit.”
Sampey said one of the missions of Get Out Play is to encourage parents to get outside with their families.
“We are trying to get families to go outside and play because there is a lot of technology and distractions nowadays,” she said. “The website is a way for you to see what’s going on, with free events, indoors, outdoors, family friendly and events like that.”
Sampey also said that organizations are welcome to submit their events for advertisement on the website.
“We have on our calendar page and homepage that say ‘recommendations’ or ‘submit your event,’” Sampey said. “We want it to be a community website where people who put on events contact us so we can put it on the calendar.”
Managing a website of events between three people looks like a difficult job, but Bragassa said that the events are split into different categories and they each take part in finding events for those categories.
“We start by finding things that fit the categories in those areas, some well-known, some by reference of friends or they’ve shown up or through the grapevine,” Bragassa said.
“It’s a lot of time searching on the internet and hearsay from friends and remembering to check websites, but we are totally open to people sending us information and contacting us.”
Bragassa said that Get Out Play has helped her in finding hiking trails for her family, as well as other events and fun locations to frequent.
“My triplets really enjoy being outside and hiking and going to the parks that we didn’t even know existed,” Bragassa said.
“The museum has been great of course, in fact, I just took a trip with the kids to the Greensboro museum, and we plan to take advantage of a couple more of the museums and science centers and some of the programs they are putting on for the kids.”
While the website features events from a variety of locations around Chapel Hill, Wright also said that Get Out Play is working with Fit4Mom, which provides a series of exercise-related events for moms to do alone or with their children. Amy Rosso is the founder of the program, as well as a mom of two kids.
“Fit4Mom is a community-based organization that offers fitness programs for every stage of motherhood, everything from prenatal classes to stroller-based workouts, yoga, run club and race training, results-based program called Body Back that is high-intensity training, nutritional coaching and food journaling,” Rosso said.
“It’s all about making connections, bringing the community together, celebrating motherhood and letting mom give herself permission to put herself back on the list by getting a workout in with other like-minded moms.”
Rosso said one of the main reasons she started Fit4Mom was because there are so many events in Chapel Hill for kids, but not very many for just moms. She said that making “mom friends” and establishing a community with others is important and by creating events designed just for moms, it reinforces the importance of well-being. She also said that Fit4Mom engages in different service events to give back to the community.
“We do regular stewardships like organizing food drives and leading local climbs; in fact, we just did a hike to raise funding for postpartum depression anxiety groups,” Rosso says. “It’s an amazing community for moms.”
No matter what age children you have, Get Out Play and Fit4Mom are the opti”mom” websites for finding events that will work for you and your family. For more information on a “mother” load of events, visit www.getoutplay.com and chapelhill.fit4mom.com.