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Hello Summer!

In about a month there will be approximately 3,400 students out of school for the summer. It will be a summer that is longer than usual due to the Hutchinson High School remodeling project. This year, students will have 111 days of summer. Thank goodness the old saying, “there is much in Hutch,” is true. Here are a few ideas to keep our kids and the adults entertained over the beautiful summer days we have. 

  • Hutchinson has been eagerly awaiting to see the unveiling of its new Family Aquatic Center. The Aquatic Center will be equipped with slides, diving boards, a zipline, a water arch for the little ones, along with chaise loungers and shade umbrellas. Ah, nothing like fun in the sun around water.
  • In Hutchinson, we are fortunate to be surrounded by many lakes with a few of them having public beaches including Belle Lake and Lake Marion.
  • You can enjoy the Crow River by renting a kayak, canoe or paddle board for $5 for 30 minutes. Remember to bring cash and an ID.
  • Camping and roasting S’mores are always summer highlights. Find a campsite at Piepenburg Park on Belle Lake, Masonic West River Park at the Crow River or Lake Marion Regional Park.
  • There is much in Hutchinson to keep us all physically fit. Enjoy a round of Frisbee golf at South Park or on the grounds of Ridgewater College’s Hutchinson campus. You can rent Frisbee discs for $5 from Parks, Recreation and Community Education.
  • Plan a day of biking on our multiple bike trails and the Luce Line State Trail. Here is a link to the many bike trails in the area:
  • Get your bikes tuned up and ready to go by attending the Bike Bonanza from 9 to 11 a.m. May 20 at Tartan Terrain Park.
  • Practice training for local fun runs such as the Common Cup Ministries Fun Run on May 13 and Jaycees Fun Run on June 17.
  • GeoCaching is a fun activity. It’s like a scavenger hunt. There are many caches hidden around and near Hutchinson. For more information about geocaching, go to
  • If you are looking for an indoor physical activityn consider a game of bowling at Hutch Bowl.
  • One of my favorite pass times when our kids were young was packing a lunch and inviting another family to enjoy the many parks and playgrounds in our community. Did you know Hutchinson has 36 parks and 22 playgrounds? There are 15 shelters you can rent for a family reunion or neighborhood get together. See how many parks in Hutchinson you can visit this summer! For a list of the different parks in Hutchinson, visit
  • How about a family project of renting a 10 feet by 20 feet garden plot for $35 and grow some of your own food?
  • Take a class on how to dry herbs or can your own produce by signing up for a class listed in the Parks, Recreation and Community Education brochure or visiting the PRCE website at
  • If you’re not into gardening on your own, bring the kids to the Farmer’s Market at Depot Marketplace on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning in late May.  Try some new recipes with your fresh vegetables and fruit producegrown in our community. Many recipes are shared with us through the Heart of Hutch website at or the Eat.Move.Connect. column.
  • More than 15 camps and multiple classes are available for children through Hutchinson Parks, Recreation and Community Education. How about signing your child up for a pottery class and then have them appreciate the talents of 30 potters at the Minnesota Pottery Festival at Clay Coyote July 29-30?
  • Share the appreciation of music with your child at Music in the Park on Monday evenings at Library Square in downtown Hutchinson.
  • Have the family enjoy two full days of foot-stamping music by multiple bands at the Masonic West River Park during RiverSong Music Festival July 14-15.
  • Another fun event to look forward to is the Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival from June 10-18. This summer will mark 75 years of a Hutchinson tradition where there is a full week of celebrations and activities.
  • Bring the family to help raise funds for cancer research at the Relay for Life event at the Masonic West River Park on Aug. 4. This is a meaningful event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Hutchinson Relay for Life is one of the best I have gone to. It is festive and meaningful and the luminaries at night have a peaceful and serene beauty.
  • This summer the Labraaten Bus Co. is offering many day field trips for kids from plays to sporting events and visiting museums. Don’t forget to visit our own museum right here in Hutchinson called the McLeod County Historical Museum.
  • With 111 days off from school remember to support your child academically. Check with your school about academic opportunities. The schools work hard to provide your child with free academic support during the summer.
  • The Hutchinson Library will offer a fun reading program called, “Reading by Design” for children from age 2 to 12. Check with the library if this is something that looks interesting.
  • Bring a blanket to listen to Stories in the Park in Library Square at 10 a.m. Thursday mornings starting June 8 through Aug. 10.
  • Start your own book club with your child and potentially other children in your community. Learning to read with expression helps readers with their comprehension.
  • How about checking into the Hutchinson Theatre Company? Students in grades four through eight are welcome to apply to YoungStars, where participants will learn about theater production and participate in a stage show.

Well, in about a month there will be 3,000-plus youth out of school with time on their hands. This article is just a sampling of some things to do in our community. I am sure there are many other things that I have not mentioned. For a town of about 14,000 we are lucky to have a wealth of activities right within our community.

Enjoy the summer and all the things we can do together. Remember to invite a friend or family on your next Hutchinson adventure!

by Mary Gratzke, Heart of Hutch Connect Volunteer