There are lots of ways to have fun in and around Massena, indoors and out, winter and summer.
We may only have a solid 6 months out of the year that we can pretty-near guarantee to be snow-free, so make the most out of that time with picnic lunches and lots of laughter at one of our many parks and playgrounds.
Laze away a sunny day at one of our playgrounds found at Springs Park on West Hatfield, Bushnell Park on Robinson Road, the North Main Street Park, Alcoa Field Recreation Park just off of Woodlawn Avenue, the Creative Wooden Playground on Danforth Street, at the Massena Town Beach, as well as at Trinity, Madison, Jefferson or Nightengale Elementary Schools.
Jogging / walking: There is no doubt about it... one of the things that makes Massena special is that we are a community of walkers, joggers and stroller pushers. For exercise, relaxing after a family meal or to socialize, you'll find many residents out and about on our village sidewalks and residential streets. One of the favorite walking & jogging spots in Massena is the John Story Trail located around the Massena School property. Grab a friend and pick up the trail from the parking lots at either Nightengale or the High School; or, where Churchill, Sherwood or Nightengale overlap the school property. If you're more inclined to jogging on a track, you can also enjoy seasonal access to the track located on Massena High School's campus.
For more of a hike, take to the Nature Center trails that wind through the Robert Moses State Park on Barnhart Island. Or, if less rugged terrain is your preference, join the St. Lawrence Centre Mall Walkers Club for your brisk walk, year-round.
Basketball: The purpose of the Massena Basketball Association (MBA) is to provide an organized, nurturing instructional basketball program for the youth of the Massena New York area -- with an emphasis on sportsmanship and fun. Through well-designed drills and practices, the MBA's House League offers divisions for kids in grades K - 2, 3 - 4 and 5 - 6. As they master playing skills, competition is added to improve their overall understanding of the game, playing as a team and the essentials of sportsmanship. A Traveling League is offered to expose participants to other organized basketball programs, to challenge players at higher skill levels, while promoting community pride and sportsmanship. Traveling Teams are formed for grades 5 - 6, 7 - 8, 9 - 10 & 11 - 12. For current schedules and more information, visit the MBA website.
Softball: Get the gang together for a pick up game of softball... or get involved in one of our youth or adult softball leagues with registrations starting in the spring. You'll find two diamonds at Alcoa Field Recreation Park (one under the lights), two at Bushnell Park (one under the lights). In addition, there are two girls' softball fields located at Gerry Cullen Field (across from the Wooden Playground on Danforth Street) and another two next to the Massena Arena.
Tennis, Basketball, Skateboarding & Horseshoes: You'll find four tennis courts (lighted until 9:30 p.m. through the summer) at Alcoa Field Recreation Park off of Woodlawn Avenue, as well as a basketball court and four regulation-sized horseshoe pits. For our 'boarders, there's an outdoor skateboard park available next to the Massena Arena in the Annex.
Baseball: Hundreds of boys and girls enjoy Massena Little League Baseball -- from tee ball, to coach-pitch and beyond; beginners to all-stars. You'll find one regulation field and a tee ball field at Springs Park and two Little League diamonds at the North Main Street Park. In addition to Little League play, the Recreation Baseball Program helps kids learn the finer aspects of the game from members of the Massena High School Varsity Baseball Team beginning in early July. For this year's schedule, contact the Rec Commission at 769-3161.
Soccer: The envy of many communities, Massena has a hugely popular youth soccer program. Kids age 4 - 19 participate in Massena's AYSO soccer program that runs from late summer into early fall. The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) mandates that every child plays, that teams be balanced, that interest & enthusiasm are the only requirements to register, that positive coaching leads to better all-around players and that good sportsmanship is paramount. Registration dates and information are usually provided to all school aged children in May of each year.
Hockey: Ask a hockey parent and they'll tell you there are really only two seasons in Massena... hockey season and that one week sometime during the summer after three-on-three leagues finish and before hockey camps start. Virtually from the moment they start to walk, you'll find kids getting laced into their first pair of hockey skates, donning a helmet and using trimmed down, flat-blade hockey sticks for balance as they begin their quest for NHL fame. Massena has long had a reputation as a hockey town -- from our littlest competitors to our alumni pick up games.
The Massena Arena serves as base camp for the Massena Minor Hockey Association (MMHA) which teaches kids the skills of hockey, the thrill of competition and the value of teamwork. The MMHA is a member of USA Hockey, you can learn more about the program by visiting the MMHA website or contacting a member of their board. The Arena is also the home of Massena High School Hockey and the Massena Figure Skating Club.
The St. Lawrence Centre Arena offers year-round recreational skating sessions, learn-to-skate programs, three-on-three summer leagues as well as other youth and adult programs. For a current schedule of activities or get more information, visit the St. Lawrence Centre Arena's website or call them at 764-0684.
You'll also find three community outdoor rinks through the winter -- located at the annex next to the Arena, at Alcoa Recreation Field off of Woodlawn and next to the Wooden Creative Playground on Danforth Street. After hosting indoor skating from September through March, the Massena Arena removes the ice to host major events.
If you want a little more surf or wilderness than you can find in your backyard, take a short drive to one of our outstanding beaches or campgrounds.
Massena Town Beach: Enjoy 20 scenic acres on the St. Lawrence River that includes a wide, sandy beach; three covered picnic pavilions; picnic areas/grills; a handicap/wheelchair accessible waterfront; restrooms, changing rooms and a concession stand; softball field; volleyball court; two basketball hoops; playground equipment; and, a nature trail/shoreline with fishing access.
Robert Moses State Park straddles the mainland and Barnhart Island. Visitors reach the park through the tunnel under the Eisenhower Lock -- part of the St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system. This beautiful park is home to a large variety of flora and fauna and offers a multitude of recreational opportunities, including wooded campsites and cabins, a marina and boat launch, some of the best fishing in the Northeast, picnic areas, a swimming beach, tennis courts and a nature museum. The park's nature, hiking and cross-country skiing trails wind through fields, forests and wetlands, with overlooks showcasing spectacular views. In winter, the park also welcomes snowmobilers.
It's spacious picnic pavilion plays host to a number of community events each year, including the Italian-American Festival and the Chamber's Annual Car & Truck Show.
The Park is open year round with camping available from mid-May through Labor Day. You'll find the park located on the Barnhart Island Road -- an extension of Route 131 from Route 37, 3 miles north of Massena on the St. Lawrence River. The camping season opens in mid-May and continues through Labor Day. The beach is open beginning in late June and closes Labor Day weekend. The marina operates from Memorial Day through September.
For on-line reservations or more information, visit the New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation site.
Campgrounds: If you'd like to be a bit closer to the community, you will also find sites and cabins at the Massena KOA Campground, Hillside Motel & Kampground and the AmVets Riverfront location -- all located in the area of Massena Center, just off of Route 37 near the Mall. For more information or reservations, contact the KOA at 315-769-9483; the Hillside at 315-769-5403; and the AmVets in Massena Center at 315-769-8800.
Not long after the much anticipated end of the school year, comes the chants of "I don't have anything to do." To help fill our kids' summers with fun, the Massena Recreation Commission offers the Summer Recreation Program which is offered free of charge to the youth of the community. For six weeks each summer, the program provides weekday programs that combines afternoons at the Town Beach (all day on Wednesdays) with supervised and organized playground programs at Madison and Nightengale Elementary Schools and at Alcoa Field Recreation Park.
Each playground is supervised by a male and a female recreation leader with planned games and activities offered FREE of charge to all Massena children. Games and activities are offered Monday - Thursday from 9 to 11:30 am. An Arts & Crafts instructor visits each playground once a week with a wide variety of crafts and projects for children of all ages.
At 11:30 am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week, buses pick up the children (signed parent/guardian consent form required) from their playground and transports them to the Massena Summer Lunch Program. After lunch, the children are bused to the Massena Town Beach; then, return to their playgrounds at 4:30. Fridays serve as make-up rain days for the beach. Field trips to the movies, mini-golf, and bowling will also be taken on Fridays.
On Wednesdays ("all day" beach day), a free lunch consisting of a hot dog, potato chips and a drink is provided to all children participating in the playground program. Wednesday lunch sponsors are Hannaford Super Store, P & C Foods and SeaComm Federal Credit Union. All drinks are generously provided by PEPSI-COLA of Ogdensburg.
Registration is held at the playground of your choice, the first day your child attends. Children must be at least 5 years of age to attend the Playground Program and at least 7 years old by July 1 for Beach busing. A consent form must be signed by a parent/guardian for each child riding the bus to the beach. This is a "drop-in" playground program which allows children to come and go as they wish. It is not intended to be a childcare service and, if children become unruly, they can be sent home at any time.
For this year's Summer Recreation Program schedule and additional details, contact the Rec Commission at 769-3161.
Town Beach Busing
Youth Fishing Derby: The Massena Recreation Commission also hosts an Annual Youth Fishing Derby on May at the Wilson Hill Causeway / Boat Launch located in Louisville, NY. Prizes are awarded for both boys & girls in two age divisions: 5-9 and 10-15 years old. All registered anglers enjoy a FREE hot dog and soda and drawings for door prizes are held at the conclusion of the event. Contact 769-3161 for more details.
Annual Frog Jumping Contest: In July of each year, the Massena Recreation Commission holds its Annual Frog Jumping Contest at the Arena with prizes in three age categories: 5 & under, 6 – 9 and 10 & over. You can register in advance that week or get more details by calling the arena office at 769-3161. Trophies, ribbons and prizes are awarded for the fastest frogs.
Monday, May 25, 2015
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