September 15, 2009

Recreation center to host Game Day KidZone

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- What’s more fun than watching great Saluki football at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s McAndrew Stadium? Watching the game with all the other maroon-clad fans knowing your kids are having a blast at the Student Recreation Center’s Game Day KidZone, of course!

Game Day KidZone at the Rec is all new for 2009 and gives kids ages 6-12 the chance to spend a few hours during home Saluki football games doing all the things they like to do best, under the supervision of trained and enthusiastic staff. Children will participate in an assortment of fun, age-appropriate activities including climbing the rock wall and swimming, so be sure to bring swimsuits and dress for plenty of action. Kids will enjoy two snacks and drinks too.

“We are excited about this new program and hope people take the opportunity to participate,” said Kathryn Hollister, Recreational Sports and Services assistant director. “It will be a great time for parents to enjoy the game without worrying about their children. The children won’t have to worry about their parents either, because the kids will be having so much fun at the Rec.”

The drop-off times are set about 1½ hours prior to game time, giving parents the chance to tailgate and enjoy all of the game festivities. There’s a different Saluki theme each week and football game kick-off times vary. Pick-up is no later than 30 minutes after the game ends.

Here are the dates, times, themes and opponents for the home games this fall so you can make plans for the kids to attend the corresponding Game Day KidZone at the Rec:

• Sept. 19, 6 p.m., against Southwest Baptist University, Hawgs and Dawgs.

• Sept. 26, 6 p.m., against North Dakota State University, military appreciation.

• Oct. 10, 2 p.m., against Illinois State University, Homecoming.

• Oct. 24, 3 p.m., against Youngstown State University, Family Weekend.

• Nov.14, 2 p.m., against Missouri State University, senior day/band day/final game at the “Mac.”

The cost is $25 per child, per game for children of Student Recreation Center members or $40 for non-members. There’s a $5 discount for subsequent children within the same immediate family or for those who are Junior Saluki members or children of football season ticket holders. Only one discount applies per child.

Or, you can save by purchasing the KidZone All Game Package that includes KidZone admission for all five home games during the 2009 season. The cost is $100 for center members or $160 for non-members. The discounts available for individual games become $25 for those purchasing the full package.

Parents or guardians must show their game tickets when they check their child(ren) in at the Alumni Lounge on the second floor of the Student Recreation Center. That verifies they’ll be at the football game and lets the center’s staff know where to locate them in case of an emergency. Those claiming Junior Saluki membership discounts must present their membership card at each check-in.

For more information, contact Hollister at 618/453-1267 or via e-mail at or check the Web site at You can download the registration form online too, or simply call 618/453-1277 to register by telephone or stop by the Administrative Office located in the Alumni Lounge at the Student Recreation Center.

The deadline to sign up for Game Day KidZone at the Rec is 6 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to each football game. Space is limited so registration is limited to the first 20 children to sign up.