‘Adult recess’ encourages Des Moines grown-ups to play like a kid again

Adult Recess

Captain Roy's, Des Moines, Friday, July 29 from 6-9 p.m., Free

Elementary school students in Leakey, Texas enjoy a game of tetherball at recess in 1973. — Marc St. Gil/EPA

Old or young, everyone needs a break — a respite from school, work, stress and boredom in which to stretch our legs and relax our minds. Unfortunately, arguably the best version of the break — recess — tends to end with elementary school, despite the positive effects including socialization, exercise, improvements with memory, concentration and attention, and more.

The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department has decided to host an adult recess on Friday for nostalgic grown-ups.

“With bills and work and just being involved in the rat race we forget to take a step back and just enjoy,” Jennifer Fletcher, marketing supervisor with the department, told Little Village. “So, we’re hoping maybe that this is an opportunity for people to do that.”

Those 21 and older are invited to Captain Roy’s (1900 Saylor Rd) from 6 to 9 p.m. to participate in games of foursquare, tetherball, hopscotch and bags, with winners earning prizes. A DJ will be spinning hits from the ’80s and ’90s, a live band is set to perform, and vendors will serve up some distinctly adult-only food and drink specials.

“I’m so excited, because I love the fact that we’re trying new events and bringing new programs to Des Moines, and it just makes me feel young again!” Fletcher said. “It reminds me [of] the stuff we did when we were in recess in school. If we had a big ol’ merry-go-round and monkey bars, it would make me feel even younger.”

“Our motto is live well, play hard, protect the Earth,” she added. “So, we want people to play hard in any way possible.”

Depending on the turnout of the event, Des Moines Parks and Rec hope to either make Adult Recess a series or an annual event. So far, about 200 people have preregistered to participate.

“Well, obviously, we want as many people to come down and take part in it as possible. We just want everybody to have a good, safe time. And just kind of forget that you’re an adult for a couple hours and have fun,” Fletcher said.

No children are allowed for this 21+ day of fun, but Des Moines Parks and Rec offers many other family friendly programs as well.

You can preregister for adult playtime until the day of the event. Pre-registration is required, but the event is free.