How to Use the Holiday Season in Campus Recreation

holiday season

Halloween is officially behind us and being November 1, I am in full holiday spirit.

My desk tree is up and decorated. My Santa hat is on. I am currently wearing a shirt that reads “Raised by Elves” because if you haven’t guessed, I love Christmas. Plain and simple.

There’s something in the air this time of year. I love Christmas music playing in every store. I’m originally from Northern Michigan, so it also means snow, which I love — though I don’t see much of the white stuff here in Kentucky.

But looking beyond my fanatic love for this holiday season…

I think this time of year offers so many opportunities for you, the rec center professional. Each holiday opens up new doors to reaching students you might not yet be connecting with, as we shared with Halloween and the variety of ways rec centers put it to use. Each season allows for new sports and programs that could boost attendance at your rec center. And let’s not forget the New Year — if students are anything like the working-class adult, the new year brings new resolutions for fitness. I know I would try each January in college to kick-start my “heath train” to success — the results were usually poor, but at least I tried. My school was lacking an awesome rec center facility, which would have helped.

Like Halloween, these next two months are full of holidays and reasons to celebrate. Why not take advantage and make your rec center a hub for season celebrations? Maybe that’s offering a “Thanksgiving prep” cooking class in your demonstration kitchen. Not everyone makes it home for Thanksgiving, but I’m sure the students still in the dorms would like to eat homemade pumpkin pie, too.

Or, perhaps it’s holding a Winter Wonderland Festival with winter-themed games and contests. And for those that hate the cold, what about a January beach day at your aquatics center? Help students escape the winter blues by bringing Florida to them — unless you’re in Florida, then maybe you can actually go to the beach!

Maybe it’s simply finding out what holiday each of your staff members celebrate and showing them a little love through recognition.

Whatever it is, I encourage you to think about this time of year and use it at your rec center. Even if you’re not about Christmas or any other holiday in November or December, it does only come once a year. Find out how to use it to engage with the students on your campus.

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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