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Shaping the Future

Working out and keeping fit during the holidays and beyond

During the holidays well, okay most of the time, it sure feels like we are living our lives in the fast lane! Everything all the time, one of the lines from the song by the Eagles, sums up the frantic and often frenetic activities occurring during the holidays. If you are like many people, the time you spend in the gym may suffer because you simply do not have the time or the energy to work out as you would like.

Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) fitness instructor Kathleen Joubert suggests that you work out with a friend. “Find someone with similar fitness and workout goals to your own, and plan to meet at the gym,” advises Joubert, “Discuss the classes you wish to attend, and plan to be there.

She points out that you are not as likely to miss classes if you know you have someone waiting for you. If you are working out alone, you may find any excuse not to go to the gym, but if you know your friend is there, waiting, and will be annoyed that you did not show up, you are more apt to go.

“I always tell people that is exactly how it began with me,” Joubert explains,When I was trying to get into a workout routine I had a great friend and workout partner who I did not want to disappoint so I went to the gym–even if I really didn’t want tobecause I didn’t want to let my workout partner down.

Joubert adds in order to keep motivated, stick to the classes and work out programs that you and your workout partner both like. It can turn into a competition, but if it gets you to the gym, then you both win!

Another helpful tip is not to stop at home before you go to the gym. Joubert always changes into her gym clothes before leaving work, and drives directly to the gym. “It is harder in the winter because it gets dark so early, but we all know that if you stop at home, you will find your way to the warm, comfy couch, and you will not make it to the gym as you initially planned,” Joubert adds.

If you prefer to work out alone, Joubert cautions not to do something she sees every day, “I always cringe when I see people lifting more weight than they should. Her experience and training reinforce her philosophy that it is more important to use less weight and do more repetitions.

“I am that instructor who will go right over to people and correct them immediately. I do not wish to embarrass anyone, but I know the correct form and if you are trying to lift weights that are too heavy, your form will be less than perfect, and that is how injuries happen,” Joubert explains.

“In my classes, I help people shape muscle, not build muscle,” Joubert clarifies, “If you are in my body sculpting class, and you are having a difficult time finishing the set, you are probably lifting too much weight.Most people are surprised when she tells them that men should only be lifting between 10-20 pounds, and women should probably lift no more than 16 pounds, which is only 8 pounds on each side. “Using lighter weights and increasing the repetition to three sets of twelve is a good way to maximize your workout without inviting injury,” she said.

Joubert likes to talk about diets with her students and stresses the importance of keeping portions small. “A great diet tip I always share is to keep your calorie intake in moderation by eating only a spoonful of whatever you wish to eat! If you are at a buffet, eat everything—but only one spoonful of everything,” she laughs.

Another tip Joubert recommends is to give yourself realistic goals. If your goal is to just get to the gym regularly, once you meet that goal, then give yourself another goal that you can meet such as attending

2 to 3 classes a week. She warns doing too much too quickly can lead to injury. She would rather see you building up to a goal rather than wearing yourself out from doing too much too fast.

“We really are our own worst critics,” Joubert added emphasizing she has heard every excuse for not going to the gym including people who say they are too fat, too old, or too embarrassed. She assures you that once you begin your workout routine, and start meeting your attainable goals, you will want to go to the gym!

Are you motivated to take one of the classes taught by Kathleen Joubert at the Community Center? She teaches Kickboxing on Tuesdays from 7:30 pm-8:20 pm, Body Sculpting on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-6:50 pm, and Boot Camp class on Saturdays from 8:30 am-9:20 am.

See you in class!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, Va. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility offers group exercise classes, basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, and recreational programs.

For more information, visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Teaching the DAGPAW: Martial Arts and concepts for Life at Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center offers a variety of martial arts programs for kids of all ages. Master Geoff Mann teaches all of the martial arts classes here at the Community Center. He received his first black belt in 1992 and is a fifth-degree black belt.

Master Geoff has been an instructor at the Community Center for 13 years. That gives him more history at Parks and Recreation than the actual building itself!

Master Geoff explains that the term martial arts initially means “military way of.” The history of martial arts dates back to ancient Greece, Rome, and China. The military of these countries took the fighting and defensive systems of the peasants, adapted, and then incorporated these fighting styles to suit their military needs.

Fast forward to the 1970’s where martial arts legend Bruce Lee became famous for his skills and beliefs that the best fighter is someone who is adapted to any martial arts style while incorporating individual style and not limiting themselves to one practice.

“When I started training in 1985, the MMA club where I was training introduced us to all MMA practices at the time, so we learned a real variety! Now, I teach modern Karate, traditional Tae Kwon Do and I add a little Kempo, Akido, and Jujitsu. My own background and training is inspired by Bruce Lee because we both believe in individual style while emphasizing various martial arts,” he explains.


Master Geoff tells everyone, students, and parents, that he firmly believes teaching karate and other martial arts is his tool to teach discipline, courtesy, and respect.

“Parents rarely come to me and say they want their kids to defend themselves. Instead, what parents want is for their kids to stay focused and to use their energy learning skills they can use in life. I teach these kids to become better citizens using the concepts of discipline, courtesy, and respect,” he points out.

Master Geoff teaches a theory called, DAGPAW, which stands for discipline, a’s and b’s, goal setting, perseverance, attitude (a good, can-do attitude) and work ethic. To Master Geoff, these are the real benefits of Karate and other martial arts.

“With MMA, the more involved you are, the better off you are. I am also a big believer in having consequences for actions,” he says.

The martial arts uniform is a useful tool to help discipline and focus the children. Mann encourages parents to purchase the uniform to help children achieve their goals. He gives students incentives through the patches on their uniform.

Master Geoff teaches his three to seven-year-old students how to kick properly and gets them to follow those guidelines as closely as possible. He admits there is no one true art form and encourages mixing to adapt to students’ needs and preferences.

“Traditional ways are great, but they might not be practical such as the high jumping kick. This particular kick was originally used to knock people off horses and is not something I use in my classes,” explains Mann.

The MMA classes at the Community Center begins with the Dragon Tots class for students, ages three to four, to learn basic martial arts skills with special emphasis on courtesy, discipline, and respect. This class is on Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 12:55 p.m.

WCRB Mixed Martial Arts are specifically for children, ages six to 13, with or without prior experience, to learn martial arts while emphasizing respect, courtesy, and discipline! This class also combines Master Geoff’s Academic Excellence program to help maximize your child’s learning. The class is on Mondays, from 5 to 5:50 p.m. or 6 to 6:50 p.m.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, special events, and recreational classes. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Starting July 3, ask PRTC OmniLink for a pickup or drop off at Manassas Park Community Center

Beginning July 3, the Manassas Park Community Center will be an On Demand PRTC OmniLink Bus Stop.

PRTC (Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission) is a public bus transportation system in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Services provided by PRTC include OmniRide, OmniLink, and OmniMatch.

OmniRide offers commuter buses going to DC, the Pentagon, Mark Center and Tysons. OmniMatch specializes in carpooling and vanpooling, and OmniLink is the designation used for local bus service. Remember Link = Local!

In a September 2015 survey, 40% of riders on Manassas OmniLink and Manassas Park OmniLink buses said they ride a PRTC bus 5 days/week, and another 31% ride 1 to 3 days/month. These riders also indicated that the places they travel via PRTC bus are: work 54%, shopping 45%, doctor or medical visit 26%, college or technical school 23%, social or recreational 15%, K-12 school 10%, and other 5%.

“PRTC buses are partially funded by tax dollars because the fare you pay on our buses is a fraction of the cost to operate,” said Christine Rodrigo, Public Relations Specialist for PRTC, “the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and Prince William County subsidize us so that we can keep our fares reasonable.”

PRTC responded to multiple public suggestions of adding another stop in Manassas Park at the Manassas Park Community Center. This new bus stop will be an On Demand stop. If you are not familiar with what an On Demand stop is, it simply means that the bus will not stop at an On Demand stop unless a rider requests the driver to stop there. (more…)

Here is the ‘dirt’ about the Manassas Park Community Center Teen Garden

Teens want to be independent, and parents of teens may feel like they are in a constant tug of war for control! Parents of teenagers agree that teenage years present several unique challenges. However, there is one constant where parents of teenagers agree, and that constant is when you keep teens busy, they seem happier. So how do you get teens to become more involved in activities while they continue to stay busy with activities in their daily lives?

Luckily, the Teen Passport program at the Manassas Park Community Center is a place where Manassas Park teenagers can come after school, weekends, and throughout the summer. The emphasis is on recreation with creative programs and materials to encourage teen (grades 6-12) participation in many diverse activities including cooking club, drop-in basketball, and group activities. (more…)

Here’s why Manassas Park resident Vivian Ward had a Mother’s Day she’ll never forget

Did you hear about the Mother’s Day Makeover and Contest sponsored by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation?

This really is one of the most amazing programs held at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC). If you have not heard about the FREE Mother’s Day Makeover and Contest, let me take a moment to tell you all the details.

First, you need to write a short paragraph about what your mother means to you and your family and enter it into the contest. Contest entries were accepted online or at the Community Center throughout the month of April. After going through all the entries, the MPCC staff chose a winner!

“Each person who entered our contest had a compelling reason and we truly appreciated that as we read each entry and decided the winner,” explained Jason Shriner, Marketing Manager, “Our contest winner received generous gifts and services from local business owners who donated their time or their products to help make the winning mother truly feel special.”

“I am so proud to share all the participating vendors including Yellow Cab of Prince William who provided sedan service for the makeover winner, hair styling by Jaisyn Markley at PR at Partners, expert make-up by Niki Kalfamanolis at PR at Partners, a manicure and pedicure from Pretty Nails in Manassas Park, and a clothing item of her choice from DeeDee of LulaRoe,” said Shriner.

In addition, the winning mother received a balloon sculpture from Nani’s etc., flowers by Montejo’s Florist, digital photos from Carol Fleurette Photography, a catered meal from Heart 2 Heart Catering, a gift basket and Paparazzi Jewelry from Lisa Briones, and three free months of membership toward an annual membership at the Manassas Park Community Center.

This year’s Mother’s Day Makeover Contest winner was Manassas Park resident Vivian Ward. Her daughter Myra Ward Lilly submitted her for the contest.

“Each week, I get the Weekl-e which highlights events at the Community Center on my phone. I saw the contest, clicked on it, wrote my feelings, and clicked to enter,” Lilly said, “It was so easy to enter, and I can’t believe how much we won.”

“I never imagined I would win something like this, and here I am!” exclaimed Ward as she showed off her new manicure. “I never wear make-up, but I love what they did for me, and do not get me started about my hair! That young man is a magician and he made my hair look beyond amazing,” Ward giggled as she patted her hair.

“I can’t put into words how special I feel,” said Ward, “I never expected so much, but that sedan just kept taking us from place to place, and all I had to do was to get up early, and get myself over to the Community Center. I was so nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but the day was just beautiful.”

After Ward and her family returned to the Community Center, there was a big reveal. The winning family ate a gourmet lunch of grilled salmon, sesame noodles, and a vegetable medley catered by Heart 2 Heart Catering.

In addition, Safari Bingo and Sweet Pickle the Ballonatic Clown made giant bubbles and created balloon figures. Everyone had their faces painted by Elaine Jenkins of Dabbledy Doo, enjoyed free cookies and hot tea while making free Mother’s Day cards and photo frames for the photos taken at the photo booth!

Dimitris Ward, grandson of the Mother’s Day Makeover winner, enjoyed watching his family participate in all the events.

“Everyone has been so nice and treated my grandmother with such kindness. We can never thank you all enough for what you did today,” he exclaimed.

“I am still taking it all in. My family and I are thrilled and will always remember what happened here today,” Ward said.

Look for this contest again in April 2018 and enter your mother! Entering the contest is easy. You may even get the chance to make your mother feel as special as Mrs. Ward and her family felt this year!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, and 29 special events and programs–many of which are FREE! For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Nominate your mother for the Manassas Park Community Center 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Makeover Contest

How many ways can you tell your mother how much she means to you and pamper her at the same time? It is not as hard as you may think. All you need to do is to enter your mom in the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) Mother’s Day Makeover Contest! The winning mother will receive the following gifts and services:
•Transportation to participating vendors courtesy of Yellow Cab Company
•Expert hair styling by Jaisyn Markley at PR at Partners
•Expert makeup by Niki Kalfamanolis at PR at Partners
•Manicure and pedicure from Pretty Nails in Manassas Park
•A clothing item of her choice from DeeDee of LulaRoe
•A balloon sculpture from Nani’s
•Flowers by Montejo’s Florist
•Digital photos from Carol Fleurette Photography
•A catered meal from Heart 2 Heart Catering
•Cookies from Bijou’s Sweet Treats
•A jewelry item of her choice from Lisa Briones of Paparazzi
•A gift basket by Lisa Marie
•3 free months of membership toward an annual membership at the Manassas Park Community Center
Each of these generous business owners is donating either their time or their products to help the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) staff truly make your mother feel extra special this Mother’s Day!
Then on May 13, from 12:30 pm. – 2 p.m., join us for the big reveal and the announcement of the contest winner at the MPCC! There will be fun for everyone and activities for the kids!
There will also be a photo booth! For $5 per photo, you can capture a great photo of mom and her family. Then, after you have your photo taken at the photo booth, you can decorate a free picture frame! What a great complement to that photo booth portrait!
The kids will love the clowns Safari Bingo and Sweet Pickle the Ballonatic Clown as they make giant bubbles, create balloon figures, and play with puppets! Kids can have their faces painted by Elaine Jenkins of Dabbledy Doo, and can make a free Mother’s Day card at our cardmaking station!
Click here to nominate your mother before the April 28 deadline! Then plan to attend all the fun on May 13 from 12:30pm-2:20pm! 

Discover the area’s best-kept secret when planning your wedding

You’ve heard it before: planning a wedding can be expensive. According to, the average cost of a wedding is $26,645. Most couples plan to spend less than $10,000 for their big day, but the cost of everything associated with planning weddings adds up – and guess what, this price does NOT include the cost of the honeymoon!

So what money saving tips are out there for couples on a budget? How can they keep costs down and quality high? In other words, are there any corners you can cut while providing a top-notch, well presented, beautiful day for yourselves, your friends, and your families?

“After looking at between 15 and 20 venues, we chose the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) Banquet Hall because the price was good,” says newlywed Anna Sandara. “The MPCC Banquet Hall fit into our budget, and although there was a limited amount of reviews on renting the Banquet Hall, we took a chance, and boy am I happy we did,” Sandra exclaimed.

“I really think the Manassas Park Community Center Banquet Hall is the best kept secret in our area,” stated Sandara, “Couples planning a wedding should really check it out because they will be pleasantly surprised just like we were.”

When you rent the MPCC Banquet Hall space, the price also includes access to a caterer’s kitchen and pre-function and patio areas.   (more…)

Five ways Manassas Park Parks and Recreation staff stay motivated to workout

To many of us, the new year is an excuse to finally get motivated to work out and lose weight. Working out regularly is easier said than done because, for so many of us, it’s incredibly difficult to get, and then keep, the motivation to continue working out.

Here are some helpful hints from the Department of Parks and Recreation staff at the Manassas Park Community Center in regards to getting past the intimidation of working out, finding the motivation to work out, and keeping that motivation!

1. Set a goal to inspire you and keep you motivated

Whether you’re trying to advance professionally or looking to start working out, having clear goals help you stay focused and motivated especially during periods where you feel like you’ve plateaued. Operations/Aquatics Supervisor Sarah Barnett says even though she began working out as a student, she finds it harder and harder to stay motivated as a mom with a full-time job.

“I attended college on a running scholarship and felt like I was sort of getting paid to run,” she shares, “But now I find the best way to stay motivated is to sign up for a race or a marathon, and that forces me to stay motivated.”

Stay on task by setting clear goals using the SMART system; goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Getting ready for your first 5K easily follows the SMART system and can help propel you to setting more SMART goals.

2. Find someone to keep you accountable

Having a friend or hiring a personal trainer can really help you get the most out of your workouts. They can help ensure you’re using proper form, inspire you to try a new exercise, and help motivate you to steadily and safely push yourself to get you closer to your goal. One of the most important advantages of working out with somebody is that they can help keep you focused.

“I need an accountability partner as a motivator so I work out with a trainer,” says Jacqueline Tyre-Perry, Recreation Specialist for School Age Programs. Tyre-Perry knows she will be tempted to take shortcuts if she does not have that extra person tracking her progress. “Seeing results also motivates me, but the best motivator for me is definitely a trainer. When they say, ‘Give me five more reps!’ you know they’re pushing you while cheering you on.”

3. Work out in a group setting to motivate you to keep coming back

Working out with friends isn’t only great for accountability, but it makes the gym and working out fun instead of a chore. Park Manager AJ Tibbs says he began working out a couple of years ago because he wanted to get healthier, but now he likes going to the gym because he has tons of friends there.

“Now, working out has become a hobby for me,” Tibbs says, Life is too short, you really got to have fun while you can. I love going to the gym because I like to socialize there while I work out with weights.”

Marketing Manager Jason Shriner says he never worked out when he was younger. A former baker, he remembers watching a video by one of his food idols Michael Pollan where Pollan suggested to eat what you want, but make it yourself. Following this rule will keep you from overindulging (french fries take a lot of effort to make!) but you will also know exactly what you are eating.

However, he realized that eating healthy isn’t enough to have a healthy lifestyle. He remembers hearing a story on the radio where a 30-year-old nurse had a heart attack. “When I heard that story, I was about two years from turning 30, and I thought to myself, ‘If a nurse has a heart attack, what chance does a baker have?’” Shriner recalls. 

He started working out on his own at a gym, but he really started to love working out when he took boot camp at the Community Center – his first group exercise class. 

“I like working out in a group setting like boot camp because you never feel alone. Everybody is giving their all right next to you! Honestly, some of my favorite times are when the instructor does the craziest exercise, and we all just start laughing because we think it’s impossible – but then we try it together and succeed!”

4. Use working out as a chance to recharge your mind

Study after study has shown that exercise can help improve your mood as well as provides a myriad of mental benefits. When you’ve had a really stressful day, it can be really satisfying to channel that frustration in a healthy way by lifting weights.

When I work out, I like to be alone so I can just think,” says Jay Swisher, City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks recreation director. Swisher began working out as a school athlete to compete on the field, to be more competitive, and to enhance his sports abilities. “This led to a real interest in fitness and nutrition, which I studied in college. My interest in working out began as physical, but as I have grown older, my interest has become more mental as I use working out as my excuse to decompress and de-stress.”

To get the most mental benefit out of your workout, find a routine and a setting that works for you. Try jogging through a park, such as Signal Hill Park, to take in all the beautiful green scenery and sunshine. Once you find that perfect mix of scenery, routine, and music, you’ll naturally be drawn to working out.

5. Track your workout to measure your progress and use technology to help keep you accountable

When you start working out over several months, it’s easy to lose track of how much weight you’ve been lifting or how long you’ve been running three miles. Using a notetaking or fitness app on your smartphone can help keep you on target with your fitness goals. When you notice you haven’t increased your weights in three weeks, it could motivate you to add an extra five pounds.

Speaking of technology, if you prefer working out on your own getting a fitness device can also help you stay motivated. 

“My Apple watch was a Christmas gift from 2015, and it came with an app to help you track your workouts,” says Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor. “The watch buzzed everyday reminding me to exercise. All those buzzes finally took their toll, and finally, on February 8th, I began running,” she said.

Reminders aren’t the only feature you can expect from fitness devices. Apps can also help you keep track of health metrics such as heart rate, exercise frequency, and calories consumed. Plus, the app can make sure you achieve your daily goals. 

“The app gives you completed circles each day you complete your workout. I have met my current fitness goal, but I still like seeing those completed circles on my watch. In fact, those completed circles keep me motivated to continue working out,” Powell explained.

Once you begin working out, you will find your own reasons to stay motivated just as the some of the staff members at Parks and Recreation have. We wish you much success with your fitness goals, and remember the Manassas Park Community Center offers group exercise classes such as Zumba or boot camp as well as qualified and certified personal fitness trainers to help you meet all of your fitness needs. Here’s to a healthy 2017!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. 

For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Celebrate the Holidays here at the Manassas Park Community Center

The bright red, orange, and yellow leaves are falling off the trees, and the days are growing shorter and shorter. There is a chill in the air as fall decorations are taken down to be replaced by holiday decorations. Most of us have already seen holiday decorations in the stores.

You know, the holiday decorations you pretend you don’t see before Halloween, and well, before we know it, we will be in full holiday mode.

Instead of stressing about the holidays, why not plan to join us here at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) for a variety of holiday events and programs.

The holiday fun begins here at the Community Center on Thursday, December 1, from 7 pm – 8:30 pm for the Dough Ornament Workshop.  Plan to be here to decorate and take home your own dough ornament. The staff at MPCC will supply all the materials; you supply all the creativity! Register for the workshop – it’s only $3 per ornament!

On Thursday, December 8th from 7 pm – 8:30 pm, the MPCC will be hosting our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party. We will have fun building and decorating with lots of sweet treats. Families will need to pre-register at least three days in advance! The cost for this event is just $5 per gingerbread kit.

Then on Saturday, December 10th at 5:45 pm, we will have our annual Light Parade. This amazing display of lights on wheels will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Our annual parade of lights is a crowd favorite among residents living in Manassas Park and surrounding areas.

Residents decorate their cars with festive holiday themes, and as the sun sets, the lights on the cars glow and the parade begins. The cost to participate is only $10 per car. The parade starts at the Carondelet Drive intersection and ends at the Manassas Park Community Center. Participants are still needed; please contact Kaitlyn Collier if you would like to participate.

And, this year, we are announcing something new: It’s our first annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration. It will immediately follow the Light Parade. At the Tree Lighting, there will be pictures with Santa, pictures with snow princesses, kid’s activities, and light refreshments for all who attend.

And the best part of this event is that it is absolutely FREE to attend. The MPCC staff is so excited to present this additional event and are hoping the weather cooperates! No ice or snow, please!

The following Saturday, December 17 from 9am-11am, bring the kids to the Community Center for Breakfast with Santa! There will be pancakes, photos, games, crafts, and lots of fun. Children of all ages are invited, and the cost is just $5 per person. Children under the age of 2 are included in their parent’s registration.

Later that same day (December 17) from 11:30 am-12:30 pm is Santa Paws where you can bring your puppy for pictures with Santa! It only costs $5 per pup!

You will have to enter through the patio located behind the Community Center. Don’t worry; there will be signs up directing you and your furry friends so that you won’t miss the fun.

With all of these fantastic holiday events scheduled here at the Manassas Park Community Center, let us handle the stress while you get into the holiday spirit. We’re looking forward to seeing you at Manassas Park Community Center throughout the month of December.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, Va.

Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Introducing corporate and non-profit rental packages at Manassas Park Community Center

As you begin planning for your corporate holiday party, you ask yourself several questions: Will there be a dress code? What kind of food will be served? Will there be a theme? It seems like the list is endless! After all, most businesses do not have professional party planners, so for the person who actually plans the holiday party, the task can feel daunting.

Luckily there is an easy solution – and it is conveniently located right in Manassas Park. The Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) is ready to meet all of your special event needs with its spacious banquet hall and numerous meeting rooms available to rent.

Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor at MPCC says she is the concierge for the venue of endless possibilities.

“We really make it easy to rent space here. From our clean facilities, to our knowledge of area vendors, we can help you make your corporate or non-profit holiday party or event the best one yet,” Powell said.

“We hope you notice the extra efforts we put forth to maintain a clean, safe, and professional atmosphere,” she added,In addition, one of my favorite features that sets us apart from other venues in the area, are our knowledgeable instructors who can help you develop teambuilding exercises as part of your event.

There are several banquet hall rental packages designed to complement your company’s specific needs.

“A few years ago, a sorority rented the facility and wanted a dance floor, so we worked with them to provide one, and now a dance floor is part of the packages offered here,” Powell said.

“One of the first things I tell people who are interested in renting space at MPCC is to make a timeline. The details will be the difference between a good event and a great event, and we will work with you to make sure you stay on top of the little details so that you have a great corporate event here,” she added.

There are three separate corporate and non-profit rental banquet hall packages at MPCC to maximize your company’s needs.

The first package is called The Formal Piece where your company would rent the full banquet hall for four hours. It’s the perfect package for holiday parties, training, and large luncheons. The banquet hall seats 230 people and includes the caterer’s kitchen and the pre-function area.

The second package is called Smart Casualand includes half the banquet hall, caterer’s kitchen, and pre-function area for six hours. Half the banquet hall provides seating for 115 people. You also get a wireless mic, projector, and a podium making this package perfect for half-day conferences, lunch-and-learns, or training.

This “Smart Casual” package is perfect for holiday parties and events where you want to announce or call attention to staff who have exceeded your expectations. “This is the package businesses use when they want to take advantage of our instructor’s team building exercises,” Powell further pointed out.

The third package is calledArgyle Style where you would rent the full banquet hall for four hours, and is great for holiday parties, celebrations, or casual events allowing for your company’s fun side.

“This plan includes a dance floor and activity tables and was added after the sorority’s event I mentioned earlier,” Powell stated.

The Argyle Style package is perfect for company parties where the employees’ spouses and families are invited, as it includes a 12’ X 12’ dance floor, seating for 230 people, caterer’s kitchen, and pre-function area.

The caterer’s kitchen, included in all three packages, is 1,082 square feet with a six-burner gas range, convection ovens, warming ovens, ice machines, and stainless steel tables. There are several add-ons available for each of the packages including additional hours, childcare for up to 30 children, alcohol onsite, and audio-visual amenities.

Drum roll please!

This year, MPCC is introducing a new Non-Profit Scholarship.

“There are so many excellent non-profit organizations in the area who do not have the budget for renting a large space, so we thought why not help those who help others by providing the rental space and offer a specific Non-Profit Scholarship to help pay for that space,” Powell said.

If you know of a non-profit looking for space for their annual gala or fundraiser, please let them know about this scholarship,” she added.

Renting banquet space at the Manassas Park Community Center is the best solution for area companies who are looking for that perfect venue for a fun corporate event where all of the people involved will mingle actively during the company’s holiday celebration. In addition to the banquet hall packages, there are also multi-purpose room and conference room options presenting affordable solutions for smaller organizations. If your company is looking for a one- or two-day retreat, there is also a package that takes advantage of the facility’s robust recreational amenities

“We have the perfect space to suit any company or corporate event you are planning,” Powell summarized. Call the Manassas Park Community Center today at 703-335-8872 and ask for Amelia Powell, your concierge for the venue with endless possibilities.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Join in on the Pickleball sensation at the Manassas Park Community Center

Football may be the sport everyone is talking about on any given Sunday. But, on any given Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m., the sport were talking about (and playing) is Pickleball.

Stop by the Manassas Park Community Center during these times, and you’ll see a group of dedicated Pickleball players tearing it up. This is a sport whose popularity is skyrocketing-not only here at the Community Center, but everywhere.

Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It is played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-size court with a modified tennis net. It is played with a plastic paddle and a plastic ball (similar to a whiffle ball), and is played as doubles or singles.

Pickleball was accidentally invented in the mid-1960s by three families who were actually trying to play badminton, but they could not find the shuttlecock or a full set of racquets. So they combined parts of tennis, parts of badminton, and parts of ping pong, and joked the sport was created with the leftovers of these sports.

This reminded them of pickle boats because pickle boats are manned with the leftovers of other boats. Pickle boats became Pickleball.

Now that you have a little history of the game of Pickleball, you need to try it. Consider joining the Pickleball group that plays every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Manassas Park Community Center.

“Our group plays to have fun; we really aren’t very competitive,” explained Bonnie Ballentine, a retired teacher who has become the unofficial spokesperson for the Pickleball group at the Community Center.

Her friend, and Pickleball teammate, Judy Nevitt, also a retired teacher added, “The game of Pickleball can progress very quickly, but initially, you just want the basics, the strategies will come later.”

Pickleball can be played competitively; in fact, almost every state has a state senior game, and here in Northern Virginia, we have the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics,” explained Ms. Ballentine.

Both ladies pointed out that the Community Center provides paddles which the ladies admitted are good for beginners.

“We encourage all new players to try the beginner’s paddles provided by the Community Center. Our group will also offer our own racquets so that new players can see which they prefer, then we introduce the basics of the game,” Ballentine explained.

Really, the best way to play Pickleball is to get out there and learn as you go,” she added, “The rules are kind of quirky and we find it easier for people to understand the rules if they learn the rules as they progress.”

Pickleball isn’t just about the game. As you play week after week, you build bonds and make new friends.

“We play three times a week—it’s a steady thing. Our group is so nice, and we love playing so much that we even have a back-up plan if we can’t play here at the Community Center, Ballentine shared.

We also get together socially at least four times a year for lunches and to celebrate the holidays,” Ms. Nevitt added.

“We really are a dedicated group,” Ms. Nevitt emphasized, “One of our group members was stiff with arthritis and had a hard time moving when he first started playing. But slowly, he began to progress, and now we tease him that the more he plays, the better he moves.”

“Sometimes, when you look in the gym, depending upon which of our Pickleball players is there, we look like we are held together with Velcro,” Ballentine laughed. “I’ve got bad knees, Judy also has bad knees, but it doesn’t matter because we are staying active and having a great time.”

Nothing stops the Manassas Park Community Center Pickleball group from playing their game!

“We have a good time and we laugh a lot,” agreed Ms. Ballentine and Ms. Nevitt.

“We like to introduce people of all ages to our favorite game,” Ms. Ballentine pointed out, “Once, when we were playing outside, a teenager heard us playing and laughing and came over to see what all the fuss was about. He was there watching a baseball tournament, but ended up playing Pickleball with us!”

You will enjoy it too, just stop by the Manassas Park Community Center on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 to 10 a.m.  and join the Pickleball enthusiasts who welcome all who want to play their favorite sport. Also check out the guided instructional programs such as Introduction to Pickleball which is currently on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, Va. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

This post is written and paid for by Manassas Park Community Center.

Pride and dedication: What the Olympics mean to us at Manassas Park Parks and Recreation

Manassas Park Community Center

Have you been watching the Olympics in Rio on TV? Have you lost track of just how many gold medals Michael Phelps has won? (To date, he has won 32 gold medals!)

You hear the same type of stories about the Olympic athletes during every Olympics—the sacrifice, the dedication, the perseverance, and the never-ending support of friends, family, and countrymen to enable the Olympic athletes to perform at the highest levels as the world watches.

The official symbol of the Olympics are the five interlocking colored rings, representing the continents of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. So when you hear an announcer exclaim that the world is watching, it is a safe bet that the world IS watching the Olympics!

Watching the Olympics really does get you excited about sports, and the Parks and Recreation staff at the Manassas Park Community Center is excited about the Olympics too. Here’s what some of the staff said when asked what the Olympics means to them:

Sue Jurjevic, Senior Recreation Specialist, says, “I am always impressed by the gifts and talents of the athletes, and I do believe that their commitment to their sport does show when they compete.

Tony Thomas, Recreation Services Supervisor, says, “To me, it means pride and dedication. The amount of pride you feel for your country competing in athletics is exhilarating. And I chose dedication because the athletes train year-round, for almost their entire lives to compete at this level. The Olympics also brings a sense of togetherness. Regardless of cultural differences or political views, most Americans put that to the side and cheer on the athletes representing our country!”

Sarah Barnett, Operations,and Aquatics Manager says, As I have gotten older, I have found that my taste in Olympic sports has broadened to not only Track and Gymnastics but also to Swimming and Diving. This past week, I have been glued to the TV at 8 p.m. to watch the gymnastics and swimming competitions. I made watching the Olympics a family affair and even allowed my young daughters to stay up past their bedtimes to watch. My oldest daughter loves watching swimming while cheering on Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky. Meanwhile, my youngest is already begging me to put her in Soccer AND gymnastics! I am not surprised that my girls would fall in love with sports by watching the Olympics. I fell in love with Gymnastics as a child by watching the Olympics.”

Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor, says, “I’ve been staying up until midnight watching the Olympics because I am hooked on cheering for our athletes. I love it all and I admire the athletes so much. They work so hard training their whole lives for these games, and it gives me such pride in our country that there is no way I can turn my TV off when the Olympics are on!”

Annette Starr, an Administrative Assistant, says, “Every time the Olympics comes around I love to watch it. It’s like a ‘coffee break’ from all the other things going on in the news. And when I watch it I always come away wanting to try a new sport. Like the first time I saw the rowing team, I wanted to try rowing. And believe it or not, I actually tried running (although not at these outstanding athlete’s levels). Some of the others sports that peaked my interest: bicycling, swimming, volleyball, archery, and (this year) air rifle. Once you try these different sports you realize how talented and hardworking these athletes are. So when I see them up on the stand receiving their well-earned medals, I certainly feel proud and in awe of their accomplishments.”

Maria Bosack, Writer/Content Specialist, says, “One of the girls in my neighborhood was such a good swimmer that her family moved to Florida so she could train with a famous coach in the hopes of making the Olympic team. Every family in our neighborhood was glued to their TV’s when she competed. We screamed so loudly with pure adoration and delight hoping she could hear us! She never won a medal, but to us, that didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered is that she was there, she competed, she persevered, she made it to the Olympics! I will NEVER stop cheering for the American teams in the Olympics.”

What would you say that the Olympics mean to you? 

Would you respond like the Parks and Recreation staff at the community center did? The staff really admired the athletes, were excited to see the intense level of competition and felt proud to be American—and that is exactly what the Olympics guiding principle is a quote by Baron de Coubertin: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

Thank you to our U.S. Olympic athletes who have fought hard and have won making us so very proud.

Kids and parents who are exposed to swimming and other sports they have fallen in love with while watching the Olympics will find athletic programs and classes that they can participate in at the Manassas Park Community Center. There are swim lessons, beginner gymnastics classes, sports conditioning, sports leagues including basketball, and so much more. There are athletic programs available for all ages and skill levels, just give us a call for more information!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703.335.8872.

Manassas Park Community Center Fall Program Preview!

How can you find out about the great programs and classes offered at the Manassas Park Community Center?

Well, you can check out the Fall 2016 Manassas Park MOSAIC available August 15! it’s the best way to find out about the fantastic programs offered at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC). Some of our classes and programs are brand new, while others are back by popular demand because they are patron favorites.

Why use the term MOSAIC instead of the word directory?

The word mosaic refers to a picture or pattern produced by arranging together small colored pieces of hard material, such as stone, tile, or glass. The MOSAIC lists all the programs and classes offered at MPCC for all ages. There are sports leagues for kids (ages preschool to teen), swim lessons, American Sign language classes for adults, therapeutic programs, and programs especially for seniors. All of the classes and programs offered combine to produce a large picture (a mosaic) of a community interacting, learning, and having fun at the Community Center.

If you haven’t been to the Manassas Park Community Center, it really is worth the trip. Whether you walk or drive, as you approach the Community Center, you will notice several baseball fields, corn hole structures, basketball hoops, picnic tables, and a dog park. There are colorful, fresh flowers planted outside the main entrance, and there is more than ample parking for all guests.

Once inside, you are immediately greeted by friendly staff members who will direct you to the program you are signed up for. And if you haven’t signed up yet, they will be more than happy to assist you!

Do you like Zumba classes? Our Zumba classes have been so popular, starting in the fall there will be Zumba classes offered for all age levels! Zumba Jr. (ages 4-6) and Zumba Kids (ages 7-11) start 9/9.

What about a cooking class? Even better, a cooking class for kids? Well the MPCC has new cooking classes for school age kids and even preschoolers! Lil Sprouts Cooking Class (ages 3-5) and Lil Sprouts Just a Taste (Kindergarten – 8 years old) start 9/12.

What else is new? We’ll have a ballet class for preschoolers, journaling and breakdance classes for teens, and a co-ed volleyball league and pickleball class for adults and seniors! Be sure to check the MOSAIC on the 15th for more details, cost, dates, and times.

Don’t forget to check out our popular fall special events! Take a look in the MOSAIC (right next to the program index) for the exciting events coming up at the Community Center.

Fall yard sale

The fall yard sale is scheduled on Saturday, September 17 from 8:00 am-12:30 pm. There is no cost to check out one of the busiest yard sales in the area. Individuals who want to sell their treasures can bring their items to this annual bargain hunter’s paradise. Vendor space is available for only $7 and vendors must pre-register by September 16th. Space goes quickly so be sure to come register at the Manassas Park Community Center as early as next week!

The Fall Arts & Crafts Festival

The Fall Arts & Crafts Festival will be held on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00am-3:00 pm. This festival is free to attend, but if you want to reserve a table, it will cost $20.00 per space. Since space for this popular event is limited, please contact Kaitlyn Collier to reserve your space starting next week at You will find lots of handcrafted, one-of-a-kind arts, crafts, antiques, décor, and jewelry for any budget or style.

Floating Gourd Night

On Friday, October 21 from 7:00pm-8:30pm, there is a truly amazing program that kids always love. It is the Floating Gourd Night! MPCC staff has added some fun to pumpkin picking by creating a pumpkin patch right in the indoor pool. After some swim time, kids can decorate the gourds – talk about some unique and amazing holiday decorations! This event only costs $5 per person.

Trunk or Treat

How does the MPCC celebrate Halloween? Well, come to the Trunk or Treat event on October 31 and you will see ghosts, monsters, superheroes, and princesses’ trick or treating! Decorated vehicles will line the parking lot with their trunks open and hand out candy to all the trick or treaters from 5:30-7:30pm. There is no cost to attend—it’s totally free for both kids and the volunteers who want to hand out candy. It’s a safe and fun where to celebrate Halloween!

As you think about the rich, descriptive word mosaic, you realize that the word more than adequately describes all the amazing programs happening this fall at the Manassas Park Community Center. Be sure to grab your copy of the Manassas Park Community Center Fall 2016 Mosaic on August 15 and sign up for a class!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

The Kids Triathlon at the Manassas Park Community Center is Much More Than Just a Race

A triathlon is defined as the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines. While many variations of the sport exist, a triathlon, in its most popular form, involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances.

Ask anyone who likes to participate in a triathlon why they like them and they’ll tell you triathlons are great way to stay in shape. As a bonus, you can compare your completion times against other participants and against yourself to attain your personal best time.

On August 13 at 8:30 a.m. at the Manassas Park Community Center, kids between the ages of 8 and 12 can participate in the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation triathlon which is held rain or shine!

“Of course if the weather is raining like it did on July 4th, we might have to reconsider,” joked Recreation Services Supervisor, Tony Thomas. “All kidding aside, this triathlon is a great event for kids because it allows kids who have never competed before to get out there and actually compete. For kids who have completed a triathlon, they can compare their times and use this experience for their next triathlon,” he added.

Participants are separated into two groups based on age: the 8 and 9-year-old children form the first group, and the 10-12-year-olds form the second group.

“These groups compete together, which makes everything go smoother,” said Thomas. “The participants begin and end the race at the same place so that their parents and friends can cheer them on at the beginning and again at the end of the race. We have lifeguards in the pool and course marshals set up throughout the course. Plus, we will have lots of volunteers handing out water to keep all the participants hydrated.”

The order of events at this year’s triathlon is swimming, cycling, and running.

“We start in the pool where the younger kids swim one 50-meter lap. The older kids swim two laps or 100 meters. After that they ride their bikes. The younger kids, ages 8 and 9 will ride 1 ½ miles, and the kids ages 10-12 will ride for 3 miles. For the last event the kids will run. Ages 8 and 9 will run ½ mile and ages 10-12 will run 1 mile.

I want to emphasize that if a kid doesn’t finish the race, it isn’t the end of the world,” Thomas pointed out, “We are far more interested in providing safe place for the kids to have fun and to shoot for their personal best than to have an ultra-competitive forum that turns kids off to competitive sports.

“Last year, there was a kid who was really pushing himself to finish the race. He was walking – instead of running – at the end of the race. It was obvious that this kid was really pushing himself, and the other kids ended up cheering him on so that he would actually finish the race,” said Kaitlyn Collier, Special Events Coordinator Assistant.

“It was so great to see because while a triathlon is competitive, the kids came together as a group for this one participant,” she added. “It really was special.”

At the end of the race is an arch donated by Amazing Race Timing. As the participants from both age groups cross the finish line, their times are called.

“We call times for each participant. It usually takes anywhere from 35-120 minutes from start to finish, and the younger kids usually finish last, but they all really want to hear their times,” said Thomas. A participant can ask that their time not be called out loud prior to the start of the triathlon.

“This is our fourth consecutive year hosting the kids triathlon, and we have kids come every year to compete from all over,” said Collier. “Last year, kids came from Virginia Beach, DC, Herndon, and Fairfax.”

Each participant receives a race day bag which contains healthy snacks, a t-shirt, sponsor coupons including free passes to the MPCC and Signal Bay Waterpark. “If it is really hot outside, participants are invited inside the air-conditioned Community Center to cool down,” said Collier.

“Don’t let the word triathlon scare you away; instead, use this experience to have fun and shoot for your personal best,” said Thomas, “That’s what this day is all about, competing, doing your best, having fun and maybe even meeting some new friends.

Last year, the best overall time was 33 minutes. Do you think you can beat that time? Come compete in the Manassas Park Community Center triathlon on Saturday, August 13th at 8:30 am and find out! The registration fee is only $25 and can be done online by clicking here.

For more information and for updates click here to check out the MPCC Triathlon Facebook page. You can also contact Kaitlyn Collier directly at

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

This promoted post is paid for by the Manassas Park Community Center.

The Manassas Park Community Center gears up for another great year of their Youth Basketball League

Right now, it is hot outside with temperatures reaching into the high 90s. But in a few months, these hot temperatures will be just a memory as we begin gearing up for the fall and winter seasons. At the Manassas Park Community Center, winter is synonymous with the Community Center’s Youth Basketball League, formerly called Biddy Ball league!

What separates this league from others in our area? Mike Arrington, Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation League Director and Athletics Recreation Specialist says it is a combination of the electric atmosphere, intense games, and the passion of everyone involved to create a memorable experience.

“When I tell the kids to have fun, I really mean it,” Mr. Arrington said while smiling. “We are very hands on. Practices are weekly and games are on Saturdays, and either I or a member of my team, is there each Saturday watching the games, checking out the referees, and keeping everyone happy,” he added.

Keeping everyone happy begins the minute participants sign up for the league. Mr. Arrington pointed out that this league is, by far, the best value in the area. If families have a Community Center All-Access Passport membership, the price is only $45. Residents pay $80 and non-residents pay $90. This price includes an officially licensed, replica NBA jerseys which participants keep after the season has ended.

“We have people coming back year after year because they like the way the league is organized, and that tells me we are doing our job! Our league is developmental; we are providing a fun place where kids really learn how to play the game of basketball, and they have fun,” Arrington added.

Participants and their parent must attend an assessment night. It is during this time that coaches and staff look at each participant to determine their skill levels.  “The kids usually fall into one of three categories and are placed accordingly,” Mr. Arrington explained, “From there, we have a draft. Every effort is made to keep the draft fair and the teams as balanced as possible. It doesn’t benefit the players or the league if the teams are not balanced.”

There are no more than 10 kids on a team which means that every child plays. “We don’t have any king or queen benchwarmers in our program,” emphasized Arrington, “Each coach is on an honor system and usually has an assistant coach or a team mom or dad monitor the playing time of each player on the team.”

“We also bring back the same referees each year because they are consistent. They will stop and explain their calls to our youngest or to our newest players so that the players learn from their mistakes.” Arrington finds this level of interaction from coaches, parents, and referees encouraging and representative of the values he believes the program embodies. Good sportsmanship is a quality that can never be overemphasized.

Coaches are required to attend a mandatory meeting outlining all the rules and regulations. Coaches provide the framework for the league. All coaches are encouraged to let the kids play while learning the fundamentals and the game of basketball. “Just like in the professional NBA, all teams are not winning teams,” Arrington pointed out, “The kids learn how to handle losing as well as learning what it means to win. Learning from mistakes and not always winning certainly are life skills our kids will always use.”

Parents and coaches must sign a Code of Conduct where they agree not to interfere with the learning process. “Our parents are super-involved, and during the games, the gym is rocking,” said Arrington.
“Unfortunately, sometimes a bad call can bring out another side of the parents,” he added. “We understand how emotionally vested our parents are, and, as a last resort, have escorted a parent out of the building,” he admitted, “But that behavior is not the norm.”  

Parents and fans get so involved in the games because they see their kids’ teams progress and get better each week. A great way to reward participants who are noticeably progressing is with an All-Star game, which is also part of this league. Coaches poll their parents to determine the best two players on each team and those players play in the All-Star game. “The MVP of the All-Star game is usually the most well-rounded player,” said Arrington, “We’re looking for the player who is passing, assisting, making defense moves, and encouraging his/her teammates,” he added.

After the regular season ends, each team participates in the playoffs. It is a single elimination playoff where if your team wins, you stay and play another game. If you lose, you go home. The champion team for all the age groups is posted on Facebook and all the kids on the first and second place teams will receive a trophy. The exception is the participants in the 4-5 age group who will receive a certificate of completion.

Participants of all age groups receive a certificate of completion, but Mr. Arrington knows they receive much more than that. They learn teamwork, persistence, and get great exercise too.

“I’m a guy who grew up playing sports – basketball and football to be specific. My dad was hard on us, but my mother honestly was worse! I know what that is like and I am working with my staff to provide a place for kids to have fun and to learn about a game I truly love,” summed up Mr. Arrington.

He isn’t the only one who loves the league at the Manassas Park Community Center. The hundreds of kids who participate and the coaches who teach and guide them come back to play year after year. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Do what you love and have fun too!

Registration for The Manassas Park Youth Basketball League opens August 15th. You can reach Mike Arrington at for more information.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Standing Out: Why Parents Choose Preschool at the Manassas Park Community Center

When parents of preschool age kids are considering where to send their kids to preschool, the big question is: what separates one preschool program from another?

The staff at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC), knows it’s a combination of their experience, knowledge, and love of children that makes their program stand out from all the rest in the area.

“Between Ms. Sue – the Preschool Director, and myself, we have over 18 years’ experience teaching at the preschool level,” said Arely Angel, Lead Preschool Teacher for the MPCC Preschool Program. “As a matter of fact, the first class Ms. Sue taught will be graduating from high school in two years,” she added.

“When our preschool students enter kindergarten, they will be ready,” said Ms. Angel. “We have been told from many kindergarten teachers, being ready for kindergarten means much more than knowing their letters and numbers. Our students have been taught the importance of making good decisions,” she added. “Our focus is to help the students become independent learners, which helps provide the foundation for positive learning,” added Ms. Sue.

By providing an in-house curriculum that references the Virginia Foundation Blocks, as well as emphasizing recreation with creative programs and materials that encourage and invite participation; the students at MPCC preschool are taught how to choose, participate, and to adapt to a variety of settings.

The MPCC preschool program is licensed by the State of Virginia, Department of Social Services. In addition, the preschool program has also received a 3 out of 5-star rating from the Virginia Quality Initiative (VQI) Program. The VQI program recognizes preschool providers for the quality of care provided. “When the staff from VQI observed our programs, they were impressed by the positive learning environment we provide here,” added Ms. Sue.

The preschool program is divided into two separate programs; Seniors (4 and 5 years old) and Juniors (3 years old).

“Communication and relationships with our parents and families is essential to make our programs effective,” said Ms. Angel, “We understand that for a child to be successful in school and life it takes collaboration from all those within the child’s community.”
There is an emphasis on a variety of themes throughout the year, that also includes family activities such as a shared harvest meal at Thanksgiving time, a Holiday Party, and a graduation ceremony for our Seniors at the end of the school year.

“We know our kids are already exposed to gadgets and all sorts of technology,” pointed out Ms. Angel, “So we take a back-to-basics approach where the kids are encouraged to play—just play.” She added, “Providing a block of time for kids to play while supervised allows them to make choices, develop social skills, and improve their small and large motor skills.”

Ask any of the preschoolers what their favorite activities are and you will most likely hear it is the play-dough, blocks, dress-up, and making friends.

To say Ms. Sue and Ms. Angel find being preschool teachers rewarding is an understatement. Being a part of the children’s lives on a daily basis is truly a fulfilling experience. When asked what her most rewarding experience was as a preschool teacher, “It was walking into my very first graduation ceremony. I was all prepared with my speech, my slideshow, everything. I felt completely prepared,” Ms. Angel reminisced. “It wasn’t until I was walking into the room when I realized the children were moving onto their next step in their lives and I wouldn’t get to see them every week anymore. It was a big step – I had such a hard time giving the speech that first time. Ms. Sue had to help me.”

Watching the children return to the Community Center year after year even after graduating the preschool program fills Ms. Sue with a sense of joy and accomplishment.

“The kids will come up to me even as teenagers and ask how I’ve been and we share stories of what’s been going on in our lives,” Ms. Sue expressed, “It really emphasizes that we are a family and a community. Even though we’re not related we’re so tight knit that they remember us. To me, that’s truly symbolic of what our program represents.”

Curious to learn more? We recently interviewed Ms. Angel as part of our “Meet Our Staff” series on our blog. Find out more about Ms. Angel and what brought her to the preschool program here.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Weddings and celebrations are perfect for the Manassas Park Community Center

If you’re planning a big function like a wedding celebration outside, you’ll worry about the possibility of rain.

And if you are planning during the summer months, it will be hot and humid. Everyone will be sweaty, and maybe even a little cranky because of, you know, the whole hot and sweaty thing. It sure doesn’t seem like the ideal setting for a wedding – or any celebration.

However, the beautifully appointed banquet room at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) would be the ideal setting for your celebration. The banquet room at the MPCC offers the kind of versatility that makes it possible for you and for your guests to have a successful and memorable occasion.

And you won’t have to worry about the weather! Or the heat, or the humidity!

There are two wedding packages at the MPCC.

Deluxe Package

The first package, called the Deluxe Package includes the full banquet hall for 8 hours, with seating up to 200 guests, the catering kitchen, a pre-function area where guests can have a happy hour, a 12’ x 12’ dance floor for $2,373 for residents and $3,045 for non-residents. Childcare is available for $250 for 30 children.

“This includes a $500 fully refundable deposit for the full banquet hall or a $250 deposit for the half banquet hall,” said Amelia Powell, Customer Service Supervisor. “Our indoor spaces are on a first come, first serve basis, “she said, “Our only rule is that you need to have the event paid in full 30 days prior to the event date.” She added people can pay monthly, weekly, or pay in a lump sum.

Manassas park Community Center

Manassas park Community Center

Gold Package

The second package is called the Gold Package which includes half the banquet hall for 7 hours, seating for 115 guests, and the catering kitchen for $1,554 for residents and $2,036 for non-residents.

The catering kitchen is available for use with the Banquet hall facilities. The roomy 1,082 square foot kitchen includes a six burner gas range, convection ovens, warming ovens, ice machines, and lots of stainless steel tables for prepping the food. “There is also a loading dock outside the kitchen for loading and unloading. It really makes it easier to unload all the food items right into the kitchen,” added Ms. Powell.

“We have a Preferred Vendor List, so if there is a service you need, we can provide a contact for you,” Powell said. She pointed out that the facility also provides ample parking with a private entrance for you and your guests.

More intimate gatherings

Yes, the big events can be celebrated at the MPCC, but what about other occasions that also need celebrating—like a sweet sixteen party or the celebration of the end of a sports season?

The MPCC also has multi-purpose rooms which are 1,082 feet of air conditioned space and provides seating for 35 people. This is the perfect size for a more intimate gathering and also includes a shared kitchenette space.

Whether you’re having a large wedding or a small intimate affair, you can host it at the MPCC. Give Amelia Powell a call at 703-335-8872. She will be happy to help you plan that one-of-a-kind wedding at the MPCC.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. Rental space is also availability for your event. For more information visit us at, or call at 703-335.-8872.

Meet our personal trainers at Manassas Park Community Center

Summer is here, and you know what that means, it’s time to get your body into summer shape so you look absolutely fabulous in your summer clothes!

Did you know the Manassas Park Community Center has a staff of excellent, qualified and hard-working fitness trainers? Below we’re featuring bios of two of our trainers who can help you obtain and maintain your best summer body ever!

Christina Gallagher is a Personal Fitness Trainer at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC). “I can honestly say all of my work out experience, combined with my love of being healthy, is the key to helping area patrons not only work out correctly but to change their habits and to eat healthy, so they can attain their fitness and health goals.”

“I guess you could say my workout motto is: Do what you like then you will do it–no excuses! Together we will devise a workout plan, and usually, I am right next to you performing the exact same exercises. If you want to work with a small group, that is fine too. I love to work out with my clients because I can constantly monitor their form — no bad habits here!”


MORE: Two main reasons to workout with a trainer at Manassas Park Community Center

Alan Harshaw, is also a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor at the Community Center.

“What can you expect with me as your trainer? After you complete the initial assessment, I will sit down with you to review the big three: strength training, nutrition, and cardio. We will devise a plan where you will incorporate these three things into your daily routine. It won’t take long for you to see results. Those results are important, but it is equally important that you continue to use what we discuss so that you will always maintain a healthy body and a healthy attitude.”

“As a personal trainer, my job will be to train the entire body. After that, we will focus on your problem areas. It is my job to motivate you – and it is your job to perform the work. Remember, anyone can be ordinary, but I will help you become extraordinary. You can reach any goal you desire, and I will be there to motivate you!”

Come see Alan and Christina as well as all of our Personal Trainers at the MPCC, and in no time, you will be singing their praises—and looking good too!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

This promoted post is written by Manassas Park Community Center.

Celebrate the 4th of July with the City of Manassas Park

There are few things that go together better than celebrating July 4th and watching the fireworks display at the Signal Hill Park.

The City of Manassas Park truly offers one of the best fireworks displays in the area.

You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm and in this case, the early bird gets the best seat for viewing the amazing fireworks show! So plan to arrive early, and take the shuttle so you don’t have to worry about parking.

Handicapped only parking will be available on-site at the Signal Bay Water Park for just $5.00 per spot. The handicapped only parking lot will be open after 5 p.m. There is also limited general parking across the street from the entrance to Signal Hill Park. It only costs $5 per spot, and will be available after 5 p.m.

Once the parking area across the street is full, there will be free shuttle buses from City Hall and from VRE directly to Signal Bay Water Park. Those shuttles will begin at 6 p.m.


To ensure that this popular event is safe for the whole the family, MPCC staff will be conducting bag checks as you arrive. Alcohol, glass containers, and outside fireworks (including sparklers) are not permitted inside the park – so please leave those items at home!

The fireworks display begins as soon as it gets dark, so that the dark sky can be the backdrop to the stunning, colorful and sometimes loud, fireworks display. Pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket, lawn chairs, and prepare to view the best July 4th fireworks celebration at the Signal Hill Park!

Signal Hill Park is located at 9300 Signal View Drive in Manassas Park, VA. Maintained by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation the park features one softball field, four multi-use fields, Signal Hill Pavilion, a playground, a tennis court, basketball courts, walking paths, and pond area.

Signal Hill Park is also home to Signal Bay Water Park a 27,000 sqft aquatic facility featuring a zero depth entry leisure pool with water cannons, slides, and lazy river. For more information regarding  Signal Hill Park or Signal Bay Water Park please visit or call at 703-335-8872.

This promoted post was written by Maria Bosack for the Manassas Park Community Center. 

7 reasons to choose sports camps at Manassas Park Community Center

It’s that time of year. Summer camp season is upon us, and the excitement builds up in the household.

I can recall my youth and the constant annoyance I became to my parents to please put me into a summer sports camp. I attended Elite basketball camps in Pittsburgh all the way down to Orlando, Fla. I also participated in sports camps from soccer to football and I met a variety of great coaches and staff.

I developed numerous friendships with other campers whom would later turn out to be some of the same men and women that became star athletes respectively in their sports. (more…)

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