The McGaw YMCA invites the community to Healthy Kids Day on April 17, an event that aims to get kids and families excited about health and well-being. The annual event is free and open to everyone, and will feature activities and demonstrations for all ages from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. 

Highlights include a rock climbing wall, bounce house, and the YMCA Camp Echo favorite, “Gaga”— the next evolution of dodgeball, played safely but enthusiastically.  Families can also try kickboxing and Zumba, play tug-o-war, try the high jump, complete a stationary bike challenge, and more. Healthy snacks will be on hand, including samples from Evanston’s Noodles & Company and a granola assembly bar. 

“The Y wants to do everything it can to support families in being active, and a great place to start that is with kids,” Senior Director of Health & Wellness Kim Jass says.  

Sarita Gardner, Health & Wellness Manager, adds, “People have jobs, they are busy, schedules are hectic — we want to show families fun ways they can still be active on a regular basis as well as provide a chance to try some new things that people might not have at home.” 

In support of the active living goals encouraged by the McGaw YMCA, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl will declare the week of April 12 as Healthy Kids Week in Evanston at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 13. Healthy Kids Day is a key event in the implementation of  “Activate America,” the Y’s initiative to support the community in addressing the national problem of childhood obesity and inactive lifestyles.

Northshore University Health System and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois are this year’s Healthy Kids Day sponsors, in honor of McGaw’s 125th Anniversary celebrations. The event will take place in McGaw’s Sebring-Lewis Center at 1000 Grove Street in Evanston. 

For more information about Healthy Kids Day and other McGaw YMCA programs, visit