VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Summer Night Lights is an after-hour parks program that runs during the summer months at certain locations in Los Angeles.
On a recent summer night in Van Nuys, kids and families played video games, tossed bean bags and did arts and crafts at Delano Recreation Center. The program is back for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
"We like coming here because every year ... everybody gets together and they do arts and crafts," said parent Anait Etoyan. "It's fun because all the kids get to play together and it is warm outside. And the sun doesn't go down until later, so it's something to do so the kids don't get stuck at home."
The program keeps parks open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at select parks across the city of Los Angeles. Visitors are given free food and can participate in different sports and games like soccer and basketball.
"My parents let us come to the park here and I plan on coming back to the park for the activities," said participant Sydney Mitchell.
"We've done camp here and we do sports here with my two girls. And just having the opportunity to come after dark when it's not 100 degrees and have the kids play, it's kind of a no-brainer," said parent Nick Mitchell.
Not only are kids able to participate in various activities, but they're also able to interact with police officers who are patrolling the area.
"That's part of our mission, to bridge that gap between our communities that we protect and serve. So, that's why we try to implement proactive community engagement in times like this," said Los Angeles Police Sgt. John Han.
"They make me feel very safe. They protect me and they're very chill," said participant Dorian Roman.
The Summer Night Lights program will run until Sept. 2. For a list of parks near your community, go to lagryd.org.
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