Fun Bucket set to open in ’09 |

Fun Bucket set to open in ’09

Oak Creek locale a place for games in supervised environment

Melinda Dudley
Darrell Randall, left, and Beverly Halcomb, shown here with her 8-year-old son, Steven, are planning to open The Fun Bucket, a youth teen center, in Oak Creek.
John F. Russell

— When The Fun Bucket opens in Oak Creek early next year, co-owners Darrell Randall and Beverly Halcomb hope their youth center will fill what they perceive as a huge void in their community – safe, supervised after-school activities for South Routt children and teens.

The Fun Bucket got its name from Bucket Park’s namesake bucket on Main Street, after Halcomb’s son Steven was playing there with his friends one day. A stained glass window depicting the bucket has been installed at the youth center and serves as its logo.

“We thought that Oak Creek needed a place for kids to go after school,” said Halcomb, who has worked in child care most of her life.

Other than the Oak Creek Ice Rink during the winter, there are not a whole lot of places for local children and teenagers to congregate, Randall said.

“For kids who don’t do sports and just want to hang out with their friends, they can come here and be supervised,” Halcomb said. “They won’t be making messes, eating everything in the house and getting into trouble.”

The Fun Bucket’s 1,600-square-foot facility on Main Street includes the space formerly occupied by the Paradigm Theater, which closed last winter. The center is not due to open until the first week in February, because Randall still is waiting for the permits for the commercial kitchen to go through.

Much of the fun already has arrived at The Fun Bucket – Xbox controllers sat wrapped in packaging Thursday, next to a mostly assembled pool table and cases of soft drinks.

In addition to high-definition flat screen televisions for movies, satellite TV and video games, The Fun Bucket will have “the classics” such as foosball tables, pinball machines and computers available for use.

“We tried to go with a variety, to have something for everyone from young to old,” Randall said.

Steven Halcomb, 11, did not let a sinus infection stifle his excitement Thursday.

“We’re finally going to have an arcade here in Oak Creek,” Steven said.

As Randall explained his vision for the restaurant area of The Fun Bucket, his eyes lit up when he began to describe the comfort food menu.

“We’ve got 10 different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu,” Randall said. “We should be the most reasonably priced place in town.”

Hourly drop-in will be available for children of all ages, as well as a two-hour after school program Monday through Friday with lower rates. Business hours and charges will be determined closer to opening day.

In cases where private after-school child care has been deemed too expensive, The Fun Bucket’s after-school program could be an affordable option for families, Randall said.

“We used to call ’em latchkey kids 30 years ago,” Randall said. “Since we’ll charge by the hour, it’ll be pretty cheap.”

The facility also will be available for birthday parties and events such as Cub Scout meetings, Randall said.

The Fun Bucket has gotten the blessing of nearby businesses, Randall said, and everyone is optimistic that parent foot traffic will spill over to neighbors like The Mugshot, Storm Mountain Coffee Roasters and Bonfiglio Drug.

“It’ll be fun – we don’t expect 30, 40 kids all at once. It’ll be laid back,” Randall said. “Like most of the businesses on Main Street, we’ll be as busy as what there is for customers.”

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