For this year’s vacation Bible school program, New Hope Community Church in Elizabethtown has decided to change things up by including the whole family. The church currently is hosting Fun With the Son, a three-day program that includes children and their parents in activities.

“This way, they have the opportunity to see why their children get so excited to come to any VBS,” church VBS director Tamra Ammerman said. “The joy of a child is so rewarding and, maybe, for just a moment, adults can feel like a kid again, even if for a short time.”

The program was scheduled to be­gin Thursday with a water park day at American Legion Park in Elizabethtown. Events continue today and Saturday at the church at 34 Dee Street in Elizabethtown.

The program is free and open to child­ren of all ages and their parents or guardians. Attendees do not have to be church members to participate. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is at least 18 years old and no drop-offs are allowed.

Today’s event takes place at 6 p.m. at the church and features Animal Tales, a live animal educational program. Animal Tales presents their Creatures of the Galaxy series, featuring a variety of animals from around the world, such as the Flemish giant rabbit, Dumeril’s boa and the white-nosed coatimundi. Other interactive activities and lessons are until 8 p.m.

A festival-style event is set for Sat­ur­day, with inflatables, slides, face painting, hot dogs and prize giveaways every 30 minutes. It is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church.

Each event also includes a boys vs. girls mission challenge to raise money for international missions for the church. Ammerman said money goes to providing a water well for an overseas village through disaster relief and community development organization Baptist Global Response.

Ammerman said a surprise is in store based on which gender raises the most money.

“We love making our mission challenges fun,” she said.

The program is designed to bring the whole family together, Ammerman said.

“Children are the future, and we at New Hope want to provide a safe, spirit-filled environment where the children and their parents can experience the love of Christ together and hopefully talk about it for years to come,” she said.

Those interested in participating in or volunteering for the program can go to On-sight registration also is available prior to each event. Registration for today’s event takes place at 5:30 p.m. and registration for Saturday takes place at 10:45 a.m.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or