Active LifeStyles is a program that provides social and recreational events, encouraging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become more involved with their peers and the community. The Arc supports Active LifeStyles because it provides healthy living choices while encouraging participants to be involved with and in the community.

Many of the Active LifeStyles programs coincide with the Special Olympics calendar and culminate with the Special Olympics district and state competition. Active LifeStyles is a safe place to increase friendships and develop skills that can increase community participation and community inclusion. Through the involvement in the Active LifeStyles program we hope that all participants feel empowered to go into the community with high expectations of succeeding in every aspect they choose, whether it be participating in sports leagues, fitness classes, or other social opportunities. 

Who Can Join?

The Active LifeStyles program welcomes participants of various ages. We have a wide age range of athletes, but that does not discourage our players from acting and playing like a team.

Special Olympics does have an age requirement of at least 8 years old. For those who are younger, there are separate opportunities and events in which to get involved.

Sports and Activities

Each month we have new activities. The Special Olympics sports we offer are: bowling, volleyball, flag football, basketball, basketball skills, cheerleading, track & field, bocce ball, swimming, soccer, soccer skills, softball, and softball skills.

In addition to these sports, we also have leisure bowling on Mondays from 4-5:30 p.m. at Perfect Games, which is continuous from September – July. Bowling is $2 per game, and shoe rentals are free!!

Social dances are a great way to have a fun night out. We host several dances each year and provide a DJ along with a great atmosphere to dance the night away. If you are registered with Active LifeStyles, invitations are sent to you, along with e-mails to remind you of the event.

This summer we have started a new activity called Wednesday Walks. Each Wednesday this summer at Ada Hayden Heritage Park from 6:30-7:30 p.m. we get together and walk a trail. After the walk there is a healthy snack provided. This is a great way to get out and exercise.

If you want to see what is going on this month or any upcoming dates, Click here for calendar


Active LifeStyles is always looking for volunteers to help in any way possible. You can be a coach, help with practices, or even help us at social events. There are many options available and very rewarding too. If you would like to help in some way but are not sure how, or have a specific volunteer idea in mind, click here to find out more and contact us.

Planning to be a volunteer at the Special Olympics Iowa, visit the Registration Section under Active Lifestyles. Interested in other volunteer possibilities, visit Volunteer Opportunities.

“We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.”–Winston Churchill