The Brainerd Lakes Curling Club's winter season begins with a Community Open House, free curling for kids, a Learn to Curl program and growing leagues.

The free Community Open House will be 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5. It is an opportunity for the public to learn about what curling is all about, or to give it a try. Club members will be on hand to answer questions, explain the club's curling leagues and programs, and to provide pointers for those who want to get on the ice and try their hand at curling. Participants are asked to wear athletic shoes with clean rubber soles and comfortable, warm and loose-fitting clothes. It's 45 degrees in the arena. You must be at least a fourth grader to go on the ice.

The club is starting a new program this month to introduce kids to curling. Free Youth Curling, for kids ages 6-18, is from 2-4 p.m. Sundays starting Jan. 13 and running through February. Kids will work on fundamental skills and learn some of the rules and etiquette.

The club's Learn to Curl program is for adults who want to learn more about curling. Learn to Curl is on four Mondays from 6-8 p.m., starting Jan. 14. Experienced curlers will teach skill development, rules and etiquette, with each session ending with a short pick-up game.

The club also has Open Curling sessions on Saturdays for those who want to try curling, work on their skills or to play pickup games with others. The sessions are from noon-2 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. A third session for members only is from 2-4 p.m. The cost for non-members is $10.

Curling leagues, which start Friday, are the club's main focus. The Tuesday Men's League and Wednesday Open League are both full. There are still openings for the Thursday Women's League, the Friday Open League and the Sunday Doubles League. The nine-week leagues finish with a two-week playdown to determine the league champs.

Now in its 12th season, the Brainerd Lakes Curling Club is located in the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The curling arena was constructed in 2012 with a $1 million donation by Fran Holden. It now offers a full range of leagues and two annual bonspiels (tournaments). For more information, visit www.brainerdcurling.org, email brainerdlakescurling@gmail.com or call 218-839-8351.