An opportunity for children ages 4-9 — one with a Boston Bruins twist — will be available in the fall at the Midcoast Recreation Center.

MRC, in partnership with the Boston Bruins, will host a four-week program, that includes free hockey equipment that participants keep ($500 retail value), on Mondays, Oct. 8-29 at 5:30 p.m.

Registration began on Thursday, July 19 and ends on Thursday, Aug. 16. Participating children will need to go to the Bruins Fan Fest Tour on Friday, Aug. 17 in Portland to be fitted for the gear they will receive for free for the program. The program cost is $100 per participant and has the mission to grow the game of hockey in the region.

Interested families can sign-up for the program through the following website: bostonbruins.com/learntoplay. Registration is limited to 60 spots so sign-up as soon as possible to solidify a spot.

During the Bruins FanFest tour, the Bruins expect to outfit more than 5,000 children (ages 4-9), who have signed up for the Bruins Academy Learn to Play program, in new CCM hockey gear valued at $500 (retail value) per player for a total of $2.5 million (retail value) worth of equipment dispersed to local communities.

Last year, the Bruins distributed $2 million worth of youth hockey equipment through the Bruins Academy Learn to Play program, contributing to the overall growth of youth hockey in the area. The number of youth hockey players in Massachusetts under the age of 8 grew by 10 percent last season.

Last summer, more than 14,000 Bruins fans attended the inaugural Fan Fest Tour stops in Portland, Manchester, N.H., Burlington, Vt., Springfield, Mass., Hartford, Conn., and Providence, R.I.

Current Bruins players, coaches, executives and NESN personalities are expected to be on hand throughout the tour to play games and mingle with fans, sign autographs, take photos and participate in question-and-answer sessions. Fans will be able to participate in skills and drills on synthetic ice rinks, pose for photos in a mock Bruins locker room, and have the opportunity to partake in NESN virtual reality experiences.

Boston Bruins BFit also will be on hand to lead kid-friendly fitness activities at each stop. Kids can visit the Bruins Academy Zone for face painting, poster making and Bruins trivia.

Player, coach, executive and NESN personality appearances will vary at each location and are subject to change.

Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream again will be on-hand at each stop scooping their Bruins-themed ice cream, Power Play Fudge, for $1 donations to the Boston Bruins Foundation. Admission to each tour stop is free, and fans are welcome and encouraged to participate in all of the event's festivities. For more information, fans can visit BostonBruins.com/FanFest.

MRC is a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of healthy living in our community through sports and fitness programs. MRC is located on Route 90 in Rockport and houses an ice rink, four indoor tennis courts, and three fitness/dance studios. In addition to public skating and tennis court rentals, sports and fitness programs at MRC include youth and adult ice hockey, figure skating, learn-to-skate, junior and adult tennis, private and group tennis lessons, group fitness classes, personal training, and dance. MRC is open to the public and financial assistance is available. For more information, visit midcoastrec.org or call 207-236-9400.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.