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Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Heart My Park & Recreation

I Love My Park & Recreation
Did you know that, since 1985, July is National Park and Recreation Month and your local parks are encouraging everyone to come out this month and experience all the wonderful aspects of parks and recreation. Nationwide, recreation departments have organized events and activities to help families spend quality time together, enjoy nature and get active. This provides a great opportunity to not only make the most of the beautiful weather, but also to take a stand against the obesity epidemic and technology trends that consistently keep more kids indoors and living less active lifestyles.

As part of Park and Recreation Month, the National Recreation and Park Association is encouraging everyone to show the love for local parks and recreation and wants everyone to answer the question, "I Love my Parks and Recreation Because..." They have a fill in the blank social media poster that can be filled in and shared, and a fun month-long weekly photo contest that encourages everyone to show and share the LOVE for local parks! The NRPA website includes information on all of the above initiatives, free downloadable resources as well as a calendar of events scheduled nationwide.

With kids out of school, the vacation celebration includes bouncing off the walls and fighting over the TV, tablet and computer screen. Think about your summer days as a kid - spending time outside hunting for salamanders, playing kickball with neighborhood friends, exploring the trails and woods, fun summer camp days at your local rec center, and swimming until your fingers shriveled. Many of us have so many happy memories from summertime and want our children to have those same experiences too. 

While we can always tell them of the fun we had as kids, it is so much better to show them. And you know what, you don't have to go far to have these enriching experiences that make lasting memories - you just have to head to your local parks and recreation. There are great places right in your community to go have some family fun all summer long!
National Recreation and Park Association
I really wanted to post lots of pictures of us enjoying area parks this month but the weather just didn't agree with the timing of my availability. July had a really long span of 90+ degree days where the best parks to be were something like the beach at Cochituate State Park in Framingham, Walden Pond in Concord, or The Boston Common Frog Pond. Did you know that the Boston Common is 50 acres and is the oldest park in the country? And the rain didn't want to stop on the other days.
Rock Climbing at Hammond Pond
One place my son does enjoy is Hammond Pond in Newton. He had the chance to do some rock climbing there this summer. They also have some excellent hiking trails. Stay out of the pond though.
Cutler Park
One of my new favorite places is Cutler Park, again in Newton and surrounding towns. I work at TripAdvisor which is right around the corner from there and this place offers over 800 acres of space for hiking and biking. You can also rent a boat across the street with Charles River Canoe and Kayak. They even offer Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga there.

Besides the above, here are ten additional area park and recreation locations you might want to check out with the kids before they return to school. Presented in order of town names.
Where you go really depends on what you want to do and the age of the kids. Most of the places are great for hiking, though you can also picnic, swim, or climb, among other activities. Do you have a favorite place I missed? Feel free to add in the comments below.

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  1. I did not know that July is National Park and Recreation Month. I will have to check online where I live and see if they have anything going on! Thank You!

  2. I completely agree with you. I have been getting my sons out to enjoy what our parks have to offer and be physically active. Trying to keep them away from the electronics.
    morales_y at yahoo dot com

  3. The park is a great place for kids to show their energy.

  4. It has been way to long since I've been to a nice park. The small one near my apartment is just a hang-out for teens drinking and smoking weed. Let's take our parks back, people! scain54 (at) aol (dot) com