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Picture of trees taken from the ground looking up at the tops. Sun is shining through the top of the circle of trees.

Three out of every 10 American adults don’t spend any time outside daily, and of those that do, most spend less than 30 minutes outdoors. Since 1985, the U.S. National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has tried to lower that ratio by celebrating the month of July as national Park and Recreation Month. This year’s theme, “OUT is IN,” highlights the benefits and joys of outdoor activity. Begin your outdoor adventures with these tips:

  1. Find the Perfect Park

MassParks, a division of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), oversees 158 state parks that provide outdoor playgrounds for all types of adventurers. Search by region or alphabetically to find a new favorite. There are also numerous accessible parks and activities for people with disabilities.

  1. Buy a MassParks Pass

Save on parking fees and enjoy the outdoors as much as you want by purchasing an annual MassParks Pass, which enables you to park at any of the MassParks, freshwater inland beaches, and saltwater beaches for a flat rate of $35 for Massachusetts residents and $45 for non-residents.

  1. Enjoy a Fun Outdoor Event

From youth fishing to free movie nights, take advantage of the July events offered at MassParks. Use these opportunities to learn how to get outdoors more with fun activities.

  1. Try a New Recreational Activity

Get inspired to go outdoors by trying one of these exciting recreational activities available at Massachusetts state parks. If you’re in the mood for an action packed day, try hiking, biking, or even kayaking. You can also enjoy a relaxing day with family activities such as picnicking, camping, and fishing.

  1. Start a Park Passport

Turn your outdoor fun into a collector’s activity by picking up a free Park Passport at a Passport Park in your area or download one today! Explore and learn about all 76 participating Passport Parks and collect stamps from each to fill your book. Adventurers 16 years old and under receive a free T-shirt for visiting every park!

  1. Join the Social Media Challenge

Join the National Recreation and Park Association in their Out is In Challenge. Through the month of July, participants can post photos of themselves on social media doing an indoor activity outdoors. Winners are chosen daily and receive a $50 prize.

Whether you’re an expert outdoor adventurer or a beginner, there are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Join in the fun this July in honor of Park and Recreation Month!

How do you like to spend time outdoors? Comment below or tweet us @MassGov about your favorite outdoor activities. 

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