Like many kids, I always looked forward to a trip to the local park. I have a distinct memory of sitting atop one of those dome-shaped jungle gyms with my cousins, eating peaches and scouting the grassy areas for our next game of tag. Even as an adult I enjoy walking to our local park and watching an adult co-ed softball game, playing bocce ball or just relaxing under a shade tree.

During the month of July, the National Recreation and Parks Association invites you to discover what your local parks and recreation areas have to offer—playgrounds, outdoor education, wellness programs, movies in the park and so much more, oh my!

Most cities post online the summer activity and class schedule if you’re looking to do more than just relax in the grass. To inspire you to get out and explore your local park or recreational area we’ve put together a checklist of must-haves for any park excursion.

  • Large blanket for relaxing
  • Healthy snacks: sandwiches, trail mix, hummus, raw or grilled fruits or veggies
  • Water: maybe add some berries or sliced cucumber from your snacks for a tasty twist
  • Sun protection: sunblock, sunglasses, hat, a light cover-up in case the weather changes or you decide to stay for night time activities
  • Group sports equipment: frisbee, soccer ball, kite, bocce ball set
  • A book, magazine or your favorite podcast
  • Before you go: check if there are any parking fees, off-leash dog areas, places to rent equipment (canoes, archery, etc.) or other restrictions

Did you find a new spot to lounge in your local park? A new place to let your furry friend run free? Check off a recreation area that’s been on your “To Visit” list? We know each trip to the park isn’t to lounge in the grass, don’t forget to track your activities within the Walker Tracker mobile app! We hope that if you explore this July that you share what you discovered with us.