Birthday party idea: Find fun at area parks

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A day at the park is one of the simplest and most cost-effective activities people can embrace as they look to celebrate an upcoming birthday.

Few things are better than a warm, beautiful day spent in the park, and there are many activities that outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy for a birthday celebration when visiting a local park.

·       Hit the trails. Many people visit parks to go hiking. You might find your park has a series of hiking trails right on the property. Pick up a park map and figure out in what direction you plan to set off.

·       Take in the wildlife. Parks are home to local wildlife, and those who want to catch a glimpse of that wildlife can head to the park in the early-morning hours when crowds should be light and things relatively quiet. Take inventory of the various bird species you see, or watch for deer or scurrying chipmunks. Kids can have fun sketching park animals during the birthday celebration.

·       Have a picnic. Pack a lunch, a blanket, a birthday cake, presents and some sports equipment and head to the park for a picnic with family and friends.

·       Hold an impromptu game. Invite friends and family members to join you at the park and divide into two teams before playing a couple of innings of softball, volleyball or kickball.

·       Experiment with geocaching. Geocaching is a hobby in which individuals use latitude and longitude coordinates to pinpoint hidden caches. Inside boxes or containers, they may find clues to another cache or even some small trinkets. Geocaching can be an interesting way to incorporate science and global positioning lessons into a fun outdoor activity.

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