Parks and Recreation

Having grown up in a large family, there were many things we didn’t do because it was simply too expensive. For example going to the movies seems like a good afternoon outing, but at $8.50 a ticket (at least at our cinema back home), that afternoon outing ends up costing $50-60. And that doesn’t include popcorn and soda (although,  Mom would’ve insisted that we didn’t need snacks). And the cost of going out to eat greatly increases, the more family members you have, so it wasn’t financially appropriate to eat out all that often.

So what do large families like ours do for fun? Well, seeing as we’re large enough to form our own sports team, we’d often put together a pic-nic lunch and take it to a once-empty field that once sat open just a few blocks away from our house. After enjoying chips and sandwiches, we’d play a modified game of baseball. This provided an entire afternoon of fun for relatively little cost.

On other nice weather days, we’d drive out to North Bend State Park (in Cairo, WV) and go for a bike ride. This trail has many old tunnels set right on the track or off to the side that provide wonder and excitment to anyone brave enough to bike through them. This was one of our favorite activites! We’d bike all the way to an old glass factory, where my siblings and I could dig through the gravel lot, looking for deformed, discarded marbles. There was a Dairy Queen nearby, so after we’d collected more marbles than what would fit in our pockets, our parents would treat us to ice cream and we’d complete the return trip back to the car. But North Bend and other parks offer a lot to familes. It’s worth looking into what parks in your area offer, as many of them provide biking/hiking trails, pavilions, horse shoe pits, creek access, cabin rentals, playground equipment, basketball, sand volleyball, and tennis courts, etc. The parks are almost always inviting of pets, so the dog can come along too for some family fun!

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About Sarah Cordonier

I am a junior Television Journalism and International Studies Major at West Virginia University. I am currently taking Beginning Television Reporting and I plan on taking Advanced Television Reporting in the Spring, as a member of WVU News. Someday I would like to work abroad, as an overseas reporter.
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