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Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, whether you stay close to home or take a quick trip nearby. Here are some ideas to help you stay active and healthy and spend some time with your family.
1. Visit a national park. There are more than 400 national parks to choose from, and each one has something special to offer. You can enjoy some time with Mother Nature or sign up for organized hikes, go fishing, horseback riding, or rock climbing. End the day camping and resting next to a campfire.
2. Cool off at the beach or community pools. If your family likes to spend time in the water, you can always plan a trip to the beach. Make sure to plan ahead and take what you need to build sand castles or play games on the beach. If you live far from the ocean and prefer to stay close to home, you can go to a public pool. Make sure to visit Poolsafely.gov to learn about how to keep your family safe while enjoying the water.
3. Take a bicycle ride. There are many options when it comes to riding your bicycle. You can go around your neighborhood or explore your local parks or beaches. Make it a family routine and teach your children the importance of exercising and staying active. Don’t forget to put your helmet and follow the basic safety rules of riding a bicycle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has many safety tips.
4. Attend local events. Many federal properties host community events where you can enjoy different activities with your family, including farmers markets, art galleries, concerts and other live shows. Check your local community calendar to see what’s coming up and learn more about how to use federal buildings as community spaces.
5. Organize activities in your home. You don’t need to spend money or get out of town to stay active. There are lots of things you can find in your own home to keep your family entertained. You don’t need much space to plant a garden, and you can learn what you can do to help the environment by visiting the citizen action page of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Free meals (breakfast, lunch or snacks) will be served to children in low-income areas at sites such as neighborhood parks, libraries, schools, places of worship, mobile buses and recreation centers this summer.
To find free summer meals near you, call the toll-free National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or visit www.whyhunger.org/findfood.
If you work for an organization that serves low-income children, you can learn more about addressing childhood hunger when school is out by watching the Summer Food training videos.
Learn more about the summer meals program.
Do you need help finding or paying for child care? Learn about programs that could help you.
The Social Security Administration just released its top baby names of 2012.
The top boy and girl names continued to be Jacob and Sophia. Jacob has topped the list for 14 years and Sophia has been the top girl name for 2 years.
You can review the popularity of names by birth year or decade, look up a specific name, or check popular names by state or territory.
Get background information on Social Security’s baby name data.