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State Parks offers outdoors over stores on Black Friday

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Wed, Nov 23rd 2016 07:00 am

State parks are open and free to enter

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation encourages all to freely enjoy state parks on Black Friday, Nov. 25. As an alternative to busy shopping centers, several parks across the state are offering special events and programs, such as the "Buy Nothing Day," which allows visitors to recycle and repurpose items into gifts, the "Thanksgiving Walk Off," and even a surprise visit from Santa on Black Friday that is sure to bring enjoyment and excitement.

"We encourage all to escape, explore and experience all that state parks have to offer," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "State Parks are open year-round and, while our properties are family-friendly and affordable, they are free to enter on Black Friday. Extend the holiday gathering with family and friends by visiting a state park and connecting with nature and each other."

For a full list of state park programs on Black Friday and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, visit www.nysparks.com. Click on "November Events" right on the home page.

While a majority of state parks do not charge this time of year, the few parks that do, such as Niagara Falls State Park, Walkway Over the Hudson in Dutchess and Ulster counties, Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Westchester County, Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, Connetquot River State Park Preserve and Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Suffolk County, are waiving the vehicle entry fee for Black Friday.

State Parks oversees 180 parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.

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