Get outside.

Passing time is one of summer’s only great challenges. Its fun to watch TV and sit at home for a few days, but after the first few weeks of vacation, those activities become increasingly dull. A great way to spice up the summer is tennis. Tennis is a great game, because to play a legitimate game of tennis, you can play with two or four people. Plus you can invent your own tennis type games for different numbers, and if all of your friends are out of town, you really just need a wall, a racket, and a ball.

Blackburn Park has an incredibly well equipped tennis center. The park allows for reservations of courts, and even has a store where you can buy tennis accessories. Another great thing about the Blackburn tennis center is that it hires some local teen tennis players. If you don’t feel like you are a talented player yet, the center offers junior classes and private instruction, plus you can always learn by doing.

Never really cared for tennis? What about softball? The park also has softball and baseball fields. Never one for those sports? The park has a trail, and the trail is marked, so you get to see exactly how far you have traveled. If you just want to grill or picnic, you won’t find a better place to do that either. Plus if you get stuck in the rain, the picnic area is covered, so you won’t have to get wet.

This might seem strange, but I think Blackburn is probably my favorite park to throw around a Frisbee. Maybe it’s the wide, open spaces, or the lovely picnic area, but something about this park just encourages lighthearted fun. The park ends in a small field, and then a family friendly grille. Also within short walking distance of the park are a sushi restaurant, a pub that allows families, a wing restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and a Thai restaurant. I mention this because in my experience, having a midday picnic in the park with some friends, and then hanging out for a few hours and attending one of the restaurants for dinner has always been a good way to fill a day for me. The grille and pub also allow for you to sit outside with your dog while you eat, so you can bring your furry buddy along, too.

Between the sports, the walking, and the picnicking, I assure you that you will not be bored. Blackburn is a relaxing, yet youthful and fun place to spend a lazy summer day. A day in this park may leave you tired, but it will leave you content as well, not with one of those headaches you get from staring at the television for an extended period of time. Lying in the grass and watching the clouds move, you absorb vitamin D from the sun. Lying on the couch and watching a screen (especially at night) can release a hormone in your brain tricking your mind into thinking it is day, and keeping you from a healthy night’s sleep.

The more entertaining activity is obvious, and so is the healthier one. Save yourself the headache and the insomnia. Get outside.

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