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Free Black Friday frolicking in state parks

Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Nov. 23 as "Free Park Friday" in Minnesota when entrance fees to all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will be waived. The free admission to all state parks is an effort to get people outside and active on what is often an indoor Black Friday day of shopping.

"Like sharing a meal, going for a walk can be a great way to spend quality time with family and friends,'' Dayton said in his proclamation.

The DNR notes that research shows that spending time outdoors benefits children and adults, including improving mood, enhancing creative thinking and problem solving, promoting a conservation ethic and improving physical fitness.

On Thanksgiving Day, the average American consumes around 4,500 calories. A brisk walk can burn about 300 calories in one hour.

Although most state park offices and visitor centers will be unstaffed or minimally staffed on Free Park Friday, a variety of on-site and online resources available for visitors. Get more information at mndnr.gov.