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Главная » 2010 » Июнь » 17 » Leisure time in the USA
Leisure time in the USA
      Your new country has plenty of opportunities for enjoyment of your leisure time, whether you like shopping, music, good restaurants, or other fun activities. In fact, some people feel almost overwhelmed by the numbers of choices that they have when they first move here! At the least, you will be able to enjoy the wealth of diversions available for recreation as you explore and get to know your new city.
      Most communities will have active sports clubs and teams, and welcome new members. Baseball, basketball, volleyball, football, and soccer may all be represented in area city leagues. To join, you will want to contact your city's recreational department for information. Often local YMCAs and YWCAs will also have information on sports activities and classes.
      Some high schools and colleges have recreational facilities and classes that are open to the community during certain hours (such as tennis courts). You may want to call your local community college or high school to find out about these. And larger parks will usually have an area for baseball and athletic recreation, and may have community recreation classes that include dance, tennis, or other sports. They may also have hiking, biking and riding trails, and other special areas for outdoor enjoyment.
      Your interest in sports may be as a spectator, and again most communities will give you an opportunity to enjoy your favorite sport. Many cities have their own sports teams. You can attend games by purchasing tickets ahead of time, or even buying "season tickets" (tickets for the whole year) by calling the ticket office for your local team.
      Local high schools and colleges will have sporting events during weekends, and will welcome your support during their games.
      Most cities will have a mall of some type. This is a group of stores congregated together, usually under a roof in case of bad weather. Some malls cover huge areas (such as the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, one of the largest indoor malls in the world). Others are smaller, but most will contain at least a few larger stores such as Sears or J.C. Penny's.
       Malls will contain specialty shops, where you can buy items such as gourmet candies, upscale dresses, men's or women's shoes, cooking wares, crafts, candles, and more. But the prices at a mall may be more expensive for certain items since the rent is higher. You may want to try "window -shopping" at a mall to get ideas, then purchase that item such as a CD that you like at a lower priced store. But some stores contain items that you can't find anywhere else, and are worth the price.
      Most malls also contain food courts where you can sit and rest your feet, and enjoy a cup of coffee or fast food. Some malls also contain excellent restaurants for the shopper who wants to enjoy a good meal with friends between visiting stores and viewing the specialty items.
      Once you become more familiar with the area you are located in, you may want to start exploring your state or even go out of state during vacation times. Some of the most beautiful spots in our country are part of our national and state park system. You can call your local state park office to find out information about which parks are closest to you, or look up information online by typing in the name of the park you want to visit into a search engine such as google.com.
      Many parks include recreational areas such as lakes with beaches, picnic areas, hiking trails, riding trails, and even scenic wonders (such as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park). They will also have woods and forests that allow you to "get away" from the city awhile, and enjoy the beauty of being outdoors.
      Many people plan their vacations and trips to include overnight stops at a state or national park. You can camp overnight at most parks for a small fee. There will be bathroom facilities and water at most, and many choose to enjoy "roughing it" in a tent while cooking over a fire (in special pits provided) or to visit in the comfort of a recreational vehicle. It is important to make reservations ahead of time during the summer months when there are the most visitors and camping sites can fill up quickly. You can do this by calling the local office for your state or national park system.
      You may want to take a "day trip" to explore the sights and sounds within a day's travel of your new home. If you join organizations such as the American Automobile Association (http://www.aaa.com) you will have access to online information to areas near you. They also publish a hand guide, which rates local attractions (four stars are well worth visiting).
      The state capital, historical sites, and local beaches are all sites that you will want to explore. The guidebook also contains information on local restaurants and theatres.
       If you enjoy good food, you will want to explore the varieties of restaurants available in your area. Normally larger cities will have a large choice, whether you are looking for an ethnic restaurant, or a quality gourmet experience. Smaller communities may be more limited in their choices.
      To find out where the best dining experiences are, you will want to talk to friends and family members. Sometimes at work people go out to lunch together, or get together for a quick breakfast in the morning. This is an opportunity to socialize, and to find out what restaurants nearby are good.
       You can also consult city guides such as the ones located online at http://www.citysearch.com/. Here you will find information about local restaurants, museums, attractions and sights to see, and even "Best of" categories that show the top-rated choices for an area.
      Your local paper will also have an "Entertainment" section in its Sunday edition. Be sure to check out the reviews and ratings of local restaurants there. And some local "alternative" publications in large cities pay writers to write reviews of local restaurants and nightspots.
      Whether you play an instrument or enjoy listening to good music, there is often a wealth of opportunities to indulge your hobby. By looking in the yellow pages, you can find out where local music stores are. The owners will usually know who gives lessons in your area, whether for instruments or singing. Local newspapers will often run short classified ads for music teachers, and local entertainment magazines will also have information.
       Larger cities often have a variety of musically based cultural experiences such as a local philharmonic orchestra and opera. You can find out about these organizations by looking them up in the telephone book and getting the number for their ticket office. They will also be reviewed at intervals in the local paper in its entertainment section, and contact information will be listed there as well. Online sites such as the city guide listed above will also contain information such as music calendars and dates of events such as local concerts.
       Many cities have nightclubs that feature local musicians, such as jazz bands, singers, country music bands, or rock bands. If you visit the more popular ones, you will need to get in line early to get a good seat. Concerts may be sponsored at your city's amphitheatre or civic center, and you can find out information by calling the ticket office for each.
       Most cities have active theaters that put on plays on a regular basis. These dramatic events can be attended by contacting the local ticket office for the city theater group, or by looking up information in your local newspaper's Sunday entertainment section. Many drama groups have online sites with information about the theater group and its schedule. To find out about your city's local theater online, just type in the name of your city, followed by the word "theater" or "theater groups" into any good search engine and several links should show up.
       Many local theater groups also offer some form of drama classes, and smaller ones will even have "curtain calls" where local people can try out for a role in a play. These tryouts are often posted at the theater company's building, and are announced in local papers.
       If you enjoy seeing dance, whether the classical movement of ballet or modern interpretative dance, you can find out when local productions are held by contacting your local metro or civic center for a calendar of events. City guides online will also have listings that can be checked, and local papers will announce coming events in their entertainment section. Many "alternative weeklies" in larger cities will also have information on local dance groups and listings of performances.
       You can find out where dance classes are held by checking the yellow pages (look under "dance" or "dance instruction"). Some local community centers have dance classes available, and will give you information on times and locations if you call.
       Art museums are a low cost way of being able to see some of the most beautiful art treasures and paintings in the world. Most cities will have an art museum of some sort and the largest metropolitan centers (such as New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.) will have outstanding ones. If your city only has a small art museum, you can still probably drive a few hours to a larger city and enjoy hours browsing among great art.
       Some cities will have specialty museums dedicated to certain topics, such as aviation museums, natural history museums, science museums, or others. These are well worth visiting for a fascinating glimpse of rare collections of artifacts that illustrate history and/or science. And some museums are created just for children to explore and learn in and can be a wonderful way to spend a weekend day.
      If you want to learn more about art, there are often art classes open to adults through local community colleges, adult education classes, or recreation centers. These can range from art appreciation classes to painting and crafts classes, and can be a wonderful way to meet new people and share a mutual interest.
      If you live in a medium sized city or larger, you probably will have access to a zoo. These are special areas where animals are kept to be viewed. Some of the larger zoos have also tried to create natural habitat- like surroundings for the animals, and a special type of zoo (known as a wild animal park) may be available in some states with moderate climates.
       Many cities will also have botanical gardens, which are beautiful areas carefully landscaped with a variety of plants. Some include indoor gardens with tropical plants, and others in mild climates have outdoor gardens that emphasize landscaping, different climate zones, and even lush "tropical gardens" that can be enjoyed by visitors. The San Diego zoo, one of the largest zoos in the world, has combined its zoo with a large botanical garden that mimics the natural habitat for many of its animals.
       You may also want to visit some of the larger estates open to the public. These are often beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding a historical mansion (such as the Hearst estate in northern California) and are well worth visiting.
       The United States is famous for some of its theme parks, including Disney Land in Anaheim, California and its sister park, Disney World /Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. Many cities have smaller amusement parks that include roller coaster and amusement rides. Some are water parks, and will have water slides, swimming, and other attractions for visitors. Tickets can be expensive, and the food is not cheap, so check whether you can bring in your own picnic basket to save money while visiting. And be sure to bring a change of clothes to water parks, since splashing children and dripping swim suits can soak clothes quickly.
      You can find out where local theme parks or amusement parks are in your area by checking the yellow pages, asking family and friends, or by looking in the entertainment section of your local paper. You can also try calling your chamber of commerce, or check with your local recreation department for information on parks.
      While traveling, you may want to stay at a hotel. There are a variety of hotel types that range from budget to luxury. City guides, AAA (American automobile association) guide books, and local yellow pages will contain information about local hotels and motels.
       In most places, you can visit the local hotel or motel and make a reservation at any one of their other branches around the country. It is a good idea to make reservations ahead of time, since especially on weekends and during summer months, the best hotels become busy and may be booked up for days or even weeks ahead.
There are a variety of ways to enjoy your leisure time in your new country, and we've touched on some of the major forms of entertainment. You will probably find even more things to do and enjoy as you get to know your community and the fun activities that it contains.
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