Get Me Out of the House Please! Recreational Pursuits in Your Local Community

*Visit your local library and take out a book. Find out what else they offer, music tapes, videos for loan, computers to use, classes or lectures, story times. Many libraries offer free passes to local museums and other attractions. Check it out, it's one of the best freebies going.

* Take a walk around the neighborhood and discover your parks, ponds, playgrounds, shops and people. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.

* Call the local Chamber of Commerce to find out what's fun to do.

* Check your local and regional papers for a "Calendar of Events" or "Happenings page to discover what events are planned in your area. There may be a fair, yard sales, flea market, group activities, club listings, concerts at local schools, colleges and community theater groups and much more! You MUST get your city/town paper every week to stay connected to what's happening in the neighborhoods in your city or town.

* Call or visit your town Parks & Recreation Department and ask what programs they offer for your age group. If they have a program booklet or mailing list, get on it. Always get on mailing lists for programs, classes and newsletter that offer fun things to do.

* How about an adult education class ( if your an adult). These are often offered at your local high school. If they don't offer the fun kind, check some of the bigger cities or towns around you. Also check local colleges, libraries and clubs. For example some craft stores offer craft classes, libraries may have literary discussions etc.

* Take a trip to a craft store and pick out a new craft to try. There are lots of kits available that are simple enough for most people. You may discover a new hobby.

* Visit a music store. Find an old favorite title you use to have put on your walkman and go back in time, or pick out a new artist and expand your musical repertoire. Music has the ability to relax you, excite you, sweep you away and make you cry.

* Head out to a shopping mall and window shop. It's also a good place for walking for exercise when the weather is uncooperative outside.

* Take in a movie. If you can't enlist a friend to go with you, be adventurous and go alone, you may be surprised at how many people do.

* Gone Fishing?? Why not try it. Call the State Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, or State Forest Service to find out where the fishing's good. Even if you never catch anything, it's a great family hobby, almost anyone can stick a fishing line in the water. Check with the state, and city/town hall to see if a license is required. They're usually low cost for residents.

* Check out the local sports teams, all the way from Little League to high school and college teams and professional sports. Go to your high-schools Thanksgiving Day football game and cheer them on .

* Find a dance group or class. Learn a new way to dance. Line dancing, square dancing, it's all great exercise and great socializing!

* Sit in the park, meet new people, feed the birds, get to know your neighbors.

* Go to the beach and cool off, put your feet in the water, collect shells, build a castle.

* Try a new sport, check with your doctor before trying any new strenuous activity or exercise. Sports help you move, make new friends and just get out!

* If you're an older adult check out your local senior center. Get a calendar of events. Many centers offer lunch, classes, crafts, lectures, trips, speakers, and much more.

selections from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital's Therapeutic Recreation Department