Lt. Governor Tina Smith announced “Free Park Friday” in Minnesota highlighting that entrance fees to all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will be waived on Friday, Nov. 24. Lt. Governor Smith encourages all Minnesotans to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends on the day after Thanksgiving.

“I wish everyone in Minnesota a peaceful, warm Thanksgiving on Thursday. And on Friday after Thanksgiving, I can't think of anything better than visiting one of Minnesota's spectacular State Parks, with free admission,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “I hope to visit Judge Magney State Park on the North Shore this Friday, but no matter where you are in Minnesota there is probably a State Park within 30 miles.”

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.

“Free Park Friday is a great way to visit a park new to you and extend your family holiday a day further,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. “We hope families who visit on Free Park Friday will return throughout the winter season to hike, snowshoe and participate in naturalist-led programs. The benefits of spending more time outdoors are well documented.”