Jul 29, 2014
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Free Time?

What to do locally with the extra time on your hands.

Free Time? Free Time? Free Time?

Free time? Last year I would have said, "What a concept!" But now, due to the transitions in my life, I have loads of free time!

So, now what?

I asked some of my Hyattsville neighbors how they would spend extra time if they had it. Interestingly, the top answers fell into three primary categories: exercise; arts (the creation and consumption of); and "getting organized" – closet, garage and basement cleaning.

Converting that student's room into an exercise room, perhaps?

First off, let's see how Hyattsville exercises. 

Lots of walker and runners – Hyattsville has many parks and pedestrian friendly, tree-lined neighborhoods in which to walk. All you really need is the right pair of comfortable supportive shoes, and you're good to go. Lots of people walk with friends – both human and canine – so a walk in Hyattsville is often a social event.

Biking is another favorite, with no additional expense after the bike is acquired. Although if you need bike gear or repairs, Arrow Bicycles is conveniently located on Route 1 just south of Franklin's. There are miles of trails easily accessible through Magruder Park— you can head up the Northeast Branch towards Lake Artemesia, or further onto the Paint Branch Trail, which goes up past Cherry Hill Road. You can ride on trails all the way to Wheaton Park! (See the Washington Area Bicycle Association for great trail maps).

Pickup games, including basketball and soccer, abound on evenings and weekends, and even a weekly Ultimate Frisbee game is available each week at Magruder Park, as reported on here at Patch.

Swimming and Water Aerobics: even after Labor Day when the summer pools have closed, there are a few choices not too far away. Rollingcrest-Chillum pool has kid time, lap time and water aerobics. The Greenbelt Aquatic Center offers a pool and a fully equipped fitness center. Not too far away in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C. is Turkey Thicket Pool. Bally's at Belcrest Center has a pool and also offers the usual range of cardio, weights and classes to its members. (Most interesting class title: Urban Rebounding, which is apparently trampoline based).

Yoga, Pilates and dance classes are available at Yoga Space in Hyattsville and Joe's Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier.

One friend said their family likes to bike to the Bladensburg Waterfront and then rent kayaks or canoes! This sounds like a wonderful two-for-one outing.

So I suppose we could use up all this free time on the Internet, but with all these options, coupled with the onset of gorgeous fall weather, get out, get a buddy and get moving! Next week: arts.

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