Come Out & Play event highlights parks, recreation, and getting youth active outdoors

[Lansing, Mich.] – On Wednesday, June 29, more than 1,500 Michigan youth will gather on the Capitol Lawn in Lansing for the fifth annual Come Out & Play at the Capitol. The event will provide attendees with opportunities to try their hand at various outdoor activities and sports, right on the Capitol Lawn.

“Today’s youth face a variety of health challenges related to physical inactivity, in the last 30 years, obesity has doubled in children,” said mParks Chief Operating Officer Ann Conklin. “Behaviors like exercise and recreation are what make us healthy; Come Out & Play is designed to provide Michigan youth with an opportunity to experience outdoor activities they may have never tried, and to demonstrate how fun being active outside can be.”

The event is also an important reminder to legislators regarding the role that Michigan’s parks, recreation, and leisure service providers play in fighting the obesity and inactivity levels in the state and nationwide. “Michigan’s park, recreation, and leisure service organizations provide affordable access to places across the state to be fit, active, and to lead a healthy lifestyle,” Conklin added.

Come Out & Play at the Capitol is planned each year in mid to late June as a celebration of No Child Left Inside Month (June) and National Parks and Recreation Month (July). The event is hosted in partnership by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (mParks), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and the Michigan No Child Left Inside Coalition (MNCLI), and is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Penchura, Miracle Midwest and Sinclair Recreation.

Free activities for youth include disc golf, kayaking simulations, nature education, lawn Olympics, a demonstration for first-time campers, birding activities, a tent skills seminar, live animals, tennis games, fishing activities, golf putting and more.

Organizations providing activities for youth include WoodCraft Kits, The First Tee of Mid-Michigan, Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Ronald McDonald, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, Central Michigan University, McDonald's Street Team, USTA Midwest Section, Goldfish Swim School, MDNR - Wildlife Division, Ingham County Department of Health and Human Services, USDA Forest Service, DNR - Fisheries Division, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, City of Lansing Parks and Recreation, Penchura, LLC,  and Natureology.

Additional details available at  

Founded in 1935, the Michigan Recreation and Park Association provides advocacy, resources and professional development opportunities to a devoted and diverse membership. A non-profit statewide association, mParksS represents nearly 2,000 park and recreation professionals dedicated to creating community through people, parks and programs. Learn more at


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