Governor Cuomo has announced free admission to all New York State parks this Black Friday, Nov. 24, to encourage New Yorkers and their families to take advantage of the more than 335,000 acres of state-owned land next weekend. During Thanksgiving weekend, State Parks offers various family friendly events and programs at locations across the state.
For a full list of state park programs on Black Friday and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, click here.
“On Black Friday this year I urge New Yorkers to get outside and to take advantage of the world-class parks in every corner of this state,” Governor Cuomo said. “By offering free admission, we encourage families, nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike to enjoy the unparalleled natural beauty right in their backyards.”
While a majority of state parks do not charge this time of year, the few parks that do, such as Niagara Falls in Niagara County, Walkway Over the Hudson in Dutchess and Ulster counties, Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Westchester County, Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, Connetquot River State Park Preserve and Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Suffolk County and others, are waiving the standard vehicle entry fee for Black Friday, Nov. 24.
Events and programs include Buy Nothing Day, which allows visitors to create gifts using recycled materials; the Thanksgiving Walk Off, which promotes healthy exercise after a hearty holiday feast; and making your own holiday wrapping paper to prepare for the upcoming holiday season.
“The holidays are about creating memories, spending these moments with family and friends and state parks are the perfect places to fill those photo albums,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “State parks provide the opportunity to invigorate our mind, body and soul and offer the chance to relax, rejuvenate and recoup during a very busy but wonderful time of the year.”
Throughout the year, other admission programs offer a variety of ways to enjoy state parks at a discount or for free. The annual Empire Pass Card is on sale for $65 through March 31 and offers family sharing capacities, the 3-year, 5-year and Lifetime passes offer park access at deeper discounts. All products can be purchased online at www.parks.ny.gov.
New York State encourages New York’s seniors age 62 and older to take advantage of the state parks Golden Park Program, which allows for their free entry into state parks weekdays by showing their driver’s license or state-issued non-driver ID.
Governor Cuomo recently launched the “Connect Kids to Parks” program to enhance opportunities for schoolchildren and help promote parks and historic places in every corner of the state. As part of the effort, New York has extended free State Park day-use entry to all fourth-grade students and their families through 2018 and created a new grant program to transport schoolchildren to educational programs in State parks and historic sites.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 69 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in economic activity annually and supports 54,000 jobs.
For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.