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July Is One Hot Month!

July Is One Hot Month!

For most of us across the U.S., July is - literally - one hot month; however, it's not just the temperature that's up and active. It should be you too, because there's a ton of fun things to go out there and be involved in! This month, we've seen all sorts of fun things that folks have been doing to pass the time and enjoy the summer. From National Ice Cream Day to Pokemon Go to fun new movies like The Secret Life of Pets, July is chock-full of activities to indulge in all while while beating the heat.

So, we've got three perfect options for the remaining couple weeks of this hot, patriotic summer month to dive into and enjoy!

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Hot Diggity-Dog!

It's time to fire up those grills and eat some yummy hot dogs. July is officially National Hot Dog Month, and according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will be eating a LOT of hot dogs this summer. Just how much, you might be asking? Well, the Council estimates that Americans will eat over SEVEN BILLION hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day alone. Did that get your attention? Well, every year, Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs each, so they are clearly one of the country's most loved comfort foods.

And, what do we sometimes do with comfort foods? Well, we can overeat a bit as Americans. However, if you want to see overeating taken to a new level, then the buck stops at the world famous Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. This annual American hot dog eating competition is held each year on Independence Day in Coney Island (a neighborhood of Brooklyn). While being a staple of the summer in Coney Island, this competition also puts to shame nearly all other eating competitions. For example, the men's 2016 winner, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, ate...get this...70 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Pepto-Bismol, anyone? Ok, so enjoy your dogs...but let's not be crazy, folks!

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Fun Facts About The Hot Dog To Consider:

1. How did the hot dog get its name?

The term "hot dog" is credited to sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan. At a 1901 baseball game in New York, vendors began selling hot dachsund sausages in rolls. He sketched a cartoon depicting the scene but wasn't sure how to spell "dachshund" so he called them simply, "hot dogs." The rest is history.

2. What is the most popular condiment for a hot dog?

Mustard is the condiment of choice for adults while children prefer ketchup.

3. Do I spread my condiment on the meat or on the bread?

Always dress the dog and not the bun. The Council also recommends the following order: first wet (mustard for example), then chunky (relish or onions), then cheese if desired, then any spices. You have to figure if the Council says it, they've got a significant amount of time and research put into it, so we're certainly following that recommendation from here-on-out!

Additionally, if hot dogs aren't your thing; they just came up with a Kale-Eating Contest that takes place in July. In the contest, which took place at the Taste of Buffalo food festival, July 9 in New York, contestants have eight minutes to consume as much of the green stuff as possible. The lucky winner took home $2,000. Fortunately for competitors, eating pounds of kale likely isn't going to have the same effect as eating pounds of hot dogs.

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Park-Time!

July is a pretty special month. It may be the heart of summertime, but we'd like to highlight that it's also the 31st year of National Parks & Recreation month. Get out there and enjoy your national parks folks! Whether you've got Grand Canyon National Park or Yellowstone National Park on your mind out west , or Shenandoah National Park here back east or perhaps even Everglades National Park in Florida, there's a plethora to choose from to cap-off you summer. Here in NYC, while we have National Parks like Ellis Island, Liberty Island Park and Niagara Falls State Park, the quintessential park that comes to the minds of all locals is set right in the heart of our city: Central Park.

Being in New York, Central Park is a no-brainer for us. If you happen to need something to entice you, take a look at this article: A Secret Section of Central Park Reopens, too. How cool is it?! From now through August 31st, there are special hours to look at this section of the park that has been hidden from pedestrians almost 80 years. The closed off section in Central Park is now a sanctuary.

Honestly, you may not think much about it but parks and recreaction services help humanity as well. Parks and recreation services are vital to battling obesity & disease, for instance. According to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), increased access to parks and places for physical activity leads to a 25% increase in people exercising 3 or more days a week.

Still need more convincing?

Here are a few fun things you can participate in before this month is up! (Courtesy of the National Parks and Recreation Associate website):

#SuperParkSelfie

  • July 18-24: Selfie with your friends and community!
  • July 25-31: Selfie showing your superhero side!

How to enter:

  1. Take a selfie in your local or park or recreation area-make sure it follows the weekly theme.
  2. Submit it via this page, Facebook, or by uploading to Twitter or Instagram with #SuperParkSelfie and #SuperJuly.
  3. Winners will be randomly selected and notified. NRPA will reach out to award the prize.

There are events all over the country! So, find yours here and leave a comment telling us how you are celebrating National Parks and Recreation Month: http://www.nrpa.org/july-events/

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Fore!

July has historically been the PGA's Family Golf Month, in which the association works with its immense network of golf courses nationwide to provide families with plenty of opportunities to get out on the course together to discover (or continue building!) a love for the game. The PGA has made the pursuit of new youth players, women players and families playing together one of it's focuses over the last several years. So, be sure to check out the Family Golf Month page on the PGA site for participating golf courses in your eara and any local programs that you, your spouse and the kids could look to get involved in!

While it may be hot outside, there's nothing like walking a beautifully kept fairway as the afternoon wanes to the evening. It may be a challenging game of physical skill, precision and mental fortitude; but regardless of the level of your play the idyllic surroundings and opportunity for camaraderie with your family is an opportunity to be relished. So lon as you can shake-off or laugh-off an errant shot and enjoy passing the time with family, the golf course is perfect for galvanizing quality outdoor family time.

Well, those are just three types of things to enjoy during this festive national month. So, get out there and enjoy and tell us what fun things you're up to!

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The 4-1-1 on Meera

The 4-1-1 on Meera

Instagram Brunch-ing and Crunch-ing!

Instagram Brunch-ing and Crunch-ing!