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Kids get outdoors and play in Allentown

Published On: Oct 05 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 06 2012 05:30:33 PM CDT

Kids get outdoors and play

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

For three hours Saturday the airwaves on Nickelodeon went dark. It's an effort to get children outside and active, and Allentown joined the network's Worldwide Day of Play.

The Destination Playground in Cedar Beach Park had a lot of foot traffic Saturday.

"I just like running around cause there are so many things to do and jump on," smiled 11-year-old Caresa Rocca.

Dozens of local kids and their parents came out to take part in Nickelodeon's World Wide Day of Play.

"We have the Wildlands Conservancy here doing environmental education with some animals," explained Allentown Recreation Program Manager Randy Cope. "We also have our Health Bureau here with the fruits and veggie truck."

The pint sized participants got some free healthy snacks, and tried making exercise fun by pairing it with music. The point of the event was to encourage families to go outside and play and promote a positive and healthy lifestyle for kids.

"It's not healthy to sit on the couch, watch TV, play video games, kids need to be kids," said Cope. "They need to get outside, throw that football around, they need to kick that soccer ball, play on the playground."

He says Allentown has an obesity epidemic with youth, but every child I spoke with said they'd rather be outside then watching TV.

"I like to jump rope, play basketball and play soccer," shared 10-year-old Jayda Meredith

"Play with my baby brother," said 7-year-old Aneury Castillo. "And play fun things."

"I like to play hide and seek and play with all my friends," added Rocca.

This was the first year the city took part in the day of play, and judging from all the smiles it was definitely a success.

"All in all it's a great event," said Cope. "We're looking forward to next year already, we have some great ideas."