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United States of America (USA) - Leisure, Recreation and Sports


Cinema

Nearly every town has a movie theatre (i.e., cinema), and films are still a very popular form of entertainment, although audiences have been declining in recent years.


Parks

Most cities provide free events organised by the local Parks & Recreation Department. These events, normally held at local parks, are free and are aimed at all socio-economic groups within American society. In towns and cities, parks also include playgrounds and room for sports activities requiring teams of 5-10 players each.


Arts & crafts

Americans enjoy a wide variety of artistic and craft endeavours, including painting, pottery, needlepoint, etc. Lessons in these activities are often accessible to the public and are found in the curriculum of American schools. Joining a course can be an excellent way of meeting new friends within your local community


Music

Playing or enjoying music is a major pastime, and music is hugely influential in American culture. Bands tour throughout the US, and if you live in or near one of the larger cities your music needs should be well catered for.

Outdoor activities

Camping, hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, and walking are also very common in the USA and are enjoyed by a vast number and variety of people. Both hunters and those opposed to hunting often love to camp, and the US is home to some of the most spectacular areas of natural beauty.


Sports events

There is a wide variety of sporting events in the USA. American football, baseball, and basketball are Americans' favorite sports, but soccer, hockey, and golf are also popular. There are professional men's and women's sporting team games at large venues. here are also a lot of opportunities to play sports purely for your own entertainment. You can play as part of a league, or in a locally organized “pick up game,” which will be far less formal.


Gambling

Gambling is legal in some states, but it is illegal in others. In states where gambling is legal, you will find casinos (most famously, in Las Vegas).


Clubs and societies

Clubs and societies are most frequently associated with the "upper classes" in the USA, but in fact they are popular throughout all levels of society. Most are centered around a particular theme (a sport or a charity for example), but there are an increasing number of business and “networking” groups. Membership is often an excellent way for new expats to expand their social network. Schools offer an excellent opportunity for students and parents alike to meet new people; PTA (Parent Teach Association) groups give parents a chance to have a voice within the school community as well as form a network of new friends.


Church activities

The US is a church-going nation, much more so than the UK and the rest of Europe. A large percentage of the population attends regular Sunday services, but many people's social lives involve other church activities, such as choir, youth groups, charity work, and religious retreats. Joining a church can be a good way to meet like-minded individuals. Most towns have at least one church for each major denomination, but Jewish temples, Muslim mosques, and some less common places of worship may only be located in larger cities.


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