Survey Finds Local Parks Are a Popular Nighttime Entertainment Venue

(September 3, 2019)

People seek park-centered entertainment and events to socialize with others

Ashburn, Va. (Sept. 3, 2019) — Reflecting a desire to spend more time outdoors, the majority of U.S. adults (91 percent) seek out evening activities hosted by their local parks and recreation. The top three park-sponsored nighttime activities, according to a poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), include:

  • Music or performance events, such as concerts
  • Movie nights in the park
  • Activities spent with family and friends, such as bonfires

In addition, some evening activities have an even greater appeal among key groups. Parents (54 percent) are more likely than non-parents (45 percent) to be interested in movie nights. Millennials (26 percent) are more likely than the general public (13 percent) to be interested in events involving physical activity and fitness, including glow runs and walks.

“People love nighttime events and activities hosted by their local parks and recreation,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of professional development, research and technology. “Park-sponsored events and activities are good for a community, as they bring people together, and promote fun in a safe and affordable environment.”

According to the 2019 NRPA Agency Performance Review, the most comprehensive resource of data and insights for park and recreation agencies in the United States, park and rec agencies are leaders in providing services and programming for the communities they serve. In fact, the large majority of park and recreation agencies offer themed special events (87 percent) and social recreation events (86 percent).

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit   


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit