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Many with limited budgets went to the countryside or the beaches.Towards the latter part of the nineteenth century, resorts opened in the outskirts of cities, such as the beach area of Asbury Park in New Jersey, which was founded in 1870.
These programs mostly focused on track and field events, instituted by communities of Scottish and English descent, and gymnastics, heavily influenced by German athletics.
Gymnasiums, which featured exercises using Indian clubs, wooden rings, and dumbbells, were opened in many Eastern cities.
Amusement parks opened in places like Coney Island, New York, founded in 1897, offering rides, fun houses, scenes from foreign life, and the latest technological breakthroughs, such as motion pictures.
National parks were created by the federal government to preserve nature and many began to tour these areas on vacation. cities offered Americans a chance to "tour the world" in one place.
(Other types of workplaces would soon follow suit.) Vacations began to be regularly offered to workers, although they were usually unpaid ones.
The monotony of specialized industrial work and the crowding of urban expansion also created a desire in the worker to have leisure time away from his or her job and away from the bustle of the city.Its adoption in athletic clubs, YMCAs, and colleges by the early twentieth century brought boxing a measure of respectability.Horse racing had always been supported by the wealthy and gamblers; by the end of the nineteenth century, people of all classes attended races.While initially only the wealthy could partake of most sporting events, the opening of publicly available gymnasiums, courts, and fields allowed the working and middle classes to participate also.Athletic clubs such as the New York Athletic Club were organized and the YMCAs began to institute sports programs.The Progressive movement was another factor which contributed to the increased value of leisure time for workers, as their health and well-being received more attention.Yet another factor was the installation of electric lighting in the city streets, which made nighttime leisure activities less dangerous for both sexes.Initially the movies were novelties in kinetoscope viewers, until they became acts in their own right on the vaudeville stage.As motion pictures became longer, they moved into storefront Nickelodeon theaters and then into even larger theaters.By the 1850s, the sport rapidly spread to many parts of the country as teams were formed from all classes and ages of society.Baseball rapidly became more organized as it became America's favorite sport.