National Park Week Guide For Families
We are kicking off National park week today from April 16-24 and its the best time to gather your kids and play some hooky next week at your nearest National Park. Ok, well, playing hooky is totally up to you, but know that your fee-free days are coming up and what better time than the National Parks Centennial celebration year.
That’s right its National Park Service 100th year celebration! If you live in the Bay Area, check out the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy website for a list of fun things to do to celebrate the surrounding area through volunteerism and various events on the Bay to take part in–most events are family-friendly.
During President Obama’s term, we’ve seen efforts to getting kids outdoors more, including the Every Kid In A Park program, where all fourth graders and their families may have free admission to every National park for a year. In my last post, I listened to the Diane Rehm Show podcast episode where several public lands advocates spoke on the importance in reviving children’s time spent outdoors. Utilizing this free program, is a great way to enjoy some outdoor time in areas we have never visited or knew existed. If you don’t feel like playing hooky next week and you have a fourth grader, there’s still time to plan that trip and get your pass. The Every Kid In A Park pass can’t be used during National Parks Week, as all entrance fees are free.
If you still don’t know where to visit and you want to go beyond your nearest National Park, you can always do some recon or get lost exploring from the comfort of your couch. A few years ago, Google maps and the National Park Service, Trekker and Parks Canada got together and added over 40 locations to Google Street View. Here’s the U.S. National Parks link, for when you can’t pull yourself away from all the other panoramic destinations as you get swept away in major wanderlust.
Don’t forget about the special highlights within NPW like National Junior Ranger Day (today) or Earth Day (April 22). I’ll have a separate post on Earth Day coming up soon. Other ways you can give back during NPW can be found here as well as a general calendar of events and travel ideas.
How do you plan on celebrating National Park Week? Don’t forget to use the hashtag #findyourpark in any photos you take in social media. Some amazing things are happening all over the country in such a historic time to be outdoors.
Happy National Park Week!