Each year in celebration of National Park Week I try to take the grandkids to at least one national park, historic site, or recreational area. It has become a family tradition that we look forward to each year. National Park Week is just around the corner.
April 16 – 24, 2016 is National Park Week, America’s largest celebration of national heritage. It’s about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks! And it’s all happening in our national parks.
Each spring, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite everyone to celebrate National Park Week. For nine days, actually (a week just isn’t enough,) you are invited to celebrate all that America’s more than 400 national parks have to offer for FREE.
From diverse wildlife and iconic landscapes, to vibrant culture and rich history, our National Park System has something for everyone. Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission! Here are some of the scheduled activities you’ll find at parks across the country.
April 16: National Junior Ranger Day
Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger.
April 22: Earth Day
On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out.
April 23: National Park Instameet
Join an InstaMeet in a park. Gather in a designated place at a specific time to take photos and short videos to post on Instagram (and other social media) with the same hashtag: #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, #NPS100
April 24: Park Rx Day
Parks will host fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well-being.
Last year for National Park Week I took my grandson and three nephews to Fort Point National Historic Site in San Francisco. We had a great day touring the Civil War fort and enjoying the beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay.
The boys’ favorite activity was the cannon loading demonstration. They learned how the Fort’s soldiers came together to protect the San Francisco Bay. Afterwards, they became certified Fort Point cannoneers by demonstrating the knowledge they gained during the demonstration!
I loved the docent history tour. We learned about the soldiers’ lives at Fort Point, the Fort’s unique architecture, the defenses of the Golden Gate, and lots more.
There are several exhibits. Our favorites were on the Buffalo Soldiers and the lighthouses of Fort Point.
The best part about Fort Point is that Fort Point and all activities at the Fort are free every day. You don’t have to wait for National Park Week to enjoy it for free!
We haven’t quite decided which park to visit this year. (I am leaning towards Yosemite. I love Yosemite in the Spring.)
If you’re looking for ideas on which Parks to visit, check out Catherine Parker’s post on TravelingMom.com, Mojave Desert: World’s Largest Protected Desert is Free or Allison’s round-up of 6 National Parks your kids will love!
Celebrate National Park Week! Get up! Get out! Visit one of our national parks!