National Park Foundation Announces 10 Ways for Kids to Play in America’s National Parks

With 395 parks across the country consisting of over 84 million acres, there are endless adventures custom-made for kids of all ages in America’s national parks.  In honor of National Public Lands Day on September 24, when national parks across the country will waive their entrance fees, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation have unveiled ten great ways for kids to get out and play in America’s national parks.

Kicking things off this Saturday, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will welcome Nickelodeon and their 8th annual Worldwide Day of Play to Washington, D.C.’s President’s Park.  Located next to the White House, President’s Park will be home to the largest Worldwide Day of Play to date, with an entire day of activities and games – encouraging kids to get up, get out and get to a national park!   In that spirit, Nickelodeon’s television networks and websites will go off-air and offline from 12 pm to 3 pm (all times ET) as a signal to kids and families nationwide to get active.

Whether it is this weekend or any weekend, America’s national parks offer endless activities the whole family can enjoy.  This National Public Lands Day, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation invite everyone to go out and play.  Here are ten fun-packed national park adventures for kids and families:

MAINE

Acadia National Park

Sea-life bingo keeps youngsters excited tallying green sea urchins, orange sea stars, and other curious marine creatures that reside in tide pools that surface at low tide. Watch for harbor seals farther out in the water.

FLORIDA

Biscayne National Park

Families visiting Biscayne between December and April can sign up to attend “Family Fun Fest” – a daylong program held on the second Sunday of those months and focused on activities tied to the park’s diverse resources.

MASSACUSSETTS

Cape Cod National Seashore

Cycling is one of the best ways to get around the Cape thanks to its paved rail trail, which leads through the woods, pass kettle ponds created by retreating glaciers, and to spurs leading to Coast Guard, Marconi and Le Count Hollow beaches.

WYOMING

Grand Teton National Park

Teens looking for a challenge can measure themselves against the Tetons, thanks to climbing schools where world-class guides will teach them the basics and lead them to the summit of 13,770-foot Grand Teton.

COLORADO

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Kids love to get sandy on the tallest sand dunes in North America. Rising to about 650 feet, these dunes in the heart of the park are perfect for skiing, sand-boarding, or just plain old rolling down.

CALIFORNIA

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Budding geologists will be fascinated with Lassen Volcanic, as it can count all four major types of volcanoes — shield, plug, cinder cone, and composite. There’s even a Volcano Club kids can join to learn more about this volcanic landscape.

KENTUCKY

Mammoth Cave National Park

A Mammoth Cave trip is built around a cave tour with the family, or three! Take the Violet City Lantern Tour to experience the passageways by flickering lamp light as many of its first visitors did, view the incredible flowstones on the Frozen Niagara Tour, or visit the Snowball Room with its ancient autographs inscribed with soot.

WASHINGTON

Olympic National Park

Kids can start the day with a snowball fight (on Hurricane Ridge) and end it soaking in warm springs (like those at Sol Duc Hot Springs).

MICHIGAN

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Winter isn’t the off-season here, as there are trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. And if there’s enough snow, kids and adults can even sled down the 100+ ft. Dune Climb.

For more information on the National Park Foundation, visitwww.nationalparks.org.

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Ryan Alford