It’s National Park Week and from now until April 25th, all 392 national parks across America will be waiving entry fees and hosting tons of really awesome festivities and special events to celebrate nature and of course, Earth Day. This is an amazing time to take that hike you’ve been dreaming of, planning a huge family day out at the national park closest to you and experience what’s great about the great outdoors.
I know we are always looking for exciting things to do with the kids and getting them outdoors more, so if you’ve been looking for the same thing, here are some of the most kid-friendly events being held in national Parks this week.
- Statue of Liberty:
While the admission fee is usually $12, for National Park week, you can gain entry into the Statue of Liberty at no cost. Take a ferry from lower Manhattan and then walk around the island and inside the statue.
- Ellis Island:
Visit Ellis Island and see for yourself where many of our ancestors got their very first taste of America. You can also try finding your own family members in the registry. As someone who has seen Ellis Island before, I can tell you first-hand that this is something every single citizen of this country should see. It is an absolutely amazing experience, so if you’re near the New York City area, you must go.
- C&O Canal:
Washington, DC’s C&O Canal is hosting a few Canal Pride Days throughout National Park Week where you can help clean up the area surrounding the canal before the high season begins. On April 24th, instructors will help families learn to fish in the canal and kids can get their Junior Ranger badge when they help the rangers test the water quality. You can also participate in scavenger hunts, as well as a number of other fun activities.
- Yosemite National Park:
In addition to the waived admission throughout the entire week of National Park Week, Yosemite National Park is inviting all children to become a Junior Ranger for the day on April 24th where children will have the opportunity to take a special Junior Ranger hike, participate in a children’s photography session and take part in drop-in activities throughout the day.
- Smoky Mountains National Park:
Rangers along the Elkmont Nature Trail are hosting a volunteer clean-up day on April 25th, as well as a road race along the new re-opened Cades Cove 11-mile loop. Strollers, runners and walkers are all welcome to participate.
- Grand Teton National Park:
Grand Teton National Park is one of the country’s most popular national parks, and on April 24th, they are holding Junior Ranger festivities, including tours of the park ambulances and fire trucks.
- Acadia National Park:
Acadia National Park is one of Maine’s most scenic parks and on April 22nd, they are hosting a geology hike.
- Alcatraz Island:
Alcatraz is undoubtedly the most famous prison in the country and during National Park Week, they are allowing patrons to tour the cells and learn about the island’s Native American history at no cost whatsoever.
National Park Week will take place until April 25th and wherever you go to take in a bit of nature this week, keep in mind that all of the events listed above are absolutely free of charge, no exceptions or sneaky fine print.