Celebrate “Kids To Parks Day” with 5 Classic Outdoors Family Adventures (Giveaway)

15294351917_913897bb23_k

Buddy Bison at Crater Lake National Park. Photo credit: National Park Trust

Every weekend is a great opportunity to take kids outside, but Saturday May 16, 2015 is extra special. It’s the 5th annual National Park Trust “Kids to Parks Day”! Participating is super easy–all you have to do is get outside with your kids in a U.S. local or national park. That, in itself is reason to be happy but there’s more.

By participating in Kids to Parks Day,

  • You could win a Nikon COOLPIX L830 camera. All you have to do is pledge to take a child to a park on the National Park Trust site (register here). Pictures are the only things you can take in national parks. Better be ready, then. Smile!
  • You encourage outdoors exploration by kids. National Park Trust is encouraging children to explore their local parks and discover science, history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town. Their website can help jumpstart your next adventure.
  • You help fight childhood obesity – active kids mean healthy kids. With the obesity epidemic touching nearly 1 in 3 children, Kids to Parks Day could be the first of many days spent outdoors to develop more active and healthy lifestyles.
  • You could win an awesome Kids To Parks prize package giveaway. (Scroll all details at the bottom  of this post.)

We love taking our girls out in nature and Kids to Parks Day is our kind of day. I’d like to share 5 classic outdoors family adventures that everybody should try on Kids to Parks Day because they’re easy, fun and cost nothing.

#1 Have a Picnic By The Water

DSCF0052

Nothing says family fun like the opportunity to splash in a river, a lake or the sea. When out with our girls in California, we’ve always made a point to picnic by the water so that the picnic could double as play time. Whether going for a swim or simply dipping their feet in the water, my girls are crazy for water stops. Our favorite places are Lake Tahoe, by the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, and any sunny beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation area (bonus points for Angel Island because it’s an island and islands are that much more fun).

#2 Go On A Treasure Hunt

IMG_1605

Treasure or scavenger hunts are a great way for kids to explore nature at their own pace. Most parks’ visitor centers have leaflets with treasure hunts for kids or themed scavenger hunts to look for signs, clues or plants. For examples, check out the National Park Trust’s Park Adventure Booklet (scavenger hunt is the 2nd activity).

We’ve experimented with quite a few possibilities and as my girls grew, have adapted treasure hunts to suit their interests and hobbies. They’re now 9 and 11 years old and while treasure hunts are still a big favorite, they’re more sophisticated than when they were preschoolers. The best treasure hunts so far have been a candy cougar (as in this one), a nature bingo treasure hunt (as in this one) and an orienteering treasure hunt (as in this one). However, the clear winner of all treasure hunts is the edible hike where you pick (and eat) edible plants along the way (as in this one).

#3 Find Small Critters

P1130666

Lift a leaf. Pick up a rock. Who’s there? Small critters are a never-ending source of wonder and discovery to children who rarely see wildlife up close when they live in a city.

Do your kids like butterflies? Worms? My 11-year old is fascinated by lizards (she’s holding this blue-bellied lizard), grasshoppers and beetles. Sure, black bears are more impressive wildlife sightings but the humble frog or damselfly is way easier to find and can lead to hours of pond-life exploration. Embrace your critters and get to know them! Also, ask local park officials and don’t pick them up if they are harmful. You never know. Critters don’t come with instructions on their back.

#4 Climb Trees

IMG_1736

Way better than the playground’s jungle gym, try climbing trees! Kids find trees with low branches very hard to resist and how could they not? Engaging their balancing skills with a certain sense of adventure, trees give kids a nature opportunity to take a few risks (which is good) and learn their limits while exercising their climbing skills. Oh, and it requires to focus to reach higher branches.

We love climbing trees!

#5 Go Camping

IMG_3786

Everybody’s favorite! Camping in parks still is the best activity to get kids close to nature as they get to spend a lot of time outdoors. Gazing at stars at night, playing tag in the sunset, roasting marshmallows over the campfire, waking up to pancakes and sausages, listening to nature sounds, are many of the pleasures of camping. Have you tried camping with kids before? Here are some camping tips to get you started.

THE GIVEAWAY

Giveaway

To enter for a chance to win the Kids to Parks Day Package giveaway, all you have to do is to fill in the Rafflecopter form and comment below on your favorite outdoors family adventure.  The package (a $75 value) includes a “Buddy Bison” mascot stuffed animal, 2 National Geographic Books (National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks and National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide U.S.A.), a CamelBak BPA- and BPS-free reusable bottle, a T-shirt, and a NPT Park Activity Guide.

From the entries on this blog post, a winner will be randomly selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
The following two tabs change content below.

Laure Latham

Laure is an author, environmental advocate, blogger, open water swimmer and now mother. She's passionate about inspiring families to enjoy the outdoors with their children, learning to unplug and living a healthy lifestyle, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Frog Mom.

Latest posts by Laure Latham (see all)

14 Responses to “Celebrate “Kids To Parks Day” with 5 Classic Outdoors Family Adventures (Giveaway)”

  1. April 08, 2015 at 7:21 am, Virginie said:

    California is such a great place for outdoor adventures! Every weekend we go for a hike with our boys, and we try to find a new place/park where we’ve never been before. We have always an amazing time! We’ve never tried treasure hunt though, but it’s a very good idea ;-)

    Reply

  2. April 20, 2015 at 3:18 pm, Lauren said:

    We like to go camping.

    Reply

  3. April 21, 2015 at 7:35 am, AF said:

    Living in Florida, we are able to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Each weekend, we have a different outdoor adventure. Fishing, canoeing, SUP, surfing and snorkeling are family favorites.

    Reply

  4. April 21, 2015 at 9:02 pm, Victoria said:

    We love camping! Northern California has many outdoor adventure opportunities– and if we’re not camping, then the East Bay Regional Park system!

    Reply

  5. April 24, 2015 at 9:58 am, Dawna said:

    My favourite outdoor family adventure is finding a new camping place, or going for a hike along one of Nova Scotia’s many trails. And this summer we’re hoping to get our daughter (2) into our bike trailer so we can check out some new areas.

    Reply

    • December 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm, Adele said:

      hey..off topic. but I was in Ramapo park earl in the morning the other day about 5am.I saw 2 coyotes. looked like a big male, and smaller female. They were about 20 yards awBiuaeautyf.l creatures.SAS

      Reply

  6. April 24, 2015 at 10:05 am, AK said:

    We love to go hiking, both urban hikes and right around the Bay Area.

    Reply

    • December 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm, Kaydence said:

      Tendríamos que demandar al estado por la violencia estructural ejercida contra los currelantes desempleados. Yo estoy hasta el moño de esta siR!Ãcia³n!!u!!teirnos unos diitas viene bien, pero es muy fuerte la situación que estamos viviendo en la provincia de Cádiz. Aumenta ladesesperanza de forma vertiginosa, aunque no lo crea, don Rafa.

      Reply

  7. April 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm, Anna said:

    Our favorite is the beach!

    Reply

  8. April 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm, Catherine said:

    we love to explore our local parks and hike, bird watch and especially this time of year enjoy the wildflowers

    Reply

  9. April 25, 2015 at 12:21 am, Karin said:

    Most recently it’s been fishing!

    Reply

  10. May 05, 2015 at 8:47 pm, vanessa barahona said:

    Two weeks ago we went to a camping rip at Tohickon campground in Quakertown Pa. Wow a great experience for Us. Between fishing, hiking, camping, cooking, and learning some new knots techniques we had the best experience ever.

    Reply

  11. May 06, 2015 at 1:40 am, Rose said:

    We recently had a family picnic in the Great Smoky Mountain. We then went through Cades Cove(11 mile loop you drive, has areas to stop and visit homes, churches, old barns to show how they lived in this area back in the time, hiking trails, falls, and did I mention wildlife). My son loved it and can’t wait for us to go again. Hopefully next time, we will get to picnic area earlier to get an area near the creek so he can splash around before doing the tour.

    Reply

  12. May 06, 2015 at 7:34 pm, Caroline said:

    We love to explore ponds, lakes, rivers, streams! The variety of plants and animals is always abundant and exciting!

    Reply

Comment

You might also like...