Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Travel to the National Parks

First shared on Applemomshv.com 

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I have been fascinated with National Parks since I was a kid, I would read about them, write reports on them and dream about visiting.  Which I did get to with my family.  Now as a mom, I plan on visiting as many as I can with my kids.  In 2011, on a trip to Boston and Salem, MA we came across a Passport To Your National Parks book, we bought one which is a super affordable souvenir.  Since then we have gone to some in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, Philadelphia, Maryland, Florida and most recently Washington DC.  Family travel is important to me with the kids, and with National Parks all around, it has been easy to visit when we are nearby or close enough for drivable trips.
Salem Maritime NP Jack
The kids and I went to Washington DC with friends, I had set out to see the monuments and collect the stamps for our passport book.  My friends joined while there and bought their books at the Washington Monument (or pencil/crayon as the kids called it).    You can buy a Passport to your National Park book at any gift shop or online at EPARKS.  I also bought a separate kids book NPS Kids Club Adventure Guide  for the DC area, and we brought our packets for the kids to complete and collect the stamps (great for the older crowd to 7 years and up that I printed from online.
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At many of the parks children can become Junior Rangers and are sworn in by Park Rangers, educational fun.   The Kids in Parks program lists all the Junior Ranger places and then you can find the booklets and tasks that need to be completed.  Locally there is Saint Paul's Church in Mt. Vernon, Weir Farm  in Wilton, CT, and NY along with 3 in Hyde Park (although Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace is closed until 2016 as of 5/1/15.
Junior Ranger programs engage young people in activities that help them to discover specific sites and introduces them to the national park system.  This is geared to kids 6-12 years old, a park ranger or volunteer who will sign off and award their badge.
Junior Ranger Initiation Lincoln Memorial Jack and MommyThomas at the White HouseWashington Memorial AM
Did you know that National Seashores also provide educational activities and fun, Fire Island is one nearby.   The more I click through on the website the more I find out about places included that I I never realized.  New York has a long list, planning a staycation is easy.
Other Resources:
http://findyourpark.com -Celebrating 100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016 and spreading the word about all the places the US has to offer.  Also listing
http://www.nationalparks.org -National Park Foundation - national charitable partner of the National Park Service
Follow online with National Parks #findyourpark
Philly BellSalem Maritime NPSalem Maritime NP Jack

Assateague EnteranceJack and horsescar and horses NPKids at Assateague



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