ABC’s of Summer Fun {N is for National Parks}

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N is for National Parks

ABC’s of Summer Fun

Over the years our family has enjoyed visiting many national parks around the country. We have plans to visit several this summer!

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant established Yellowstone National Park as the country’s first national park, but the National Park Service did not come into existence until 1916. Without a doubt, National Parks are one of America’s finest treasures.

Americans are so blessed to have these amazing places to visit. There are so many parks to choose from and lots of activities to do while you visit. Most states have a national park. In fact, Delaware is currently the only state that does not have a national park!

What that means is that you probably live close to one or more national parks! Some national parks have more to offer than others, but they are all valuable and special in their own way.

N is for National Parks_a

One of our family’s favorite keepsakes from the national parks is our National Park Passports. Each time we visit a park, we have a ranger stamp our “passports” with the park name and date. We started this tradition over a decade ago and still use the same passport books {for each child} each time we visit a new park.

There are so many reasons why visiting a national park is a great choice for a vacation or even a “mini-vacation” as I like to call them – you know, a weekend away or a even an overnight jaunt?

  • First of all, visiting a park is a frugal way to have fun.
  • Parks offer a wholesome form of entertainment.
  • Encouraging your kids to enjoy nature and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation is always good.
  • Plus, visiting a national park is educational. You will all learn something!

N is for National Parks @


There are so many activities to choose from when planning your visit to a national park. Not every park will have every activity available so be sure to check out the official National Park website for all the details.

  • camping
  • backpacking
  • day hiking
  • picnicking
  • canoeing
  • rafting
  • kayaking
  • mountain climbing
  • biking
  • cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
  • horseback riding
  • ranger-led activities
  • wildlife viewing
  • guided tours
  • history museums and movie presentation

As well as finding lots of activities offered by the national park service, you will often find other fun activities in the area surrounding the national park like zip line tours.

Junior Ranger Program

The National Park Service offers a wonderful educational opportunity for kids called the Junior Ranger program. This program is free – all you have to do is ask!

“Explore, Learn, and Protect!” The Junior Ranger motto is recited by children around the country; each taking an oath of their own to protect parks, continue to learn about parks, and share their own ranger story with friends and family. – National Park Service

When your child completes the Junior Ranger program at each park, he will receive an official Junior Ranger patch and certificate. You can learn more about the program here.

Books to Read

  • [easyazon_link identifier=”1426309317″ locale=”US” tag=”keepersoftheirho”]National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide U.S.A.: The Most Amazing Sights, Scenes, and Cool Activities from Coast to Coast![/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link identifier=”157912884X” locale=”US” tag=”keepersoftheirho”]National Parks: A Kid’s Guide to America’s Parks, Monuments and Landmarks[/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link identifier=”1426309333″ locale=”US” tag=”keepersoftheirho”]National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun[/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link identifier=”0486278328″ locale=”US” tag=”keepersoftheirho”]National Parks Coloring Book (Dover Nature Coloring Book)[/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link identifier=”B00T5SYDLK” locale=”US” tag=”keepersoftheirho”]Yellowstone National Park with Kids: Hints, tips, itineraries, and trip reports to make your family vacation unforgettable![/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link identifier=”156512605X” locale=”US” tag=”keepersoftheirho”]Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder[/easyazon_link]

More Ideas

Which national park that you’ve visited is your favorite? Why? Share below!

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  1. So true! We have traveled quite a bit and try to visit the different parks. My kids did the Junior Ranger program when they were younger and we try to go to at least one presentation around the campfire each time we go. It is such a great experience, ones my kids still talk about! Have a wonderful summer!
  2. We love visiting these parks and look forward to sharing them with our toddler. You did a great job with this post and although I have a lot of the info saved myself in various places, I'm pinning this post to have it all in one spot!
  3. I have such fond memories of visiting National Parks when I was growing up. This would be a great post to share in the upcoming #funsummerfinds linkup. I would love to see you there!
  4. You had me at "frugal." If you're a frequent national parks visitor, I think you can get a pass for around $80 that gives you free parking/admission to all national parks for a year (or maybe it's longer? I don't remember.)
  5. I don't know if I can choose just one favorite national park... We love so many and still have so many to explore! We love Rocky Mountain National Park; it's just so beautiful. And we love Great Smoky Mountains NP because of all the history. Every national park has its own thing/s to love about it. This is a great post. Definitely need to check out some of those books. Thank you for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in this week's issue.