4th Graders Get FREE National Parks Passes!

Did you know that with the start of the new school year, all fourth graders and their families can claim their free Every Kid in a Park pass?  This pass allows FREE entry into all federal parks, forests, and recreation areas for one full year.  What a fabulous opportunity! Every Kid in a Park Pass ~ Where to Get Yours Starting Sept. 1, fourth graders can print out a paper voucher for free entry into all federal lands by visiting the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov. Students and their families can also redeem their paper voucher for a plastic pass at any Forest Service office. For office locations, visit www.fs.usda.gov/r6/. The voucher and passes are valid for the entire school year, Sept. 1, 2017-Aug. 31, 2018. Every Kid in a Park Pass ~ Who Can Use Them? Teachers or adults who engage fourth-graders through a youth-serving organization can print paper passes, and find activities and lesson plans, … [Read more...]

Celebrate National Park Week ~ Fun Facts & Events

Did you know that it's National Park Week?  Coinciding nicely with Earth Day, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation have pulled together an entire week of celebration, including fun events and activities for your family to participate in. And to kick off the party, there will be fee-free National Park entrance days on Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20! "Go Wild" for National Park Week 2014! During the week of April 19-27th, 2014, be sure to visit your local national park for special events.  Here are a few of the festivities to check out... 9 great days, 9 great ways for you and your family to "Go Wild!" for America's National Parks: Go wild for bears. This year the National Park Foundation has teamed with Disney on the new Disneynature film, “Bears,” premiering just in time for Earth Day and National Park Week on Friday, April 18. For every ticket sold during “Bears” opening week, April 18-24, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park … [Read more...]

Day Trip to Arches National Park

Just outside of the charming town of Radiator Springs... er... I mean Moab, Utah... sits the majestic Arches National Park.   Being an easy drive away from our home, my family likes to day trip here.  Especially during the Spring months, before that desert climate starts to really heat up those lovely red rocks, and the temperatures effortlessly soar above 100 degrees. Wait...is this the real Radiator Springs? I can't help but think of Disney's Cars every time we are in this area.   Here you'll find the Southwest's grand open vistas decorated with red rock formations, which were clearly the inspiration for the movie's setting.  This is the REAL Radiator Springs, people!  As proof of my theory, we spotted this on our way there - at the Crescent Junction, turnoff. After posting this to instagram, my Utah outdoor blogger friend Melissa (Adventure Tykes) let me know that Mater is often nearby, too.  Shoot, we missed him.  He musta been out tractor tippin'. Our Day Trip to Arches … [Read more...]

Colorado National Monument Hiking With Kids

If you ever find yourself in Western Colorado, be sure to check out the Colorado National Monument.  With beautiful red rock terrain, and even some wild mountain goats running around - this is an outdoor hidden gem, with a nice variety of trails for you to enjoy hiking with kids. Colorado National Monument ~ Hiking With Kids There are two entrances to the park, an east and a west.  Currently the entrance fee is $10 per vehicle, or free with a National Parks pass.  Be sure to grab a map at the drive-by entrance station on the way in.   If you have a specific length and type of hike you are interested in, ask the ranger working the booth for suggestions of a trail. Be aware that you can't bring dogs along on the trails, even on a leash.  And bring plenty of water, as this can be a high temperature area. If you enter from the west, you'll get to pass through a couple of tunnels.  My kids always find this exciting.  (Ok... I do, too!)  After about 5 winding miles of road, you will … [Read more...]

Spotting Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park

We recently got to spend the weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park.  You can often get good deals on condo rentals in the winter there, since not having a ski area nearby makes it their off season. And if you haven't hot tubbed outside, in the snow, in winter... you are missing out.  Make sure you book one with a hot tub! This is a majestic and beautiful area, and my favorite part is getting to see lots of elk. Spotting wildlife is one of my favorite aspects of being in the wilderness. Elk are so prevalent in this area, that you often see them strolling around the nearby town of Estes Park. Here are the best shots of the closest ones we saw, sitting right nearby the road.   In the words on my dad, these are "about as big as they get"!   Some of the roads are closed in Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter. But we were able to make our way to frozen Bear Lake, just as the winds and snow were picking up, for a blustery adventure and … [Read more...]

Free National Park Weekends

When was the last time you took your family out to enjoy some Nature? This upcoming, 3 day (for many) weekend just became the perfect opportunity!   See the bottom of this post for other free dates in 2012. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr day, admission will be free to all 397 National Parks on January 14-16, 2012. … [Read more...]