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April 8, 2016
National Parks Week: Great time to take your kids! 

Dear Family Travelers:

Is a National Park on your to-do list this year?
Many American families are considering trips within the United States this year and there's no better time to visit a National Park or Historic Monument. This is the National Park Service's Centennial with special programs and activities across the country
National Parks Week is April 16-24 with entrance fees waived and special activities, starting with National Junior Ranger Day Saturday, April 16 when parks and monuments host kid oriented activities, debuting the new Centennial Junior Ranger booklet and badge.
Check out FIND YOUR PARK or #findyourpark to learn more about special National Park Week activities. And remember that fourth graders and their families are free through the Every Kid in a Park program through the 2015-2016 school year. (Make sure to print out a pass before you go!)  
Here are five ideas for National Parks Week-and later this summer.
Channel Islands National Park (CA) protects five islands and surrounding ocean off the coast of the California mainland. Part of the adventure is getting there - by ferry. Once there, the family can hike, paddle, or camp while spotting wildlife, including plants and animals only found in the Channel Islands.  Learn about tide pools, seals and more. The park is celebrating National Junior Ranger Day on April 16th with fun activities about tide pools, pinnipeds (seals) and more while kids earn six different Junior Ranger badges during the course of a week.
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (DC, MD, WV) is within an easy distance of the nation's capital. Families can hike to the spectacular Great Falls, spot bald eagles flying above the Potomac River, hike the famous Billy Goat trail and stay overnight in a historic lock keeper's house. During National Park Week, visit a Civil War Camp Reenactment or take part in "Canal Pride Days" to help clean the park.
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (CO) you can walk, roll, fat-bike, sled or sand-board down the tallest dunes in North America and still have wetlands, an aspen forest, and tundra to explore. Stick around for star-gazing! Junior Ranger books are now available for parents as well as kids.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve (LA) is the place to play along with Cajun musicians. Keep an eye out for alligators, pack gear for a War of 1812 battle, or learn about the foods that have made Cajun cooking a national treasure. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is a quick side trip away in the heart of New Orleans. The park is hosting a Park Rx (Prescription) Day during National Park Week on April 24th to promote how parks can improve your health.  Join rangers for animal yoga!
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (MI) has miles of sand beach and lush forests along Lake Michigan where families come to swim, bike and hike. During National Park Week, "Find Your Art in the Park" or join a Star Party. Kids can become a Junior Ranger learning how the dunes move!


And from our partners at Family Travel Forum

 Find out what local and visiting kids have to say about nine great American travel destinations through our Kids' Guides Series from Globe Pequot Press.
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