From April 18 through 26, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will host National Park Week. This year’s theme, “Find Your Park,” invites people everywhere to be a part of the Find Your Park movement and discover their own unique connections to parks and the programs managed by the National Park Service. Featuring free admission to all parks on April 18 and 19, and exciting activities and programs throughout the week, National Park Week is the perfect time to celebrate America’s 407 national parks and find your park.
Find Your Park showcases everything parks can be and the wide range of opportunities they have to offer, highlighting wellness, recreation, community, education, history, culture, and preservation of the environment. Find Your Park connects people to parks, redefining what a park can be and the important role they play in the lives of current and future generations.
There are countless ways to enjoy National Park Week. Check out www.nationalparkweek.org for ideas on how to connect with parks, where to go and what to do. Here are nine suggestions to get you started:
Find Your Park. National Park Week is a great time to get up, get out there, and find your park! On FindYourPark.com there is a searchable list of ideas for ways to find your park, including in-park and digital activities. There is also a fun and interactive quiz to help people jumpstart their journey.
Share Your Story. Your story could inspire others to discover their park! The public is invited to share their story on social media using #FindYourPark and at FindYourPark.com. The website features an interactive gallery of inspirational stories from the general public, National Park Service employees, and celebrities. People can also enter The Centennial Project contest.
Take Advantage of Free Admission Days. All National Park Service entrance fees will be waived on the opening weekend of National Park Week – April 18 and 19. While the majority of national parks provide free entrance every day of the year, the 128 parks that normally charge an admission fee will also be free to enter that weekend.
Become a Junior Ranger. On April 18, visitors can celebrate National Junior Ranger Day by taking part in special family-friendly activities at many national parks, including Ocmulgee National Monument, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Booker T. Washington National Monument, Biscayne National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Olympic National Park, Morristown National Historical Park, and Chamizal National Memorial.
Attend a Star-studded Party. Marvel at the incredible dark night sky found in many national parks. Great Basin National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Rock Creek Park, Cabrillo National Monument, and Jimmy Carter National Historic Site will all host astronomy programs and star viewing opportunities during National Park Week.
Take part in the #FindYourParkInstaMeet. From 2:00 to 4:00pmET on April 19, parks across the country including Grand Teton National Park, Everglades National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, Independence National Historical Park, and Statue of Liberty National Monument will participate in the Find Your Park InstaMeet. You can join in the fun from wherever you are using the hashtags #FindYourParkInstaMeet and #FindYourPark and tagging @NationalParkService and @GoParks on Instagram.
Celebrate Earth Day. This year is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day and national parks are some of the best places to honor the day. John Muir National Historic Site, Cape Cod National Seashore, and Dinosaur National Monument are some of the parks hosting special Earth Day-themed events.
Join the Revolution. Participate in three days of events at Minute Man National Historical Park to commemorate the anniversary of the start of the American Revolutionary War. Events include battle demonstrations, musket firings, drills, battle demonstrations, speeches, and other ceremonies.
Be a VIP (Volunteer in Park). Lend a hand to care for your parks. Volunteer projects happening during National Park Week include a trail project at National Capital Parks – East, habitat restoration at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, tree planting at Flight 93 National Memorial, and a river float and clean up at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.