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Free Days at National Parks in 2017

Woohoo!  The U.S. National Park Service has announced their FREE entrance days for all National Parks in 2017!

One of the big family travel trends for this coming year is nature-focused vacations — unplug, recharge and enjoy being together.  We are HUGE fans of the National Park system and try to visit at least one park or historic site every year (most years, we hit 2 or 3 of them).

They are amazing places, perfect for weekend outings or family vacations and a great way for families unplug get re-connected with nature.



Free Days at National Parks in 2017

In stellar fashion, the park service is offering 16 fee-free days to all parks during the 2017 calendar year.  Be sure to get these dates on your calendar:

January 16th:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 20th:  Presidents’ Day

April 15th & 16th – National Park Week

April 23rd & 24th:  National Park Week

August 25th:  National Park Service’s Birthday

September 20th:  National Public Lands Day

November 11th & 12th:  Veterans Day Wknd


There are 409 National Parks around the country — check the map to find locations near you (or near where you’ll be vacationing this year 😉


where to see a moose

Oh yea!  We TOTALLY saw moose on one visit!!


Family-friendly ideas for your next National Park visit:

  • Learn about wildlife at the many educational programs offered in the parks
  • Bring along your own DIY Nature Journal {details on how to make one & free printable activities!}


Wondering which parks to visit?  Here are some of our trip reviews:

The National Parks in South Dakota’s Black Hills

A Family Vacation at Rocky Mountain National Park



And there are some WONDERFUL guides & books for the kids to take on their park visit too!

The Junior Ranger Activity Book: Puzzles, Games, Facts, and Tons More Fun Inspired by the U.S. National Parks! is exactly as the title says — puzzles, games and SO many nature facts about parks from around the US!

Kids will use the National Geographic Kids Guide to the National Parks to get up close and personal with the wildlife and natural wonders they will see and experience on park visits.  This is a great book if you’re trying to decide which parks are the best for your family.

We can’t forget creative fun — the National Parks Coloring Book published by Dover (the folks who do those awesome mini-sticker and detailed coloring books for kids!) not only has detailed park illustrations to color but also some wonderful facts about each of the parks!

And no matter which park you visit, the Journey Around Our National Parks gives readers an A to Z look at all the parks, historic sites and national lands along with the diverse experiences that exisit throughout the park system.  It’s a little nature, history & geography all wrapped in one book 😉



They even have some adorable board books for toddlers and young readers about the National Parks!

All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer

Hello, National Parks!



Also be sure to check out this list of nature books & field guides for kids — perfect to tuck into your backpack for a visit!


So which park will you visit this year? 



The BEST National Park Adventures for Kids

15 Fabulous Books about Forest Animals