America’s national park system is filled with some of the most amazing natural wonders that our country has to offer and it isn’t just adults that love going to them. They are amazing places for kids to learn, have fun, and explore. Here are a few reasons why national parks are great vacations for kids as well as the best parks for kids down at the end.
Educational Workshops and Classes
Many of the most popular national parks offer educational workshops and classes for kids. Here they can learn how to rock climb, identify bird calls, and learn more about the natural world. Many of these classes you will need to sign up for in advance because they are popular. Ask a park ranger or the visitor center’s staff about them when you arrive and they will be able to tell you more about the activities that are scheduled, or at least where to go in the park for more information.
Appreciate Natural Beauty
Some of the most beautiful places in this country are national parks. Yosemite, the Redwoods, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone are just a few of the amazing national parks. These are places where it’s difficult not to fall in love with nature and exposure at a young age will help give your kids a lifelong appreciation for the natural world.
National Parks Jr Ranger Program
Most, possibly even all of the national parks in the United States have a Jr Ranger Program that is incredibly easy to take part in. Kids simply need to finish an activity book and bring it to the visitor’s center where they recite a pledge. It only costs a few dollars to get the activity book and it is a great way for kids to get a sense of accomplishment while they’re enjoying the great outdoors. Jr. Rangers get a badge that proves they’ve completed the program.
The Chance to Meet People From All Over the World
The bigger national parks offer a unique opportunity you won’t find anywhere else in the world. In Yosemite you might have a family camping on one side of you that has come from Japan and a family from Ireland on the other side of you. These are attractions that bring people from all over the world. People who are all there sharing a common love of nature. Your kids might even be lucky enough to make friends with kids from other countries that stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Top 5 National Parks with Kids
So if you’re looking at taking your kids to a national park this year you might be wondering which ones are the best. Well, while I do have my own opinions I’ve compiled a list of 5 that are featured most often in articles written by travel experts and mommy bloggers about the best national parks for families. In total I looked at 20 articles to come up with this list.
- Acadia National Park – Maine
- Zion National Park – Utah
- Yosemite National Park – California
- Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
- Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming
Honorable Mentions: Everglades National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Glacier National Park, Arches National Park, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.