Where will you turn up in the National Park System this spring? Our friends at Eastern National have the following suggestions for you to consider.
National Park Week. National Park Week is a time to get out and explore the parks. This year, events are taking place April 19-26. Kick the week off with a fee free weekend on the 19th and 20th and end with Junior Ranger Day April 26. Check with parks for special activities.
Memorial Day Weekend. Celebrate Memorial Day on May 26 by checking out the parks for the long weekend! Many parks are having special ceremonies or events Saturday, Sunday, and/or Monday. Check your favorite park's website to see what they have on tap.
Women's History Month. Explore Women's history throughout March. This year's theme is Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. Commemorate influential women at Women's Rights NHP with a Women's History Month Lecture on March 15 or 22, explore Lowell Women's Week ongoing now through Saturday, head to Saratoga National Historical Park for a month-long exhibit entitled The Force of Fashion-Prettifying the Ladies, or spend some time on the National Mall and learn about The Remarkable Eleanor Roosevelt, Women from the Revolution to WWII, and The Real Rosa Parks and the Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
National Cherry Blossom Festival. View the National Mall in full bloom this year! Every Spring, the city and it's memorials come to life with the pink hues of the cherry blossoms. The festival will be held March 20 through April 12. Keep an eye on the National Park Service website to learn about the bloom schedule and events.
Civil War Trust Park Day. This annual hands-on preservation event allows volunteers to help their local Civil War parks. Events are scheduled at Antietam National Battlefield, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Vicksburg National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, and others.
Living History and Encampments. Watch the past come to life! Visit Morristown National Historical Park on April 5&6, Fort Scott National Historic Site April 12 & 13, and Appomattox Court House National Historical Park April 19 & 20 to learn how troops spent their time at these sites.
Get Out, Get Healthy! The national parks offer a plethora of trails and events to aid you in a healthy lifestyle. Hop on your bike and head to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park for the LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour March 29 & 30, enjoy Spring Training with a Ranger every other Saturday in March & April at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, or learn about backpacking with Backpacking 101 at Congaree National Park March 15 or May 17. You can also strike out on your own if you're an experienced hiker or biker on any number of trails available to the public.
Kids in Parks. You may know about the Junior Ranger program, but do you know about other events for kids? Congratulate this year's winners at the Student Poetry Contest Award Celebration April 5 at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, catch a big one at Kids Fishing Day at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area on May 3, or take part in the Children's Cultural Parade at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on May 30. The National Park Trust's Kids to Parks Day on May 17 includes all parks. Find an event and don't forget to take pictures with your Buddy Bison!
Parks After Dark. View your favorite parks in a different light with these special nighttime events. Join Thomas Stone National Historic Site ranges for an Owl Prowl, Stargazing, and Storytelling March 15, Tumacacori National Historical Park as they host a Full Moon Night April 15, take a Twilight Tour of Fort Washington Park April 24 or May 22, or take a Full Moon Hike at White Sands National Monument on May 13.
Art in the Parks. Spring is a great time to stretch your creative muscles! Pack a lunch and head to Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site for Brown Bag Poetry Lunch Thursdays in April, take part in the Mimbres Pottery Workshop at Petroglyph National Monument May 17 & 18, or try your hand at a Pleine Aire Session at Saratoga National Historical Park May 10 & 24.