U.S. National Parks Week is April 21st – 29th, and to celebrate, all U.S. National parks are offering free admission for the entire week. Take advantage of this opportunity to visit a nearby national park for free.
There are four national parks close to Orange and L.A. Counties, the closest of which is the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Center. On April 27th and 28th, there will be a Science Festival open to all ages. Here you can learn how to track various animals and take part in hands-on demonstrations. If you go on Saturday the 28th, your kids have the chance to become a Junior Ranger and earn a patch to show their dedication to education and protection of our national parks.
If Santa Monica is too far out of the way, your child can become a Webranger by exploring different parks online. There are varying difficulty levels, and your child can earn rewards by playing different activities, including building their own ranger station.
In addition to the Santa Monica Mountains, other nearby national parks include Cabrillo National Monument, Channel Islands National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park. These are all within 100 miles of Orange, which makes for a doable trip with a little planning.
National Parks week coincides with Earth Day on April 22nd, and Arbor Day on April 27th, so this could be a week packed with education and family activities and events celebrating trees, the environment, and how to take good care of the Earth.