2016 is going to be a huge year for our national parks as the National Park Service celebrates the 100th anniversary of our national park system. Look for loads of events and activities to celebrate this milestone at national parks all across the country.
And, of course, thanks to the new Every Kid in a Park initiative, which allows free park entry to all 4th graders and their families, our parks will be more popular than ever. If you’ve got a national park-loving kid or if you’d like to inspire a love for our national parks within your family, take a look at these 10 gift ideas that any friend of our national parks would be excited to receive this holiday season.
Monopoly: National Parks Edition ($32.30): If you’ve yet to do much exploring in our national parks with your kids, Monopoly: National Parks Edition is a great way to make an introduction. The board game highlights nearly two dozen of the most scenic national parks, like Yosemite and Death Valley, as well as various other national historic sites. Kids will also learn which animals inhabit which parks.
National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide U.S.A. ($10.92): This colorful book for kids goes park-by-park sharing five different ways to explore each one (e.g., take a hike, go stargazing). It also features a checklist for each park to make sure that you and your kids complete the absolute must-dos when you visit, like going swimming near Firehole Falls at Yellowstone National Park.
Memory Challenge: National Parks ($13.79): Another great game for learning about national parks is Memory Challenge: National Parks. Look for 100 photo cards with images of our national parks and the animals that can be found within them, like the Black Bear at North Cascades National Park.
National Parks Passport ($8.95): We had a great time last summer seeking out cancellation stamps at various national parks to mark our visits in our national parks passport. There’s also a place to add the official sticker for each park. You can even buy a Kids Passport Companion, which serves as a field journal.
Secrets of the National Parks ($14.20): This book from National Geographic is perfect if you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a bucket list park, like Yellowstone or Grand Canyon. Inside you’ll find expert tips, most scenic view points and easy trails so you can make the most of your visit on your own or with your family.
Passport to Your National Parks’ Companion Guide ($9-13): These little companion guides are great if you’re planning to visit multiple parks. They’re organized by region and offer tips and hints on where to find stamps in the park, how many there are in each park and how easy or difficult they are to find.
National Parks Travel Quest Poster ($24.99): This fantastic poster features pictures of all of our national parks on the outside border. In the middle, there’s a U.S. map that identifies the location of each national park. Also included is a set of campfire stickers to mark the parks on the map that you’ve already visited.
National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States ($14.49): We have this book and I can’t tell you how helpful it was when we were planning our cross-country road trip earlier this year. For every national park, the book includes when to go, different routes to take around the parks and must-do hikes.
National Parks Travel Posters ($5-20): I’m a big fan of national parks travel posters. They’re fun and colorful and a great reminder of the good times you had at national parks like Yosemite and Grand Teton National Parks. Have them framed or simply break out some thumb tacks and put them on a bedroom wall.
America the Beautiful Pass ($80): If you want to make 2016 the year that you get out and explore our national parks, then the America the Beautiful annual pass makes a great gift. The pass allows you entry to all parks charging a fee. This is especially great when there’s a long line to get into a park and the rangers open up a car line exclusively for pass-holders.
Heading to a National Park this year? Here are some really cool Things Your Kids Can Do in National Parks!
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links within this post. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.