June 23, 2017

Celebrate Kids to Parks Day (+ Win a Pair of Northside Shoes)

We love national parks (as well as national monuments, seashores, historic parks, etc.). On our epic cross-country road trip in 2015, we visited at least a dozen. This year, we’re on track to explore at least four (Shenandoah, Cuyahoga Valley, Devils Tower and Badlands), though I’m sure there will be more.

Sledding at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico

Now that Spring is officially here (thank goodness), I’m excited that Kids to Parks Day is just around the corner on Saturday, May 20. The National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks Day is an annual celebration of outdoor play in, where else, our parks, including national, state and local parks all across America.

Related: 20 Really Cool Things Your Kids Can Do in National Parks

Kids to Parks Day is a great opportunity to get kids outside and encourage active lifestyles, especially since many parks will be hosting family-friendly events that range from park clean-ups to guided hikes to hands-on activities, like arts and crafts. Even biking and fishing activities.

Skipping stones at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

This year, Northside USA, has gotten in on the fun as a major sponsor of Kids to Parks Day. If you’re not familiar with Northside, they are an outdoor-focused company that sells well-made and affordable active footwear for men, women, even kids.

One of Northside’s goals is to make the outdoors more accessible for everyone. There’s no need for fancy and expensive gear. You don’t need the most advanced technology. Just get outside and go, though of course you don’t want to wear flip flops out on the hiking trail (which surprisingly, I have seen).

Participating in the Junior Ranger program at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

I will tell you that my kids are not hikers. I wish they were, but I feel like I’m always reading up on the latest tips and tricks to get kids to love hiking (e.g., bring snacks, invite their friends, etc.). These tactics work to an extent, but now they’re excited about fun shoes that make them feel like hikers.

Related article: Hiking with Kids: 7 Tips for a Perfect Morning Hike

My purple-loving nine-year-old loves the Burke II, a purple (of course) active shoe from Northside that’s just right for hiking, rock scrambling, even splashing in creeks. She can’t wait to try them out once the paths dry out a bit more (I’m not a huge fan of muddy hiking).

Taking a break along the rim at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

Beyond hiking, there are loads of things to do in our parks. You can go on cave tours, sled down sand dunes, go tidepooling, build sand castles and ride on horses. Many national and state parks also have Junior Ranger programs, which are always a hit with my kids.

Related: Stamp It: Passport to Your National Parks Program

Also, don’t forget that National Park Week is coming up in mid-April (April 15-23), even before Kids to Parks Day. As a bonus, you can visit our national parks for free on both weekends of National Park Week (April 15-16 and 22-23). There’s no reason not to get out there to explore our parks as a family.

Taking in the size of the trees at Redwood National Park in California

To get you started, you may want to check out posts I’ve written about some of my favorite national parks, including Death Valley, Yosemite,  Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Crater Lake. I can’t wait to go back to all of them. They are all so incredible in their own ways.

Related article: Best Gifts for National Park Lovers

If you’re ready to get out and explore our parks and you’ve yet to own and experience a pair of active footwear from Northside USA, you are in luck. I am giving away a pair of shoes from Northside to help you take your adventures to the next level. You can choose from any pair of shoes on the Northside USA website, including trail shoes or boots, sport shoes, snow boots and active sandals.

Enter to win a pair of Northside shoes by way of the Rafflecopter widget below. Note that this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. This giveaway ends at 12 AM ET on April 13, 2017. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was provided with shoes for my kids and I to field test in our parks. However, all opinions presented here are my own.

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