Family Vacation

National Parks Your Kids Will Never Want to Leave

Through its support of the Every Kid in a Park initiative and Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, the National Park Foundation is committed to making sure the next generation of park stewards has the opportunity to experience the beauty of our national treasures.

Now that summer is underway, giving kids and parents plenty of time to play and explore, there's never been a better opportunity to take your kids on their first national park trip at one of these fun, adventure-filled parks.

Olympic National Park

Washington
Playtime for All

There's no end to the number of ways that kids and adults alike can immerse themselves in the stunning landscape of Washington's Olympic National Park. The park encompasses several distinct ecosystems, providing an opportunity for kids to learn more about the relationships between plants and animals in the natural world. Hike the Hurricane Hill Trail to catch a glimpse of the vivid wildflowers that bloom along the ridge in summer, or explore the Hoh Rainforest's Hall of Mosses, which sheds light on one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world. Both trails offer easy terrain that's perfect for families and youngsters. Olympic National Park also includes coastal tide pools ripe for exploration, along with campgrounds, fishing streams, and picnic areas.

Things to Do

  • Birdwatching
  • Arts & Culture
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Children's Programs

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Michigan
Pure Michigan

Up at the northwest tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is like a giant sandbox, with plenty of ways for families to explore. Kids will love the Dune Climb — you'll probably love it too — which provides a chance to scramble to the top of the lakeshore's massive sand dunes, some of them as high as 300 feet above the parking area below. Sleeping Bear Dunes offers an excellent Junior Ranger Program, and in summer, there are daily ranger-led tours and programs aimed specifically at kids, including a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue. Other activities include hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and kayaking.

Things to Do

  • Camping
  • Biking
  • Children's Programs
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Fishing
  • Hiking

Arches National Park

Utah
Rock Formations Galore

Exploring Arches National Park is a singular experience — there's simply no other place like it. Several short, relatively easy hiking trails lead to this Utah park's unique rock formations, which include some of the most spectacular natural stone arches in the world. The trails are great for families, but remember to bring plenty of water, and don't forget the sunscreen! Arches National Park also offers ranger-led programs from spring through fall, along with a Junior Ranger Program that gives kids a chance to have fun while learning more about the park. And be sure to stop at the visitor center for free booklets and Red Rock Explorer backpacks!

Things to Do

  • Camping
  • Biking
  • Children's Programs
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Off-Roading

Everglades National Park

Florida
Exotic Fun for All Ages

Exploring Everglades National Park is like stepping back in time. The Florida park's unique wetlands harbor a wealth of plant and animal life, some of which is found almost nowhere else. Exhibits and films await at the park's various visitors centers, and ranger programs take place throughout the year. Of course, the real fun begins when you set off into the Everglades, and there are several short trails that are easy and safe for youngsters. You'll find some of America's best bird-watching spots, plus campsites, canoe and kayak trails, and both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Things to Do

  • Birdwatching
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Children's Programs
  • Fishing

Sign up to receive the free Parks for Play Owner's Guide from the National Park Foundation to learn more about the adventures that await in your national parks.

Woman holding a camera walking in a field
Share Your Park Experience

Finding Your Park is just half the fun. You can share your stories, images, and videos of your park and inspire so many more people to find their park.