Our Stretch-n-Grow Road-trippers are having a blast learning about the National Parks this summer. These adventures have our friends hiking, canoeing, running, and jumping their way across 3,537,436 square miles of American terrain. Using our imagination, we’re taking our adventures onto the road, and outside of the classroom means exploring America’s wilderness and outdoor activities to our real National Parks.
So what do you think of when you think of exploring nature? Marching up the mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains? White water rafting in Colorado? These are some of the park goer’s favorite activities, but it is also good to shake the schedule up sometimes and go outside of our comfort zones. When planning your summer road-trip, remember that different parks can offer a variety of experiences that can open your child’s mind to new possibilities, show them new sites, and will push them to new fitness possibilities.
- Spelunking: This is just a fun word to say, and it will give your smaller tykes hours of fun while they practice pronouncing the word which just means cave-exploring. Whether it is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky or Crystal Cave in California, going on a climb underground can be safe and fun. Learn about stalactites, stalagmites, bats, and even secret rivers on a guided tour, or a self-guided walk. Maintained by the National Parks Service, it is safe, clean, well-lit, and the paths are defined so you cannot get lost! See the world from a whole new perspective by going spelunking.
- Snorkeling: Get out of the swimming pool this summer and under the ocean by snorkeling. Did you know that America has National Parks beneath the waves? The Virgin Islands and even our most northern state – Alaska – have the option to put on some gear and explore the sandy bottom. Make sure you do it with trained professionals, not disturbing the natural environment, and this activity can spark a life-long love of adventure and activity.
- Horseback riding: Looking to explore greater distances at your chosen National Park? Saddle up and go by horse! Stables that work with the National Parks have all the equipment from saddles and bridles to expert teachers who can give you guided rides. From Maine’s Acadia National Park to Lassen Volcanic National Park, horseback riding provides guests with the ability to see more of the park, while making a new animal friend.
Taking a road trip is all about family adventures, trying new activities, and connecting with each other and the natural world. Whether exploring the National Parks through traditional activities like nature trails or bike paths, or something more exotic like our list above, your family can get active after hours in the car by spending a day (or two or three) exploring parts of the country that are new to you!