Kids Activities

Halloween at Yosemite National Park

October 16, 2009, 11:56 am
Stop by Yosemite National Park on Halloween weekend for spooky crafts, creepy critters, and hikes under the stars! On Friday, October 30, join the Halloween History Stroll for a walk through the Yosemite Cemetery. A short walk among the headstones will help piece together the story of some of the ...

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Haunted Happenings: Spend a Spooky Weekend in Salem

October 16, 2009, 10:36 am
Spend a spooky weekend in Salem, Massachusetts at the month-long Haunted Happenings, an annual Halloween festival in the bewitching seaport of Salem, Massachusetts! The month is chock-full of events, museums, attractions, shops, haunted houses and fantastic dining. On Saturday, October 17, stop by Salem Maritime National Historic Site for a ...

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Visit Carlsbad Caverns for a Spooky Adventure

October 16, 2009, 10:14 am
Celebrate the delightful spookiness of Halloween this month with a visit to a national park that is full of dark caves and crawling with bats—Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Established to preserve Carlsbad Cavern and numerous other caves within a Permian-age fossil reef, the park contains more than 100 known ...

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Renee Bow...
Can you suggest "stroller" or easy hiking trails in Yellowstone?
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Wildlife Watching, Fossils, Geology, Kids Activities, Photography
8 years ago
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Many of Yellowstone's most popular areas are easily accessible via paved trails and boardwalks -- this list includes the Old Faithful area as well as other geyser basins, Mammoth Hot Springs, and the Lower Falls at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. You should have no problems with strollers in those locations.  Please note, however, that the boardwalks can be slippery if near geothermal activity, so be extra careful!

One good hike I can suggest is the Back Basin Trail in the Norris Geyser Basin.  It's a 1.5-mile loop that passes Emerald Spring, Steamboat Geyser, Cistern Spring and Echinus Geyser. 

For more great walks and hikes click here:  (http://www.ohranger.com/yellowstone/walking-hiking)

Have a great trip!

8 years ago
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shawntain
Hi there, i am looking for a stroller-accessible trail on mount rainier.
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Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, Hiking, Kids Activities
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Here are a number of accessible trails in the park; broken down by region.

PARADISE
The Nisqually Vista Trail: Using a steep paved ramp leading from the main trailhead at the upper parking lot, users can reach the lower meadows. Upper trails are very steep. Use caution.

LONGMIRE
The Trail of the Shadows: With a round trip length of 0.7 mile, this trail begins across the park road from the National Park Inn. Approximately half of the trail is accessible. Signs along the trail describe the early homesteading and development of the mineral springs.

SUNRISE
Sourdough Ridge Trail:
Beginning at the north side of the parking area at Sunrise, this trail makes a 1 mile loop through the Sunrise Meadows. On clear days, a gentle climb to the top of the ridge offers breathtaking views. A booklet explains the fragile environment and some of the life forms found there. Although not accessible to wheelchairs, this trail is used by many families with strollers.

KAUTZ CREEK
Kautz Creek Trail: A very short, fully accessible trail leads from across the road from the Kautz Creek picnic area to an overlook of the 1947 debris flow. This trail is under snow in winter.

You can find out more about accessibility at Mount Rainier on the NPS website.
8 years ago
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MaryR
What is the average temperature in the middle of June in Acadia National Park
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Since recording began, the average daily June temp. in Acadia is 62° F.  It can be considerably warmer and colder depending on the recent front, however.  June is a beautiful month to visit.  For more on weather trends in Acadia National park as well as the broader area see this link:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/overview/MENPAC

8 years ago
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MaryR
From Illinois will visit Acadia in June (with son family from Massachusetts). What should we be sure to do. We love nature and outdoors.
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Auto/Motorcycle, Backpacking, Civil War, Wildlife Watching, Bird Watching, Eco Tours, Native American History, Swimming, Deer, Elk, Ranger-led Programs, Marine Life, Moose, Mountain Lions, Historic Sites, Wildflowers, Wolves, Kids Activities, Park Passes and Fees, Horseback Riding, Photography
8 years ago
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Some of our favorite things to do in Acadia are exploring the historic Carriage Roads and enjoying tasty popovers at Jordan Pond House.

Also check out the recommendations on our Sights to See and Things to Do pages. Our Only ad Day and Just for Kids sections will also have some good tips!

Lastly, check out this list of 22 fun things to do with kids!

We hope you have a great trip! Be sure to come back and let us know how it goes!
8 years ago
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Park Love...
Where are the nearest parks to Chicago that feature caves and caverns?
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Illinois, Archaeology, Backpacking, Trail Running, Fossils, Geology, Flora & Fauna, Caving, History/Culture, Kids Activities
8 years ago
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Ask_Elif
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The nearest parks to Chicago that feature caves and caverns are Illinois Caverns State Natural Area and Cave in Rock State Park. They're both over a five-hour drive from Chicago, however.

I hope you have an exciting time exploring Illinois' caves. Be sure to check back in at OhRanger.com after you trip to share you park experiences with us!

8 years ago
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s.c. john...
Can I have a scavenger hunt at the grand canyon north rim?
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You might want to talk to a park official about this one! The National Park Service works each and every day to protect park resources while still providing for visitor enjoyment of the park. You may be able to identify the best person to contact here.
8 years ago
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Mickey
How do you become a ranger?
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Bears, Bird Watching, Deer, Guided Tours, Elk, Gear, Ranger-led Programs, Moose, Wolves, Camping, Kids Activities, Safety, Volcanology
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Your question is a popular one! For more about becoming a National Park ranger, check out this answer from our partners at the Association of National Park Rangers.

 For more about becoming at sate park ranger, check out this answer.

8 years ago
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Expert Answer
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This answer come to you from our partners at the Association of National Park Rangers. We hope you find it helpful:

The National Park Service (NPS) employs people in all kinds of job titles (20,000 year-round and another 7,000 - 10,000 during the summer) even though the general public often thinks that everyone that works for the NPS is a "park ranger."  Of these 30,000 employees, perhaps 7,000 are in positions that are titled park ranger.  I'll concentrate on those for now, but folks interested in maintenance jobs, or administrative jobs, or research and science related jobs should know that those jobs are there too.
 
Park ranger jobs are divided into 2 groups.  First, there are park rangers that primarily perform park interpretation.  These employees work in the park visitors' center, lead guided walks and talks, give off-site programs at local schools, establish and/or modify the park's website, write site-specific brochures and other materials, and design visitor center displays or movies, etc.  In short, this group of park rangers is the parks' primary link between the park resources and park visitors and neighbors.  By explaining the national significance of the individual park and the resources it preserves, interpretive park rangers hope to establish or strengthen visitors' understanding and support for parks, the environment, history, etc.
 
The second group of park rangers are those that primarily perform park protection.  These employees perform law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical services, fire management, etc.  They are more likely to be working outside, in all kinds of weather conditions, and they might be doing this in all kinds of modes of transportation, i.e. on foot, on horseback, in vehicles, in boats, on skis, in small planes, etc.  Like interpretive rangers, protection rangers have a great responsibility to be knowledgeable about the parks' resources and threats (from human behavior) to them.  While they have many friendly, informational contacts with visitors, they also have visitor contacts that are sometimes confrontational and can be stressful.
 
For either type of ranger job, a bachelor's degree from a 4-year college or university with a heavy emphasis in the natural sciences or U.S. history is generally required to be competitive.  Any public speaking experience one can gain is also very helpful.  First aid training is available in most communities and having some level of certification in first aid and CPR is helpful.  There is also free online training to anyone at the Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands at Indiana University. Such training helps one understand the NPS mission and culture and shows prospective hiring officials that you are truly interested in becoming an NPS employee.
 
Many folks that hope to be interpretive park rangers often start out working as park volunteers while they are in school or are in some other full-time career.  These opportunities are available at all NPS sites including Lake Mead National Recreation Area just outside Las Vegas.
 
For protection rangers there are a few additional requirements.  You must be at least 21 years old.  You also must be a graduate of one of the NPS-approved Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Academies.  A list of these schools and more information is available online. One can also pursue similar opportunities in your home community to gain experience that might make you more competitive.  Become an ambulance attendant in your community, become a volunteer firefighter with your local fire department or your state forestry department, or become a member of your local community search and rescue squad.
 
Finally, the Association of National Park Rangers (ANPR) is a membership organization open to anyone.  One does not have to be a park ranger or an NPS employee to become an ANPR member.  There are networking and informational opportunities within ANPR that can help one be competitive for NPS jobs, and it is important to understand that it is not just what you know, but also who you know that will help one get their foot in the door with the NPS.  ANPR also offers a publication for sale titled, "Live the Adventure: Join the National Park Service" that can be helpful in understanding the requirements for park ranger jobs.  

For more information about ANPR visit their website.

7 years ago
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