Remember the joy of beating your dad in a bicycle race? Peeking under rocks in a stream bed in search of frogs? Swinging so high your feet almost touched the clouds? The National Park Trust invites you to recreate those memories with your own children and make new ones at National Kids to Parks Day Saturday, May 18.
National Kids to Parks Day is part of a nationwide park play-in designed to encourage children to spend more time outdoors and to connect with nature by exploring national, state and local parks. The initiative also supports First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Outside! initiative, which promotes fitness and physical activity. It is made possible through support from several partners, including the NFL Players Association, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the American Academy of Pediatrics and several other businesses and organizations.
The celebration gives families an opportunity to enjoy their favorite outdoor hobbies and try out some new activities, just in time for the beginning of summer. Families can Tweet #kidstoparks or e-mail photos to [email protected] to be published on the Kids to Parks website.
"Research shows that children today are spending more time indoors than in previous generations," said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. "Connecting a child with the outdoors provides both physical and psychological benefits, and I would encourage families to take this opportunity to see all our parks and historic sites have to offer." Several state and local parks and natural areas throughout the St. Louis area will be hosting Kids to Parks Day events: Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt at Carlyle Lake, 9 a.m. Carlyle Lake Campground, Carlyle Lake, IL Explore nature and find fun on this scavenger hunt. Carlyle Lake Campground is located at 801 Lake Rd., Carlyle, IL, 62231. Call 618-594-2484 for information.
Historical Children's Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site, St. Charles Enjoy historical games, a pie contest, a family picnic and more old-time fun at this festival. First Missouri State Capitol is located at 200 S. Main, St. Charles, 63301. Call 636-940-3322 for information.
Park History Hike, 10 a.m. Route 66 State Park, Eureka Take a staff-led 2-mile hike through the park and hear the history of Times Beach. Route 66 State Park is located at 97 N. Outer Rd., Ste. 1, Eureka, 63025. Call 636-938-7198 for information.
Katy Dawdle Ride, 10 a.m. Katy Trail State Park, St. Charles Enjoy a leisurely family bicycle ride along the Katy Trail. Participants will meet at Frontier Park, located at 300 Riverside Dr., St. Charles, 63301. Call 636-899-1135 for information.
U City Kids to Parks Day and Mosey on the Millar Park, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Millar Park, University City Enjoy a fun run, culture sharing, dance performances and music. Millar Park is located at 7603 Carleton, University City, 63130. Call 314-505-8503 for information.
Riverlands Paddle Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Riverlands Migratory Birds Sanctuary, West Alton Paddlers of all ages can try out kayaks and canoes. Tickets are $5 and include equipment, life jackets and instruction. After the event, participants are invited to participate in the Family Campout at National Great Rivers Museum (see below for details). Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located at 301 Riverlands Way, West Alton, 63386. Call 314-581-9060 for information. Family Campout, 1 p.m. National Great Rivers Museum, East Alton, IL Enjoy camping, dinner, s'mores and an outdoor movie. Reservations are required. The cost to participate is $50 per family (up to 4); each additional person is $10. National Great Rivers Museum is located at 2 Lock and Dam Way, East Alton, IL, 62024. Call 314-541-4569 for information. Cuivre River Snake Program, 2 p.m. Cuivre River State Park, Troy Meet live, native Missouri snakes and learn more about their habitat. Cuivre River State Park is located at 678 State Rte. 147, Troy, 63379. Call 636-528-7247 for information.