Friday, April 29, 2016

Celebrating National Park Week


   Last weekend to celebrate National Parks Week we went to Fort McHenry. In honor of National Parks week they have free entry which was a bonus! The other FREE entry days this year are
August 25 through 28: National Park Service Birthday
September 24: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veteran's Day
   Now that we are on a countdown for our move to Florida we have a whole list of things we still want to see and do here in Maryland. So we spent a day out with my grandparents and my Mom. Exploring local and non local parks,monuments, and museums is something I have always loved to do. Growing up my parents took us on many vacations. We have been to Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Disney and Myrtle Beach just to name a few. I have always appreciated the fact that my parents didn't leave my brother and I behind while going on these great vacations. It means so much to me to give my boys the gift of travel. There is so much that can be learned from travelling and exploring new areas.

     When we first got there it was raining so we used that time to walk through the museum part where you can see all the old artifacts and they play a movie for you. Here's some pictures of inside the museum.

      By the time we were done  inside, the rain had stopped. Next was looking around the fort. There were various videos playing in the different buildings and you were able to see where the bomb shelters were, where they slept and ate etc. It was very interesting to see what their beds looked like way back when. There was no such thing as a luxurious mattress to rest on at night.

 I love this picture of Nathan taking a snack break. My boys eat all the time so we came prepared with snacks.

 The boys were eager to take pictures which made it even better for me!

 Before we even made it through the museum we stopped in the gift shop. When we were in England we started collecting a magnet for us and a pin for Lucas from everywhere we went. During our last few years, life has been so hectic that we haven't been able to do as much sightseeing as we would like but we are so ready to get back to it! So this is actually the first pin I have collected for Nathan. In addition to the pins the boys each got to pick their own things out and since we were with my mom and grandparents they were kind of spoiled :) They each got a tshirt, Lucas got a super size pencil and a kids passport (more on that in a minute), Nathan picked out one of those light up toys where you push it and it spins around, a book and a toy cannon.  They were thrilled. 

In the pictures above you can see Lucas' obnoxiously large pencil and also the green book. That would be the kids National Parks Passport. Which looks like this if you're looking for one:
This book is really neat and has little activities for the kids to fill out. They can check off which parks they have been to, which animals they see and they even get a stamp when they visit each park! We were slightly bummed since the people at Fort McHenry never mentioned the stamp to us or the Jr Ranger program they have. Looks like we will have to make one more trip out there. However the booklet is available upon request or you can print your own here Activity Booklet Once your child completes it they get their own Jr Ranger badge. This seems like a good way to really get the kids interested and learn while having fun. We can't wait to do more of these and explore more National Parks! 

    I'm not sure whether they truly loved Fort McHenry or just loved the gift shop but neither of them wanted to leave when it was time to go. However our fun filled day didn't end there so we had to get going. Check back for a report of our trip on the Fearless with the Urban Pirates :) ARRRGH!

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