Celebrate National Kids to Parks Day in Northern Virginia

Updated on April 1, 2024 by Julie McCool

The annual National Kids to Parks Day is celebrated with special events at parks across the country. Sponsored by the National Parks Trust, the event encourages kids to appreciate nature and public lands and to get outdoors with their families to enjoy a more active lifestyle.

The next Kids to Parks Day is on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

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National and State Parks will host special family-friendly events to celebrate the day. Below are some local parks that host fun Kids to Parks events in the Northern Virginia area. You can also find registered events on the National Park Trust website.

Buddy Bison Kids to Parks Day
Kids to Parks Day Logo

Of course, you can always create your own nature adventure. Even a short walk on a local trail is an opportunity to help kids get in touch with nature.

…the mission of Kids to Parks Day is to foster future outdoor enthusiasts and help with developing the next generation of park stewards by engaging kids in memorable outdoor experiences.

National Park Trust

Virginia State Parks Celebrate National Kids to Parks Day

State Parks throughout Virginia host special events to celebrate National Kids to Parks Day, and visitors to the park receive a coupon good for a future visit. Read about Northern Virginia State Parks below to plan your National Kids to Parks Day outing.

Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane

Thistle and View from the Piedmont Overlook in Sky Meadows State Park VA
Piedmont Overlook View Sky Meadows Park

Kid-friendly activities at Sky Meadows Park include the park's Junior Ranger booklets, Family Discovery Backpacks, Geocaching Adventures, and more. While there, take the time to explore the Children's Discovery Area, stop by the Explorer Outpost to hear about plants and animals that call Sky Meadows home.

In 2023, Sky Meadows will host an evening Dark Sky program to celebrate Kids to Parks Day. Visit the park website for the latest event info.

If time allows, take a hike to explore more of the park. Make the climb to the Piedmont Overlook and you'll enjoy a spectacular view.

Mason Neck State Park, Lorton

Mason Neck State Park Northern Virginia
Mason Neck State Park Northern Virginia

Visit Mason Neck State Park to hike, bird watch, bike, or get out on the water. There is a large playground and a picnic area to enjoy during your visit. In some years the annual Eagle Festival is held on Kids to Parks Day, but in 2023 the festival is on May 13.

In 2023, special Mason Neck events include fishing, hikes, and ranger-led activities. Find event details on the on the park website.

Leesylvania State Park, Occoquan

Leesylvania State Park fishing pier
Leesylvania State Park fishing pier state line

Bring the kids to Leesylvania State Park for a day of fun on the banks of the Potomac River. Allow time for a hike through history, including a stop at Freestone Point to enjoy the view. Or head to the dock for fishing and a fun opportunity to stand with a foot in two states.

Leesylvania's 2023 Kids to Parks event is a fun guided canoe paddle. See the park website for event info.

Shenandoah National Park

Hawksbill Summit View Shenandoah National Park in Spring
Hawksbill Summit Shenandoah National Park

Kids to Parks Day is an ideal time to explore Shenandoah National Park. In prior years, the park worked with The Wildlife Center of Virginia to bring kids up close and personal with the wildlife of Shenandoah. Check the park website for event schedules and current alerts.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Wolf Trap Trail creek view
Wolf Trap Creek view

Whether you visit on Kids to Parks Day or throughout the year, take a scenic hike on the Wolf Trap Tracks Trail. When they hike, kids can complete activities and earn prizes using one of the themed Kids to Parks Track Adventures.

You can always strike out on your own at your favorite family-friendly park. The goal is to get kids out to explore nature in our beautiful parks where they can enjoy fresh air and healthy fun. Check the park website for event schedules.

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