Every Kid in a Park Program

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Step away from the iPhone and put your hands where I can see them…

Technology rules our lives. We are constantly on our phones and letting our kids play on iPads to keep them quiet. But sometimes, a weekend free of electronics and screens is just what you need. Every Kid in a Park Program is a great way to have fun and enjoy outdoor time with your family without distractions. Explore an array of scenery, animals and rich state history all for free. Every Kid in a Park Program is an initiative started by President Obama and allows fourth graders and their families to safely enjoy the natural surroundings of our country for free. With over 2,000 federally public lands and waters, Every Kid in a Park Program, is the perfect opportunity to get outside and embrace the wildlife around us.

Why is it only for fourth graders; what’s up with that?

I know you’re thinking it may seem strange that only fourth graders are eligible for this program, but children ages 9-11 are at the peak of childhood perfect for learning to understand the world around them. Therefore, this opportunity is ideal for fourth grade students and their families. From September 1st through August 31st you and your kids can experience the parks for free and then each year new sets of fourth graders have their opportunity for adventure. Not only is Every Kid in a Park Program free (what’s better than that?!), but it is also easily accessible. Fourth graders, parents and educators can get a pass, print it and bring it with them to marvel at the earth’s natural beauty while learning about its history.

Once you have your pass printed, you may be wondering where to use it. Listed below are the eligible parks in New Jersey, or you can seek adventure in other states across the country.

NJ Parks Eligible for Every Kid in a Park Program:

  • Edison National Historic Park (West Orange, NJ)
  • Edwin B. Forsythe NWR (Galloway, NJ)
  • Gateway National Recreation Center (Sandy Hook, NJ)
  • Great Swamp NWR (Basking Ridge, NJ)
  • Morristown National Historical Park (Morristown, NJ)
  • Wallkill River NWR (Sussex, NJ)

Be sure to check out information on how to plan your own unique family trip before you set out for your journey.

Packing List

  • Cellphones programmed with emergency numbers, although some of the sites may not have cell service
  • Water & snacks
  • First-aid kits, bug spray, sunscreen
  • Comfortable shoes (sorry moms, leave those cute new pumps at home)
  • Your pass!

Not only does Every Kid in a Park Program offer free passes to unique parks, but it also has an amazing promotion with Amtrak where full price train tickets are 75% off. You can save money while still having a one of a kind experience…how can you say no to that! Make the most of the great outdoors by planning a day trip or even turn it into a fun weekend full of serenity, relaxation and nature by booking a cabin or campsite to stay at, which is all available on the program website.

Unplug from electronics for a bit and shift your children’s attention from screens to scenery with Every Kid in a Park Program. Take a break from the chaos of your hectic life to explore unparalleled landscapes and you’ll discover your children aren’t the only ones having fun while learning about America’s precious wildlife. To learn more about this location that’s as fun for your kids as wine night is for you, check out their website.

Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmomhq and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.

About Author

Nicole Sodano is a student at Elon University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Visual Art. She lives in Morris County, NJ with her parents and younger brother. Nicole has turned into a bit of a foodie as a result of all the restaurants her hometown, Morristown, has to offer. You can find her eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at Urban Table, but nothing beats a homemade milkshake for dessert from the South Street Creamery. Each summer, Nicole makes it a priority to visit her favorite place on Earth: the Jersey Shore. Between visiting Island Heights, Seagirt, and Chadwick Beach, if Nicole's not in Morristown, she's down the shore soaking up the sun and strolling on the boardwalk. Nicole has had a lifetime love of children and family. Babysitting her brother and the neighborhood youngsters since middle school, Nicole looks forward to coming home from college to spend evenings with the kids that make her feel loved.

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