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Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Georgia’s State Parks Host Family-Friendly Events On National Kids To Parks Day

May 20, 2016 02:56PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Photo courtesy of the Georgia State Parks Facebook page.

Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites have planned several family-friendly activities in celebration of “National Kids to Parks Day” on May 21. Sponsored by the National Park Trust, the celebration encourages children to explore public lands.

In Georgia, the parks are offering paddle trips, archery classes, field day games, colonial toys and more. Many events are free and parking is $5. Families can stay overnight in the parks’ campgrounds, cabins and yurts -- turning their outing into a mini-vacation.

A map of more than 60 state parks and historic sites can be found at here, and the list of events is on the Georgia State Parks Kids to Parks Website. Participants are encouraged to share their photos on Instagram with hashtags #gastateparks and #kidstoparks, and to post their favorite moments to the Georgia State Parks Facebook page.

Sample of “National Kids to Parks Day” Events in Georgia

Northern Georgia

Echota Alive
Saturday, May 21, 2016 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New Echota Historic Site - Calhoun, GA
Step back to the 1820s, tour New Echota and learn about Cherokee and Georgians’ lifestyles, including how apples were pressed to make cider, try your hand at making a sheet of paper, help the ranger print on the 19th century press, learn to use a compass on our compass course, and check out our nature trails to Tarvin's Pond and New Town Creek. $5.50-$7 (5 and younger free) 706-624-1321.
Kids Day at the Park
Saturday, May 21, 2016 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park - Helen, GA
Bring your kids and their endless imaginations for a fun day of learning and play at Smithgall. There will be outdoor games, arts and crafts, exhibits and more. Bring your sack lunch and stay the day. $10 parking. 706-878-3087.
Backyard Games
Saturday, May 21, 2016 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park - Lavonia, GA
Meet the naturalist at the baseball field for friendly competition featuring cornhole, wiffleball, kickball and dodgeball. $5 parking. 706-356-4362.
Youth Kayak 101 (Ages 9-12)
Saturday, May 21, 2016 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park - Lavonia, GA
Meet the naturalist to embark upon a paddling adventure where we will learn the basics of kayaking, maneuvers, paddle etiquette and strokes. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-356-4362.

Find more events, locations, and information on their website here

A Little History

In March President Obama launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative to call to action to get children to visit and enjoy America’s outdoors. This initiative focused on all kids K-12 with additional benefits of 4th graders and their families to receive free passes into National Parks. Many of America’s State Parks have also joined in this initiative to bring in more children and generate more fun and engaging programs for them into our state parks as well.

Content courtesy of the Georgia State Parks Websites

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