Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017 + Giveaway

    Mark your calendars and save the date: May 20th is going to be special this year!

    Why? Kids to Parks Day, an annual nation-wide initiative to get families to our State, National and local public lands, is happening! For seven years now, this great program follows our personal mission here: get kids out discovering and learning about the country that surrounds them.

    Our local, state and national parks will be preserved only if we teach our children to know them, to love them. The day is a perfect opportunity (or excuse?) to visit a local, state, or national park or public land as a family and join the movement.

    Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017!

    The goal is to make the outdoors accessible and attractive for everyone, not just those with all the “right gear” and “technical equipment”. 

    It’s far too easy to use a lack of “stuff” in many parts of our lives as an excuse about why we just can’t do it. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that more often than not, our GEAR gets in the way of the experience. While it certainly has its place, being an outdoorsy person doesn’t mean you are keeping up with the outdoor fashion and technical trends (and I am totally guilty of this!)

    Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017!

    It’s feeling like spring (maybe?) around here, and the kids beg to go hiking and exploring (which means we must be doing something right, right?!?!) While living in a National Park has some perks (like the incredible views), here’s the “behind the scenes facts” about a day-in-the-life:

    • We walked directly from our house
    • The entire hike was maybe maybe a mile
    • While I would have been happy getting a little blood pumping, they were far more interested in rolling balls down the hill and checking out bones and antlers and rotting bison heads (seriously, I can’t make this stuff up!)
    • They wore “normal” kid clothes – the ones they seem to wear almost There was no “get in your hiking clothes!” or matching or even convincing them to not wear the fleece pants that are really good at bringing home thousands of burrs (science lesson??)
    • The only “technical” thing they wore? Hiking shoes to protect them from cactus and ankle rolls and slippery slopes. And they’re Northside hiking shoes, at that, which are completely family-friendly and affordable. I can swallow paying $35 for kid boots that really do protect them.
    • We totally forgot water, I wanted to bail first and get home, and I was totally leery of ticks the entire time. Real life here, people!

    Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017!

    Here’s my point: Stop overthinking things. Just go! The best adventures are often the ones with the least preparation.


    How to Get Involved:

    Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017!Across the country in all 50 states, Kids to Parks Day events will be happening to educate our children and to have fun. You can find those events here (but be sure to check back – they are being added to over the next 6 weeks!) Can’t find anything organized in your area? Don’t let that keep you at home! You can still just get out and explore a new-to-you park or an old favorite.

    START BY REGISTERING TO JOIN! Just by doing so,  you have the chance to win great prizes from The North Face, Camelbak, National Geographic and more. You’ll also get a special coupon from Northside shoes!


    Win from Northside Shoes!

    Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017 + GiveawayThis spring, we hiked in Northside shoes. We were pleasantly surprised on how comfortable, durable and effective in doing the job we needed them to do (keep feet safe, dry and happy!) they did! They’re truly perfect hiking shoes for kids especially – because no one loves paying big bucks for ones they outgrow so quickly!

    I love that Northside stands for:

    • Proudly embracing families
    • Taking a stance against the overly technical and over-priced
    • Reminding people that the outdoors is accessible

    Today we get to give a pair away to one of you! Winner gets a unique coupon code to choose their own style and size!

    As usual, please use the widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!

    Northside Shoes Coupon Code

    Pin it:

    Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017!

    © 2017, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

    (Visited 551 times, 1 visits today)


      1. Stephanie Phelps says:

        For just getting out the door my best tip is to prepare ahead of time and set a timer and let the kids know how long they have to be ready!

      2. Ellie Wright says:

        I have a to-go area close to the front door. Back packs, shoes, gloves, jackets etc… It saves a lot of time not having to look all over the house when time to go.

      3. Helen Lehto says:

        One of the things that sometimes stops me from going in the woods in the summer…is the mosquitos and deer ticks. Do you have a recommended spray or potion?

        • Helen Lehto says:

          But the best tip I have to get out the door…is to just decide in my head that I am going to ‘get out the door’!

        • Great question – me too! I don’t have one off the top of my head, but post coming soon!

      4. Katrina says:

        Amelia- It is so refreshing to hear your honest “day-in-the-life”! Sometimes I get bogged down with a negative mindset about getting out and that it just may be different, smoother for other families–so nice to know that isn’t always the case–that I am not alone. And Congrats! I don’t know how you do it, mama!

      5. Carrie Johnson says:

        Thanks for this, this is SO timely as I was just thinking last night in bed how I need to find out the free National Park entry days!! We live in Missoula and have yet to take our kids to Yellowstone so I really want to do that this summer!! Last yr we spent a couple nights up at Glacier just to get a full day in but you need so much more time than that!!! Blessed to live here!!!

      6. This is such a great program, thanks for highlighting it!

      7. I live in the mountains, so Its easy for me. My kids beg to go for walks , they love the outdoors as much as I do.

      8. My best get out the door tip is to do it when you are already out the door. Load the kids up, do your target run or whatever errands you have, then get outside afterwards! I’m always a fan of combining outings. 🙂

      9. Nicole Reames says:

        What a cool day! Can’t wait to get out with my kids!

      10. Pack your bag the night before! It makes a huge difference.

      11. Onyinye Elochukwu says:

        My son loves outdoors. It’s hard to keep up with him.

      12. Diane Richards says:

        Depending on what kind of hike or nature walk you take the kids on, they always seem more engaged and excited if they have some kind of tool to help them in in their exploration, like a magnifying glass or binoculars. Anything to get the kids away from screen time is a great thing to do. I was happy to see so many families at a vernal pool critter walk in the rain and hail a few weeks ago. Sacramento Splash had laminated vernal pool walk bingo cards they handed to the kids to get them more engaged on the educational aspect of the walk.

      13. Sab Edwards says:

        For me its finding something that interests you outdoors…gardening….walk around town to see everyones elses flowers…anything that makes you move your legs lol

      14. Brenda Haines says:

        I pack the car up the night before and have all the snack ready to go in the morning.

      15. I LOVE this! it’s so true! There is no way when my goal is to get the kids outside everyday and to have a family adventure of some kind outside every weekend or when you adventure as much as you do to be perfectly prepared and for it to end up perfect every time! It’s just not possible, but the adventures are still worth going on and still worth taking!!!!!! I figure as long as we’re prepared for the longer adventures and ones further from home, then the ones close to home, well, they still make great memories and it’s okay to not be all geared up and totally prepared every time! And kids learn from that too!!!!!! My kids are learning they need to ask me to remember things! 😉

      16. Brandon says:

        I have a 10-month old little boy, and as a long time hiker/camper, I cannot wait for the day he’s old enough to take on a weekend backpacking trip.

      17. Janet Soto says:

        To get out the door in a timely manner I always make sure my diaper bag is packed ahead of time and if needed I add whatever I need for the day !

      18. Kristin McCall says:

        My best tip to get out the door is to plan the day out and pack a lot of healthy snacks.

      19. Amy doerfler says:

        make it a game to get ready quickly! put it on the calendar and don’t let anything distract you!

      20. Jenifer S. says:

        We have a set morning each week that is set aside for our hikes. I’d like to go more often, but it works for us for now. We’ve been slowly adding to our gear so we can go out regardless of the weather. Between those two things, we’ve been much more successful at getting outside on a regular basis.

      21. Sarah Rains says:

        Love love love your honest “day in the life” post! Sounds like our dats! And j am so excited to try Northside boots! I have a hard time justifying expensive ones when he outgrows them so fast even though they get worn constantly. Can’t wait to order a pair!

      22. mami2jcn says:

        Give yourself at least 20 minutes of extra time…so if you plan to leave at 9:00 am, make sure you’re actually ready by 8:40. I have 4 kids and I’ve found this to be helpful.

      23. We make it a goal to take a 30 minute family walk every single day.

      24. My tip is to pack a backpack with essentials for each person ahead of time.

      25. heather says:

        My best tip for getting out the door is to stick to a schedule.

      26. My best tip is to make a plan ahead of time what each parent will be responsible for.

      27. Tabathia B says:

        I always check our parks and recreation guide to see what’s going on outside and plan accordingly

      28. Cheryl B says:

        I prepare the night before, pack the car, and focus on getting out the door without tears.

      29. I greatly appreciate your honesty. Especially, since I know you have great practice getting your kids outside. My boys also thrive on outdoor play and for my sanity it is necessary to be outside as much as possible. My boys love a new adventure and if they can be the leaders it is even better. We often take turns hiding from each other just up the trail a bit further to get a little more distance in.

      30. Carolsue says:

        My tip is to plan everything ahead of time, have everything ready to go, and then just LEAVE! And enjoy.

      31. My best tip is to plan ahead and schedule things accordingly.

      32. Do as much as you can the night before and always leave yourself extra time – I always say I’ll be out the door at like 9 and it is usually more like 915

      33. We get out fastest when when make a plan and stick to it, even if that means setting an alarm.

      34. Marilyn Nawara says:

        Stay organized and get as much as possible ready ahead of time. Routine is good — keep the kids moving.

      35. We keep it simple (we don’t need tons of stuff) and focus on a routine: Shoes, coat, keys, out.

      36. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

        My tip for getting out the door is plan for something fun, involve the entire family.

      37. Gah, getting out the door is the hardest part. I’v resorted to tricking my kids in the past with a false “choice” of either chores or an activity. Works every time.

      38. Alyssa S says:

        I always do as much the night before as possible and do more in the morning before everyone else gets up. Usually all I need to do once everyone is up is get everyone dressed so we can leave on time

      39. I was just talking to the hubs about needing to find good hiking boots! Yay!

      40. I desperately need a pair of hiking boots. My Nikes are starting to fall apart!

      41. My best tip is to just go otherwise things will slow me down and I’ll end up not getting out. Also grab some water on my way out.

      42. Kelly Kawczynski says:

        Snacks! We are huge fans of special treats while out on a trail! Surprise juice, surprise candy bar, etc!

      43. preparation is my best tip for getting out the door. Putting everything in the same place stops having to find shoes every time you need to leave.

      44. My best tip is to try to keep the car stocked with back ups of things we might need, some snacks, water, a change of clothes. It makes trying to make sure we have everything before we leave a little less stressful!

      45. DebbieKL says:

        Sometimes if the kiddos aren’t motivated to get outside, I say they can do fun thing x after we get back. Seems to get them moving!

      46. So we moved to Utah four years before we went hiking as a family here. What finally worked was that my husband got on board, and we scheduled a hike every other Saturday. Sometimes we decided the hike the day of. We have three under four, so they are all short and easy. But still!

      47. We have those hikes/days as well. I typically can motivate them with a special food or drink. Otherwise, we just shorten it and head home. Unfortunately, my mood suffers if we have to do the latter.

      48. Great Post. I am an avid hiker and outdoor lover. My sister has 4 children and they are all starting to really love hiking and camping too. I can’t wait to go hiking with them again. Gear is pretty pricey for the whole family, but I love that they are starting to really get involved in this and follow my footsteps. We will have many adventures and great memories in the future.

      49. My best tip is to make a list of what you need to make sure you have everything and then pack ahead of time.

      50. I motivate the kids with a pep talk and keep the keys by the front door

      51. My best tip for getting out the door is having a good breakfast.

      52. Stephanie M says:

        We just moved to Kelly, WY in the beginning of March with our three babes, I heard about your blog through a friend! I try to get everything packed the night before and that seems to help us get out the door!

        • Oooo was it Polly?!? We are going to be there tomorrow – would love to meet you too! #weneedfriends 😉

      53. Jenny Ham says:

        Always pack up extra items you might not need but you might in case of an emergency

      54. Lula Ruger says:

        Organize and prepare in advance

      55. Dynal Roberson says:

        Is it light out? Do you have an hour? Just go, don’t overthink it.

      56. For me, I don’t have the best advice for getting out the door, but once I get out I find myself wanting to go on adventures so I try to take advantage of that feeling as much as possible.

      57. Kelli Bryson says:

        I always have bags packed and ready to go next to the door

      Speak Your Mind