The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

From snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter bird watching to the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting, rides on the Polar Express and warm apple cider, our national parks certainly know how to celebrate winter and the holiday season! From coast to coast, our national parks offer so many ways that you can take advantage of this “most wonderful time of the year”.

Here are more than a handful of national park adventures to add to your bucket list this winter:  

ALASKA – Seeking beauty, stillness, and perhaps a challenge? Try winter camping in Denali National Park and Preserve! Find out more here.

CALIFORNIA – Trek through the snow with ranger-guided nature programs on snowshoes in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. The park provides free snowshoes for the two-hour, one-mile walk! Find out more here.

FLORIDA – Not interested in cold weather activities? Check out Biscayne National Park’s Family Fun Fest! Now in its 14th season, Family Fun Fest offers fun and engaging activities for the whole family! You can even earn a specially-designed button to remember your exciting day! Find out more here.

GEORGIA – Remember and honor our military veterans during the holiday season at Andersonville National Historic Site with the national Wreaths Across America program. Find out more here.

IDAHO – Searching for the perfect holiday gift? Stop by Nez Perce National Historical Park’s annual bead bazaar! Artists from the local community will be selling their work. Find out more here.

NEW YORK – Come and see how Van Buren’s treasured estate, Lindenwald, is decorated for the winter season at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site! Tours are offered every half hour from 12noon to 4pm.  Find out more here.

OHIO – Journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express™ Children’s Holiday Train in Cuyahoga Valley National Park! Find out more here.

UTAH – Join rangers in Bryce Canyon National Park for winter astronomy! Cold and dry air (sometimes as low as -30°F) make for fabulous stargazing in this national park! Find out more here.

VIRGINIA – Listen and look for winter birdlife in Shenandoah National Park! Chickadees, nuthatches, and a host of woodpeckers will be searching for seeds and berries or peeking under bark for hard-to-find insects. Find out more here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Watch the 91st annual National Christmas Tree Lighting LIVE online at www.thenationaltree.org starting at 4:30pmET! This American holiday tradition, started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, is the first event in a four-week holiday celebration in President’s Park! Also, join in on the fun and follow @TheNationalTree on Twitter to get the inside scoop on the National Christmas Tree!

For more national park inspiration download one or several of National Park Foundation’s free special edition Owner’s Guides. For more information about events happening in America's national parks, visit the National Park Service's calendar.