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Students listen to a park ranger, who holds up a map to the group

Open OutDoors for Kids

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Open OutDoors for Kids field trip to Olympic National Park
NPF Photo / Dawn Kish


Connecting another 1 million students with national parks.

Building on a child’s innate wonder and curiosity about the natural world, Open OutDoors for Kids connects students to their national parks through field trips, classroom activities, and educational activities.

By connecting schools with field trips to national parks and classrooms with virtual experiences, NPF is able to help more students experience national parks. Hoping to help mold lifelong national park stewards, this program helps students, teachers, and families feel safe and supported as they explore national parks and promotes physical and emotional health and civic engagement skills. Using the spectacular and unparalleled resources of our nation's 400+ national parks, the program's goal is to connect more children to their culture and heritage, enhance hands-on learning opportunities, and deepen connections to the natural world. Having connected 1 million students to parks already, NPF aims to connect another million to the wonder of national parks by 2024.

A young girl looks at an animal skull
By the Numbers
  • 1M
    Since 2011, more than 1 million kids have been connected to our national parks through hands-on learning with Open OutDoors for Kids.
  • 86
    Unique Education Programs
    Since 2020, Open OutDoors for Kids Hybrid Learning grants have helped 32 sites create and deploy 86 unique educational programs.

Program Highlights

Split rail fence at Visitor Center with view of the Blues
Re-envisioning Wyoming Stories

Park staff with Big Hole National Battlefield and Whitman Mission National Historic Site's education programs collaborated with the Colville, Nez Perce, and Umatilla tribes to share more expansive stories. Through distance learning activities, such as pre-recorded virtual tours and presentations by cultural demonstrators, nearby communities and student groups were connected through stories.

Facade of a two-story home with well trimmed lawn
Voting is My Superpower

In combining historic and contemporary primary source material with engaging, flexible activities and lessons, "Voting is My Superpower" at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site seeks to inspire 7th and 8th graders to embrace the foundational skills and knowledge required to be savvy citizens and well-informed voters.

Statues of jazz musicians stand in an open courtyard
New Orleans Cultural & Musical Connections

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, in collaboration and partnership with the New Orleans Jazz Museum, is creating a virtual field trip program called "New Orleans Cultural & Musical Connections." These field trips, rooted in culturally responsive teaching, connects students with the history, music, and traditions of New Orleans.

A group of students trail through a mountainous landscape
Proyecto Raíces - Project Roots

A California State Park and National Park Service collaboration at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, this program focuses on stewardship through a Latino perspective. Park liaisons co-create, alongside Latino families, live virtual experiences and at-home activities intended to reach Title I fourth grade students and their families across Los Angeles County.

Field Science program collecting data in the a salt marsh
Saltmarsh Superheroes Hybrid Learning

Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve's Florida Salt Marsh Superheroes program utilizes videos, discussion, virtual field trips, and student research and observation to create "superheroes" of the National Park Service. Educators participating in the program will receive Habitats at Home Exploration Kits, which include nature observation tools that will help them build skills including organization and critical thinking.

Program Updates


Thank You
Open OutDoors for Kids is made possible thanks to funding from Youth Engagement & Education premier partner Union Pacific Railroad, partners Apple, Columbia Sportswear, Humana, Maverik, Parks Project, Sierra, and additional generous donors.