ATLANTA — Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites have planned several family-friendly activities May 21 in celebration of “National Kids to Parks Day.”
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.
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 at www.facebook.com/georgiastateparks.
Sample of “National Kids to Parks Day” Events in Georgia
Colonial Toys and Games
May 21 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site in Darien, Ga.
Play old-fashioned games like tug of war, rolling hoops, quoits, nine pins, cup and ball.
Kids in the Parks Day
May 21 at 1 p.m.
Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah, Ga.
Bring the kids out to enjoy outdoor games, our museum with live animals, trails and playgrounds. $5 parking. 912-598-2300
Kids to Parks Day at Chattahoochee Bend
May 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chattahoochee Bend State Park in Newnan, Ga.
This day is packed full of fun and educational activities for kids. Bring lunch, snacks, and water, and be prepared for the outdoors. 10 a.m. starts a guided nature hike; 1 p.m. is nature crafting; 3:30 p.m. is creative play with the Imagination Playground. Pre-register for each program in advance.
$5 per program and $5 parking.
May 21 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge, Ga.
Can turtles leave their shells? How many types of venomous snakes live in Georgia? Are salamanders reptiles? Learn the answers to all of these questions and more as a Panola Mountain Ranger introduces you to our reptilian residents in this live animal show. Meet in the Nature Center.
Space is limited, so please call to register in advance.
$2 plus $5 parking.
Middle & South Georgia
Drive, Chip, Putt Contest
May 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park in Reidsville, Ga.
Youths up to 16 years of age are invited to enjoy a friendly contest at Brazell’s Creek Golf Course. Participants can win a prize for the longest drive, putting and chipping. No experience necessary and kids are welcome to bring their own golf clubs.
Field Day Spectacular
May 21 at 9 a.m.
Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, Ga.
Come to the field for cornhole, crafts, face painting, dodgeball, relay race, tug-o-war, and more.
May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New Echota Historic Site in 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)
Kids Day at the Park
May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen, Ga.
Bring the 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.
May 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park in Lavonia, Ga.
Meet the naturalist at the baseball field for friendly competition featuring cornhole, wiffleball, kickball and dodgeball.
Youth Kayak 101 (Ages 9-12)
May 21 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park in 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.
SOURCE: Georgia State Parks press release