Join the Kids to Parks movement–plus a giveaway!

Note: As a Kids to Parks Day Ambassador, Northside USA provided shoes for my family to review. However, all opinions expressed are my own. Read on to find out how you could win a pair of Northside shoes for your family!

We’re just a few weeks away from taking our first camping trip of the summer season–and to say the whole family is excited would be a bit of an understatement. We love the thrill of exploring new places, dishing out favorite camp food, and spending time together around the campfire. But we also love how camping provides the perfect launching point to get the whole family outside hiking, geocaching, biking, and exploring the parks more.

And we’re not alone. Every year millions of American families go camping with their families and friends. According to the American Camper Report, 14 percent of the U.S. population found their way to a campground in 2013, with the three most popular destinations being state parks, national parks, and local parks.

Most of our camping trips are spent visiting park campgrounds. In addition to offering incredible ambiance, the park systems are filled with opportunities to explore outside. From hiking trails and bike paths, to places for canoeing and climbing, we can find something for everyone to enjoy at the parks. We have also learned over the years that what we do at the park together doesn’t have to be elaborate: Our kids are often happiest when we are enjoying simple moments together like fishing or star gazing.

The one activity that our whole family looks forward to the most on our camping travels is visiting national park sites. And for our kids, the highlight of those NPS visits is getting to work on Junior Ranger badges. The Junior Ranger program is a fantastic platform aimed at promoting education and instilling conservation principles in a new generation of park visitors. To earn a special park patch or badge, the children must work through a booklet of activities related to the NPS site. We credit the Junior Ranger program with sparking in our children a deep interest in the park system that has further enhanced their love of the outdoors.

Whether you are a seasoned, an occasional, or a never-gone-before camper, next weekend would be the perfect time to book camping reservations at or near a park participating in the National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks Day on May 20. In its seventh year, Kids to Parks Day encourages children and their families to “explore their neighborhood parks and discover science, history, nature, and adventure right around the corner or just across town.” Last year, more than 731,000 participants got out to enjoy 1,130 park events across the country.

When you visit the Kids to Parks Day page, you can search for participating parks in your area. If you can’t find a location near you, you can still participate by creating your own park adventure using free resources from the National Park Trust. After you register for the event and pledge to take a park adventure on May 20th, you’ll be entered to win some cool prizes, including a camping package from The North Face, a family hydration pack from CamelBak, National Geographic books, or a Jr. Ranger package with an annual park pass.

This year Northside USA is sponsoring the Kids to Parks day. Northside wants families to know they don’t need to buy expensive, elaborate gear to spend time outdoors–with Northside’s affordable line of footwear the outdoors is accessible to everyone. And with a variety of styles and functions, Northside offers something for everyone in the family.

Our daughter couldn’t wait to try out the Santa Cruz Sport Sandal in teal. She has a narrow foot, so finding shoes that hold her foot securely can be quite a challenge. But these shoes fit her perfectly and are destined to be her go-to summer shoe when she’s biking around campgrounds or climbing on a park play set.

I opted for the “go-anywhere” Trinidad Sport Sandal in tan/aqua. When we go on camping trips I love taking versatile pieces of gear with me so that no matter the day’s activities I’m prepared. Whether we are touring national parks or exploring a few trails, this very comfortable shoe will be perfect for all of our summer camping adventures.

And to get you ready for your own outdoor adventures with your kids this summer, Northside is giving one reader a new pair of boots or shoes. For a chance to win, use the Rafflecopter form below. One lucky U.S. winner will receive a special coupon code good for one pair of shoes (shipping included) from the Northside USA website. And don’t forget to get your family registered to participate in this year’s Kids to Parks Day. We hope to see you May 20th on the trail!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Periodically, this blog will host fun giveaways for the readers. These events may be self-sponsored by the blog owner or may be sponsored by another individual, business or corporation. This may or may not be plainly stated in the actual giveaway.  If you need further clarification, please ask.

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