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Home Blog 100 Days of Summer Summer Fun, Day 92: Celebrate the National Park Service's birthday

Summer Fun, Day 92: Celebrate the National Park Service’s birthday

The National Park Service is another year older—you can celebrate with free entry to one of its 412 national parks. If you can’t make it on Friday, the next free days in 2017 are September 30 and November 11 and 12.


The National Park Service (NPS) will celebrate its 104th anniversary on August 25 by providing free entrance to all accessible NPS sites. It will also observe the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment on August 26 with a variety of engaging virtual events related to the suffrage movement.

August 25 will be an entrance fee-free day to mark the anniversary of the 1916 establishment of the NPS. Enjoy the great outdoors and explore some of the country’s most iconic landscapes, including historical attractions, geological wonders, and breathtaking scenery. Begin your visit with a trip to NPS.gov for updated information, current conditions and tips on how to #RecreateResponsibly.

In addition to free entry to parks around the country, the National Park Service has special events, activities, and lesson plans to observe the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 26.”

Following are some of the ways to participate in the commemoration:

bunker hill monumentForward Into Light!
Buildings and landmarks across the country, including the Department of the Interior Building, the White House in President’s Park, and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse in Cabrillo National Monument, will be illuminated in purple and gold (the colors of the suffrage movement) on August 26. If you aren’t able to shed light on your house, you can post purple and gold-filtered images on social media and use #ForwardIntoLight, which was a popular rallying cry for the suffrage movement.

Download and decorate your own PURR-fect Suffrage Cat! In 1916, two suffragists on a long road trip to advocate for women’s rights adopted a kitten found along the way that became the unofficial mascot for the movement.

Hear the story of Grandmom’s magic sash

These two podcast series transport you back in time and recount the fight for women’s suffrage through great storytelling. “The Magic Sash” intended for tweens is hosted by Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and contains bonus lesson plans. For teens and adults there’s “And Nothing Less: The Story of Women’s Fight for the Vote” hosted by actresses Rosario Dawson and Retta.

Earn a Patch
Created in partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, features of the Girl Scout Ranger 19th Amendment Program include a limited-edition commemorative patch, activity guide, activity log, certificate and special awards.

Visit NPS.gov for more information about both anniversaries.

You can also visit these nearby National Parks!

Shenandoah National Park is just under 2 hours away from Annapolis, so you can visit for the day or stay overnight at the Skyland Lodge or one of many campsites. Enjoy overlooks and trails as you drive up Skyline Drive in the Appalachian Mountains.

A visit to Antietam National Battlefield, located about an hour and 35 minutes from Annapolis, would provide a valuable history lesson for the kids about the bloodiest battle in American History that led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park located in West Virginia about an hour and a half from Annapolis takes families back in time with picturesque streets and museums. There are also hiking trails that lead to views of the river valleys and the town below.

**Note that Fort McHenry will be closed on Aug. 25-26.

For more summer fun ideas, check out our 100 Days of Summer list of daily family activities and our daily calendar of events.

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