National Kids to Parks Day is on Saturday (May 21), and lots of Arkansas parks are participating.
This national movement was started to encourage children and families to enjoy parks, nature, and healthy outdoor fun.
Here are some Kids to Parks Day events happening in the NWA corner of the world:
Hobbs State Park. Lots of activities will be offered for kids (and parents!) at the visitor center. This is a free event, but pre-registration is required.
The Hobbs State Park visitor center is located on Highway 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
Activities will include:
- A guided stroll through the visitor center and its exhibits at 9:00 a.m.
- Two one-hour guided hikes on the Ozark Plateau Trail, one at 10:00 a.m. and one at 2:00 p.m.
- Tale of the Turtle at 11:00 a.m. – learn about our local box turtle
- Historic Van Winkle Hike 1:00 p.m. – Learn about the Van Winkle mill, the largest in Arkansas all through the 1870’s.
- Frog Watch: 2 sessions: 2-5 pm; 5-6 pm Brown Bag Dinner (bring your own); 6-9 pm
For more information and to register call: 479-789-5000
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. Cindy Whitehouse will be doing a craft project with kids on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2-3:30 p.m.
On Saturday, she’ll lead the kids in making a quill pen (a sharpened feather) and using homemade ink out of berries, salt and vinegar. Civil War soldiers wrote letters home with the quills and ink.
Devil’s Den. Below are the events planned for this weekend, Saturday and Sunday.
SATURDAY, May 22:
10 a.m. –Noon DEVIL’S DEN TRAIL GUIDED HIKE Join Park Interpreter Terry to learn how the caves and crevices were formed, how the park got its name and much more on this 1.5 mile, moderately strenuous hike. Meet at the Visitor Center flagpole.
2 – 3 p.m. IF I WERE A BEAR Bears like all animals have certain requirements in order to survive. Join Park Interpreter Terry for a fun game of playing bear and see if you could survive in the forest. Meet at the Visitor Center flagpole to begin the fun.
3:30 – 4 p.m. BATS Join Park Interpreter Terry to learn about the park’s amazing nocturnal flying mammals. We will talk about the importance of these creatures and the many kinds there are around the world. Meet in the Visitor Center Audio-Visual room.
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. LOOKIN’ FOR TINY CRITTERS We may not always know it, but there are tiny living things all around us. Join Park Interpreter Mystina to uncover the many insects, arachnids, and other tiny critters that secretly make Devil’s Den State Park their home. Meet at the Visitor Center flagpole.
7:00 – 7:30 p.m. EVENING BIRDING Devil’s Den State Park is home to many different kinds of birds from vultures to bluebirds. Meet Park Interpreter Mystina to go on a birding stroll to see the many birds in the park just before they go to sleep at night. Please bring binoculars and birding field guides if you have them. Meet at the Lake Trailhead in the picnic area near the Hwy 170 Bridge.
8:00 – 8:30 p.m. RABBITS IN THE SKY AND ON THE GROUND One of the many wild animals that makes Devil’s Den State Park its home is the Eastern cottontail rabbit. Did you know there are also rabbits that live in the sky? Meet Park Interpreter Mystina to discover how the cottontail rabbit lives and survives every day on the ground. Then see if you can spot rabbits living in the sky. Meet at the picnic tables near the suspension bridge.
SUNDAY, MAY 22:
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. HIKING WITH NATURE SENSE Join Park Interpreter Mystina for a hike to put your sense of sight, touch, smell, and hearing to the test as you explore some of the natural things found in Devil’s Den State Park. The program will end at the Yellow Rock Overlook so you have the option of hiking the rest of the trail on your own. Meet at the Yellow Rock trailhead near Camp Area A.
12 – 12:45 p.m. REPTILE CUISINE Join Park Interpreter Terry for a short talk on reptiles and then watch the reptile ambassadors of Devil’s Den eat their delicious meals! Meet in the Visitor Center animal exhibit area.
1 – 2 p.m. KEYHOLE GARDENING Gardening time is here. Come and discover the ABC’s of Keyhole Gardening, a compact and efficient way to have a raised bed garden in limited space. Meet Park Volunteer Chris in the Visitor Center Audio-Visual Room to find out if this concept is for you.
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. THE WEIRD AND UNUSUAL Many things can be found in nature that are weird and unusual. Some even look alien! Join Park Interpreter Mystina to stretch your imagination to guess what these strange things are. Meet at the amphitheater near Camp Area E.
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. WHAT DOESN’T BELONG? Plants and animals that live here in the park can be categorized into different groups. Join Park Interpreter Mystina to play a fun activity to see what belongs in certain groups and what doesn’t belong at all. We will also explore the word “invasive” and see which plants and animals don’t belong in Arkansas. Meet in the Visitor Center Audio-Visual Room.
5 – 6 p.m. NATURE’S HIGHRISE Creatures in nature live in high rises’ much like human in big cities do. Join Park Interpreter Terry for a causal walk in the woods and discover natures often overlooked apartments and skyscrapers. Meet at the Visitor Center flagpole.