Get ready to celebrate National Park Week 2019 from April 20 to 28! Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs and events. To kick off National Park Week, all entrance fees are waived on Saturday, April 20! There are also special days during the week to highlight the different ways you can enjoy your national parks.
Find your park here!
This July will mark 50 years since the historic Apollo 11 mission launched for its journey to the Moon from LC-39 at Kennedy Space Center. Visitors from around the globe will be able to relive the experience at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, through a series of events and celebrations designed to commemorate the anniversaries of the launch, journey and landing.
The Apollo/Saturn V Center, offering an exploration of the Apollo Program from the days leading up to the first launch to the Moon landings that followed, will unveil new upgrades, exhibits and experiences on July 15.
Guests will immerse themselves in the stories and history that describe the moments that changed the future of space exploration forever, all surrounding an actual Saturn V rocket. Enhancements include a closer look at Lunar Module 9, projection mapping on the side of the Saturn V rocket, a 1969 period living room and bar scene that recreate what it was like to watch the Moon landing, a Moon Tree Garden made up of trees grown from seeds that orbited the Moon, a Fisher Space Pen legacy display, a closer look at the Command and Service Module 119, and more. The Apollo/Saturn V Center remains open during these updates, but guests may be subject to Moon dust during the process.
On July 16 at exactly 9:32 a.m., guests will be able to relive the excitement of watching Apollo 11 lift off. A “flashback” event will take visitors through the launch sequence in real time by showcasing original footage at the Banana Creek viewing area, which offers an amazing view of the launch pad that Apollo 11 lifted off from 50 years ago. Before and after, guests will enjoy breakfast and other refreshments, have the chance to experience the Apollo/Saturn V Center, and be enlightened by expert commentary, astronaut interviews and more.
During a special “Moon Landing” event on July 20, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will honor the Moon landing and the moment that Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the Moon 50 years ago.
After completing the monumental Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins safely splashed back into the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969. As the final anniversary event in the timeline of the mission, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will host “Splashdown” in the Rocket Garden on July 24.
You can stay up to date on Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, here link.
For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
During National Park Week and all year long, it's a great idea to explore our national treasures.
There's so much to learn and so much to do. This list will help you get started whether you are interested in history, nature, active pursuits, the back country or urban adventures.
This is the day to #findyourpark!
If you have a road trip on the horizon ( or even a trip to the park) these snack holders are a hit.
It’s time to put a family vacation on the calendar.
Here are five ideas to consider:
1. Moab, Utah.
Sample the wonders of red rock country during a four day, multi-sport trip that includes an off-road Hummer Safari through a fantasyland of slick rock and a two day, river rafting adventure with an overnight of pampered beach camping on the banks of the Colorado River. Other nature based itineraries include longer rafting components, jet boating, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking, hot air ballooning. rock climbing, canyoneering and horseback riding amid jaw dropping scenery. Many outings are suitable for adventurers as young as five.
2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Visit the all-inclusive Grand Sirenis Punta Cana Resort for bronze colored beaches amid a beautiful coconut grove. Families will appreciate child-focused pools, and a kids club as well as plenty of non-motorized water sporting fun. The whole family will want to explore the onsite ancient Mayan ruin, the nearby nature trails and to discover the wonder of the world’s second largest coral reef system. Book now through May 2 for up to a 20 percent discount on getaways that take place through October 2019.
3. American Prairie Reserve, Montana.
Using an innovative model, The American Prairie Reserve, a Montana-based non-profit, is in the midst of stitching together a 3.5 million-acre nature reserve on the plains of Montana. Once completed, the Reserve
will provide a continuous land area, collaboratively managed for wildlife and recreation. It will be the largest of its kind in the Lower 48 states.
Meanwhile, a campground and cabins, opening in late spring 2019, provide access to hiking, mountain biking, fishing, wildlife watching and night-sky viewing far from city lights. Prices start at $15 for tent camping per night. Contact: www.AmericanPrairie.org.
4. Denver, CO.
If your kids love drawing on your driveway or sidewalk at home you wont want to miss Denver’s 17th Annual Chalk Art Festival. Be there for the free, two-day painting extravaganza during which hundreds of artists contribute their talent to turn the streets of Larimer Square, the Mile High City’s oldest and most historic block, into a colorful outdoor museum.
The festival takes its inspiration from street painting traditions that originated in 16th century Renaissance Italy when artists began transforming asphalt into canvas. June 1-2, 2019.
5. Galapagos Islands.
Cruise through this legendary archipelago aboard a Smart-Voyager-certified catamaran.
Visit Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela, Rabida, and San Cristobal islands while on the lookout for blue footed boobies and the other unique species of wildlife that inspired Darwin and contributed to science’s understanding of life.
Explore moon-like lava terrain, walk through lush forests teeming with birdlife, and snorkel in crystal waters where sea lions frolic . Contact: www.Surtrek.com.
Looking for late-breaking Spring Break ideas?
Check out these deals for a great escape to see the Grand Canyon in a way you might not have imagined. And the timing is right because the Centennial celebration for one of the world’s most famous natural wonders is underway.
The deal is simple: save 30% off round-trip train fare in conjunction with a one- or two-night package.*
The offer is valid for the rest of 2019, and includes hotel stay, breakfast and dinners, round-trip transportation on the train and entertainment. The savings increase with upgrades in class of train service. Take note, on the first Saturday of each month through October, the train is pulled by a real steam engine so consider that unique option when planning.
For more information and reservations: www.thetrain.com/offers/centennial-getaway-package or call 1-800-834-8724.
*Centennial Getaway offer valid for 30% off the train portion only of this package when traveling between 2/7/19 – 12/31/19. National park entry fee is not discountable. Package rates are subject to change. This offer cannot be combined with other discounts/promotional offers and other restrictions, including blackout dates, may apply.
1-night Itinerary Package
2-night Itinerary Package
The Four Seasons Resort Lanai, on the unspoiled Hawaiian island of Lanai, has recently introduced Love Lanai, a series of tours, classes, and authentic culinary events.. Through Love Lanai, guests are able to experience the island’s unique living environment and cultural-historical legacy that spans nearly 1,000 years of Hawaiian residency and a diverse cultural heritage.
Family vacation experiences that are a part of the new collection include a guided sunrise hike of Puupehe; Hoolauna, where guests can learn more about the rich variety of Hawaiian crafts; and Aina Ahiahi Hawaiian Dinner, complete with Hawaiian specialties in an intimate setting, reminiscent of a family dinner in a Lanai home.
Consider family golf options while on the scenic island.
It’s easy to allow financial stress, busy schedules and a hectic lifestyle to get in the way of putting dates on the calendar. Here are seven reasons to flag a family vacation as a top priority:
No one is getting any younger.
Not you, the grandparents, or your children. Family life is hectic and it can be difficult to carve out time to even plan a vacation, let alone take one. Yet, before you know it, the kids will be otherwise engaged with school or team responsibilities, summer jobs and college internships. That means the opportunities to get away as a family will diminish even further. So, get planning!
It’s only money.
Sure, budgets are tight. We’re all trying to save more. But a hefty bank account is no substitute for a memory bank brimming with great visuals of your kids running on the beach, hiking in the mountains or climbing in the saddle for the first time. Allocate the dollars you can. Then be on the lookout for deals, promotions or creative low-cost options.
Keep it in the family.
Those busy work and school schedules often mean we seldom see family members about whom we care deeply. Add the geographic spread that is common in most clans and get togethers can be rare. Make this the summer you reconnect with grandparents, that favorite uncle or your long lost cousins. Share stories. Trade photos. Extend the limbs on your family tree.
A visit to a national, state or regional park can provide a bonanza of historical and natural insight and experience. Take to the trails, the streams or the hillside and enjoy nature’s bounty. Camping along the way provides a low cost opportunity to learn outdoor skills and tell tales around the camp fire.
Make it a photo opp.
We tend to remember those moments and events that we capture on film or on a digital memory card. Be deliberate about gathering the kids, friends and relatives together to snap a photo or a few moments of video. Be sure to capture those candid moments too. Then, share and enjoy!
Write it down.
Whether you keep a journal or notes with your photos, scribble a few sentences about your planning process and the trips you take. In time, memory seems to fade the details like dialogue, what people wore, jokes and stories told or memories shared. Save the individual strands of the experience. You’ll be glad you did.
Make a plan together.
Gather your family and get their input on your summer plans. Seek volunteers for researching possible destinations or low cost opportunities. Consider house trades, villa rentals, last minute getaways or just a weekend in a neighboring city. When the time comes, share packing and last minute detail responsibilities. In the end, it is the shared experience that creates the lasting memories and strengthens the bond.