National Park Week: Celebrate with Daily Themes and Activities in Your Local NPS Park April 16-24

by Jon D. B.

National Park Week is upon us, and Outsider wants to connect you with a local national park so you can get in on the daily themes and festivities from April 16-24.

Happy National Park Week! This week, National Park Service (NPS) sites across the country will host a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences for nine full days of festivities. This presidentially-proclaimed celebration is hosted by both NPS and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Together, they hope to help all Americans celebrate our treasured parks, conservation, and the great outdoors.

In fact, NPS is celebrating with free entry to all national parks on the first day of the festivities – Saturday, April 16!

Find Your Local NPS Site to Celebrate

But if you don’t live close to one of the main national parks, don’t fret. There are well over 400 NPS sites across America. To find one and join in on the festivities this week, visit NPS’ Find Your Park Tool.

Once you’ve found your local NPS park, it’s time to explore America’s most amazing, historic, and cultured places. Plenty of volunteer opportunities are available during National Park Week, alongside activities, events, and excursions for the whole family. If you can’t join in person, NPS is also hosting virtual events all week long.

National Park Week 2022’s Daily Themes

For 2022, National Park Week’s theme is “sPark Connections”. Each of the nine days of NPW will hold a specific sPark a connection exploring a new theme:

  • Saturday, April 16: sPark Discovery
    • For 2022, NPW “kicks off with a fee-free day to encourage everyone to find something new by visiting a national park, especially one that may be close to home, a park you haven’t considered visiting, or one you never realized is a NPS site! What new national park will you discover?” NPS asks.
  • Sunday, April 17: sPark Creativity
    • “National parks have inspired artistic expression and creativity for generations,” NPS adds, asking “What is your park muse? What masterpiece can you create?”
    • Join fellow Outsiders and NPS enthusiasts by creating a work of art inspired by your favorite park. Better yet, find a peaceful spot in said park to create your masterpiece on Sunday, April 17!
  • Monday, April 18: sPark Collaboration 
    • On April 18, NPS will also put the spotlight on their “many partners that help expand our reach and offerings and connect people to parks.”
    • The 18th will also highlight ways NPS enthusiasts can become involved or participate in park opportunities.
  • Tuesday, April 19: sPark Innovation 
    • Then, the 19th will be all about NPS’s innovative technology. As they state, NPS “incorporates the latest technology to support conservation and preservation efforts while consistently working to improve the visitor experience. How can we surprise you with innovation?”
  • Wednesday, April 20: sPark Opportunities
    • Visitors can also “learn about the work we do and the employment opportunities available in the National Park Service and with partner organizations” on April 20’s Workplace Wednesday.
  • Thursday, April 21: sPark Preservation
    • NPS is a leader and partner in preservation of historic, cultural, natural and recreational resources nationally—and even internationally. “How can you get involved in preservation?” NPS asks.
  • Friday, April 22: sPark Action
  • Saturday, April 23: sPark Curiosity
    • The second Saturday of NPW also highlights how our NPS “preserves and protects unique places with fascinating stories and unique landscapes,” asking “What are you curious about? What fascinating things can you discover?”
    • Will you visit the Great Smoky Mountains to do so? Or Make the trip to YellowstoneAcadia?
  • Sunday, April 24: sPark Memories
    • Then, it’s all about memories on the final day of NPW. “Generations of visitors have created lasting memories in national parks. What memories and traditions will you also create?” NPS asks.

Get Out There and Enjoy Our National Parks, Outsiders!

Don’t forget, entrance to all NPS sites will be free on the first day of National Park Week, April 16. It’s a Saturday, so there’s no better day to get out and enjoy some of America’s most pristine lands!

Be sure to celebrate Earth Day with us, too! April 22 is a day to celebrate nature in all her glory, and help her thrive for generations to come.

And there’s no better place to do so than our amazing National Parks. Happy National Park Week, Outsiders!