National Park Free Entrance Days

On select holiday periods throughout the year, the National Parks have free admission.  This coming weekend, February 14th through 16th is one of those weekends. These are such an amazing asset to America and people from all over the world come to see these natural wonders.  Below are the California National Parks taking part in this:

  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Lava Beds National Monument
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Pinnacles National Monument
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
  • Yosemite National Park

One of the other parks included is Zion National Park in southern Utah. We made a visit this past Christmas and enjoyed the sights. The regular admission price is $25 per car, good for 7 days.

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The weather was crisp and the views were spectacular!

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There are many opportunities for children to explore Zion National Park. During the summer, free ranger programs especially for youth are offered throughout the park, and children ages four and up can complete an activity booklet to become a Junior Ranger in Zion. Easy family-friendly trails such as the Riverside Walk, the Par’us Trail, and Emerald Pools offer hiking opportunities, while the Zion Nature Center has fun activities and exhibits for kids to explore.

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People have called the canyons and plateaus of Zion National Park home for over 10,000 years. The remnants of their time here exist throughout the park and are protected by the National Park Service. These structures, from humble granaries to improbable highways, stand as testaments to the ingenuity of those that came before us.

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Flying with infants/toddlers

I’ve totally been a slacker with this blog and I keep making excuses but really I need to just get on the ball with it. I really like this blog and like writing little posts but sometimes life gets too busy and I run out of time but here’s the deal I have made a personal commitment to try to blog at least once a day. You can hold me to it!!

Okay I know most of you have read somewhere or have been given good advice on what to do or what to take with you to make a flight pleasant. I’m not an expert but this is what I discovered. First if you have a formula fed infant buy one of those snack dispensers. They usually have about 5 compartments and dish out about 5 bottle servings. This was a lifesaver with our 9 month old. Per the TSA regulations you can bring formula this way just don’t bring in water. You can buy it at the airport. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way let me go on to strollers. I had tried to look up info on what to take with me and I couldn’t really find any info on what to do with strollers. Well I must have not really researched this too well because I soon discovered you can take a double stroller all the way up to the door of the plane and the crew will tag it and have it waiting for you at your destination. I didn’t know this so I only took my single umbrella stroller and we struggled carrying our two year old who soon became disenchanted and tired as we made our way through the maze that is LAX. Our airport trek would have gone a lot smoother if we had our double stroller.

Another helpful hint is that if you are bringing a car seat make sure to buy a rolling car seat carrier bag. We bought ours on Amazon and basically it’s a strap/bag that attaches your car seat to your rolling luggage. You can strap your kid on the seat and tote them around this way instead of a stroller if you prefer. I prefer the stroller. I will be posting more product info on a later post. Now on to entertainment and snacks. Remember that you can’t bring water to the airport but you can purchase at one of the airport shops after you have been through TSA screening. You can bring as many dry snacks as you want to. I brought goldfish, crackers and some candy. For my 9 month old I brought a couple of jars of baby food and crackers. I also bought a kid pack from the airline. This usually comes with a fun bag, more treats and some kind of activity. I also bought a DVD player and a couple of movies. I can’t tell you enough what a lifesaver the DVD player turned out to be. It kept my two year old entertained most of the way. Also if you can ,try to book a late afternoon/evening flight. We took a 7pm flight and our 9 month slept through most of it. Also if you are flying with a toddler make sure to buy them their own seat. It really made it a pleasant flight because we all had room to move around. If you have a toddler make sure to also bring books, crayons and some type of coloring book. For my 9 month old I just brought a teething ring but he didn’t even use it because he slept most of the way. Make sure to also pack plenty of diapers, wipes and a sippy cup or two.. and oh one last thing, well actually two – try to get seats in the back of the plane. Usually there are more families in the back and if you need to calm a baby or if they are restless you can usually hang out in the back with the flight attendants. I did this along with two other moms and it helped with our restless little ones. Last but not least is to relax and know that as long as you are prepared you can handle any situation. My husband and I were terrified of flying with an infant and a toddler but it actually wasn’t that bad. I hope I’ve been able to provide some useful information and please feel free to share any tips that you have found helpful when traveling with tots.