There are a lot of things for kids to do at Fort Matanzas National Monument. You can take the ferry boat to Rattlesnake Island and explore the old Spanish fort. There is also a half-mile boardwalk nature trail through the woods, and a picnic area set among the old, spreading live oak trees. Children also enjoy walking along the river shore and watching the wading birds and crabs. An entrance to the St. Johns County beach is located just across the street from the park entrance.
Junior Ranger Program
The Junior Ranger Program encourages children ages 4 and above and their parents to explore both the history and nature of Fort Matanzas as a family and is a fun way for young visitors and their families to get the most out of their visit. As Junior Rangers, children will be a part of our team helping to protect our parks.
Free booklets are available in the Visitor Center, or you can print out an activity book to bring with you by clicking HERE.
Then complete five or more of the activities in the booklet. Blue-starred activities are for children age 4-7; red-starred activities are for children age 8 and up. Completing these requirements will earn children a certificate of completion and an official Junior Ranger Badge from Fort Matanzas National Monument. Allow at least 1 1/2 hours to complete the Junior Ranger Program during your visit.
Online Junior Ranger
If you are unable to come to the park, you can still earn a Fort Matanzas Junior Ranger Badge by exploring this website. Download and print the activity book as above. Instead of the listed elements above, you can complete the following:
Then complete five or more of the blue (age 4-7) or red (age 8 and up) activities in the activity book. When you are finished, send the book to us noting which Stories and Ecosystem you read about, and we will return the book, certificate, and badge to you. Be sure to put your name on your book. Have fun!
Fort Matanzas National Monument
Be a Web Ranger!
The National Park Service also has a program called Web Rangers with a variety of activities for all ages on line. As a National Park Service Web Ranger, you'll learn what Park Rangers do to help protect our natural resources and our cultural heritage. You'll also learn how Park Rangers observe and discover new things about our National Parks - things to share with visitors like you. You can help with caring for our parks, teaching others what you learn, and always observing and exploring your environment.
After completing the web activities, you will receive an official Junior Ranger certificate.
Click Here to Become an NPS Web Ranger!
Buddy BisonHey kids! Have you met Buddy Bison? Click here and discover the parks Buddy Bison has visited! buddybison.org/
Did You Know?
Did you know that a common architectural feature of Spanish forts throughout the Caribbean is the cylindrical, domed garita or sentry box which is usually located atop the walls or bastions at the corners. Ft Matanzas National Monument, Florida