Park on Winter Schedule
The American Camp Visitor Center is closed Thanksgiving Day, re-opening Friday. Winter hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. The English Camp Visitor Center is closed for the winter. Grounds at both units are open from dawn to 11 p.m. daily. More »
Mike Vouri Photo
Here are just a few examples of Kids' Fun at San Juan island National Historical Park:
Soldier Games: Children of all ages are invited to join park staff and volunteers twice each summer for the Annual "Soldier Games," afternoons of competitions featuring the very events in which U.S. Soldiers and Royal Marines competed during the joint occupation. Records are kept year-to-year. Fun for all ages. Stay posted to this web site for dates and times.
Weaving weekend: Cowlitz Nation weaver Judy Bridges, Fort Nisqually interpreter and storyteller Karen Haas along with San Juan island's Roger Ellison and Anita Barreca demonstrate weaving with all-natural fibers, including wild reeds, usually the first weekend in August. Visitors are invited to try their hands at created mattes, toys and art objects.
Tide Pool Walks: Visitors learn about plant and animal life, from algae to invertebrate animals, during tide pool walks with biologist Bob Lemon and naturalist Annie Prevost. Bring your rubber boots and look but don't touch!
Encampment: Park staff, volunteers and re-enactors from throughout the region gather at English Camp to recreate life on San Juan Island at mid-19th century. The annual event commemorates the peaceful joint occupation of San Juan Island by British and American forces from 1859 to 1872, and the final, peaceful settlement of the Northwest Boundary dispute. Throughout the joint occupation the garrisons regularly exchanged visits to celebrate holidays that included Christmas, the Fourth of July and Queen Victoria’s birthday. Typically the men would participate in athletic contests, imbibe in spirits and other refreshments and usually host a dance to which the community was invited.
The modern Encampment (the next scheduled July 23, 2011) includes camp life, blacksmithing, cookery, woodworking and drilling. Children participate in soldier games, learn sailors knots, how to plunk a fiddle, saw a log and dance the Grand March. The highlight of the weekend is Saturday’s Candlelight Ball, an evening of dancing and refreshments from 8 to 10 p.m.
Did You Know?
The San Juan Islands have one of the largest populations of nesting bald eagles in the nation's lower 48 states. One pair has been nesting above the American Camp visitor center since 1995. More...