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Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144
HOMESTEAD, Fla. --- In celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, the 16th season of Biscayne National Park’s multi-award winning Family Fun Fest will explore Biscayne’s connections to some of the 407 other national parks. The series kicks off on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at the park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center. The events are free and take place from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month from December through April. Family Fun Fest Junior includes specially-designed activities for toddlers to ensure that the entire family gets to participate, and free transportation from downtown Homestead (and by extension, anywhere served by public transportation) is available aboard the Homestead National Parks Trolley, courtesy of the City of Homestead.
Using the Centennial Celebration’s “Find Your Park” tagline as inspiration, event organizers have pulled in some of the very best hands-on activities from around the country to highlight the natural, historical and recreational opportunities available in America’s national parks.
Each Family Fun Fest event focuses on a particular theme and participants receive a passport which they get punched as they complete each of five activities. Activities include games, science experiments, presentations and craft projects. After collecting all five punches, kids earn a specially designed button to help them remember the lessons learned.
The 2015-2016 themes are:
- Find Your Park! – December 13, 2015 – 1 - 4 p.m. Discover a national park (or two!) that’s absolutely perfect for you! Take a cross-country journey to find national parks, create national park art that’s as unique as you are, and try your hand at being a ranger at your very own national park!
- I’m on a Boat! – January 10, 2016 – 1 - 4 p.m. Ahoy! Head to sea to explore history in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes national parks! Try your hand at the whaler’s art of scrimshaw, help load a ship with cargo, learn to talk “nauti” with your friends, and more!
- My Fellow Americans – February 14, 2016 – 1 - 4 p.m. Lots of national parks have Presidential connections…including Biscayne National Park! Discover President Hoover’s favorite game, listen in on a chat between Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, and continue one First Lady’s legacy right in your own backyard.
- Wild for Wildlife – March 13, 2016 – 1 - 4 p.m. Wolves and bears and dinosaurs? National parks protect them all! See how you measure up to an apatosaurus, get to know a feathered friend and see if you have what it takes to be an alpha hunter.
- Parks and Recreation – April 10, 2016 – 1 - 4 p.m. How many ways are there to have fun in a national park? How high can you count? Go rock climbing, paddling, birdwatching and more! Get up, get out there and Find Your Park!
Participants who earn all five buttons in a season are declared "Family Fun Fest Fanatics" and earn a special award in April.
In addition to 5 activity stations at each event, there will also be one activity station focusing on theme-related creative play for parents with toddlers. "The little guys will earn a button just like their older brothers and sisters, but with activities geared to their skill level," said the program's creator Yelitza Sepulveda. "Family Fun Fest Junior fills an important niche for parents looking for innovative educational opportunities for their children."
Family Fun Fest is made possible through visitor donations and the Bobby Duryea Fund at the South Florida National Parks Trust, with additional support from the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves, a variety of other local agencies and businesses, and a host of dedicated volunteers.
The Dante Fascell Visitor Center is located at 9700 SW 328 Street, nine miles east of Homestead, Florida. For more information about Biscayne National Park visit nps.gov/bisc or follow the park on Facebook, Twitteror Instagram at “biscaynenps.”
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.