Winter Festivities

Steam train with a holiday wreath hanging on it

NPS Photo

Join in the festivities at parks across the country as national parks celebrate holidays of past and present throughout the months of November, December, and early January. Step into the past to discover how people celebrated winter holidays, experience another culture's traditions, or just join in the fun!

Parks across the country are hosting special in-park or virtual events, like train rides, open houses, musical performances, solstice observances, craft-making, food-tasting, caroling, resolution hikes, and more. Check the list of events below to find something near you or online. Be sure to review safety requirements before attending the event in person.

Come to an event or create your own holiday traditions of visiting a national park. Find tips to recreate responsibly for a fun, safe visit.

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Don't have a fireplace at home? Don't worry! Warm up your holidays with a crackling fire in the hearth of one of our soldier huts.

Click here to view the video on YouTube!

Illustration of the northern lights over a forest at night with text reading "Recreate Responsibly"

NPS / Matt Turner

First Day Hikes

"First Day Hikes" is a tradition started by state park systems across the country to encourage people to kick off the new year on the right foot with healthy activities in the outdoors. National parks are also a great place to begin your new year's resolution of enjoying the health benefits of parks while also admiring the stunning winter scenery.

If you are heading to a national park on January 1—or any other day of the year—remember to recreate responsibly to promote health and safey of everyone. Share your experience and inspire others on social media using #FirstDayHikes, #RecreateResponsibly, and #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque!

Holiday Lists

Looking for inspiration this holiday season? We've made lists to enjoy national parks for you to check off everything twice.

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    Virtual Experiences

    Home for the holidays? Stay connected with your favorite parks virtually. Find Your Virtual Park watching webcams, perusing winter scenery photos, playing park games, joining the fun on social media, and much more. Here are a few winter holiday activities to get started.


    Holiday Craft Ideas

    Rangers and volunteers share some of their favorite holiday crafts, as well as some holiday pastimes that you can do at home.

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      Holiday Recipes

      What are the holidays without festive foods. Rangers and volunteers share some of their favorite holiday food recipes or pull out cookbooks of historic cultural dishes prepared during the winter months. Try your hand at preparing these foods.

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        Holiday Safety Considerations

        Find tips to stay safe this holiday season whether you are heading out or staying home. Learn more about the #RecreateResponsibly movement promoting safe choices while visiting national parks and other public lands.

        Driving is one of the leading causes of injury or near misses during the winter. Roads can be slippery and visibility can be reduced during the winter. Keep in mind these basic winter weather driving tips to keep yourselves and others safe while out enjoying the spectacular winter scenery in parks.

        • Drive slowly to adjust for the conditions of the road and your surroundings.
        • Increase following distance between you and the vehicles in front of you.
        • Turn on your headlights to help others see you and to increase your own visibility.
        • Always wear a seatbelt.
        Infographic titled "Winter Driving", detailed alternative text is on the webpage

        NPS / Derrick Lam and Lilia Fomm

        The infographic is titled "Winter Driving". The illustration includes the view out of a car's front windshield driving in a snowy, foggy area on a road lined with trees. The driver has two hands on the steering wheel and is maintaining a long distance from a vehicle in front on the road.

        The illustration includes the road signs and text for "Slippery Road" and "Reduced Visibility".

        The infographic includes four driving tips, including drive slowly, increase following distance, turn on headlights, and always wear a seatbelt. More information is on the website "nps.gov".
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          Winter Festivity and Holiday Stories in Parks

          Explore holiday histories, cultural traditions, places with special connections to the holidays, and personal reflections from our rangers and volunteers.

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            Find an Event

            Set the calendar to November, December, or January to find winter holiday events and festivities with national parks across the country either hosted in-person or as virtual experiences.

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            Last updated: December 21, 2020