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All national parks across the country will celebrate National Park Week, April 19-27, 2014, using the theme, “Go Wild!” You can join the festivities at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) to learn about the newly designated Wilderness and why it’s important. There is something for everyone, whether you explore the park on your own during this special week, gaze at the sky during the Star Party on Friday, April 25, or participate in the National Junior Ranger Day event for kids on Saturday, April 26.
The National Park Service is waiving the park entry fee in celebration of National Park Week. Entrance and commercial tour fees will be waived during the first weekend of National Park Week, Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20. Other fees such as reservations, camping, and concession fees are not included.
All special National Park Week events at the National Lakeshore are also free. During National Junior Ranger Day, children of all ages are invited to participate in any or all events. Dress for outdoor weather: rain or shine. In inclement weather, outdoor activities will be moved to the D. H. Day Campground log cabin.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s National Park Week Schedule of Events:
Friday, April 25 Star Party
9:00-11:00 p.m., Dune Climb - The National Lakeshore is hosting a Star Party to celebrate starry night skies and the final frontier of wilderness. Join park rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society for a guided experience through the night sky. Program will be cancelled in inclement weather. Call (231) 326-4700, ext. 5005, for questions.
Saturday, April 26 National Junior Ranger Day
8:30 a.m., Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire - Be sure to pick up your free Junior Ranger Booklet to earn your Junior Ranger badge on your own! Books will be available throughout the day.
10:00 a.m., Sleeping Bear Point Trail - Take a walk on the wild side with a Park Ranger to learn about wilderness and why it matters.
12:30 p.m., Trails End Bass Lake - Participate in fun “Leave No Trace” games and activities.
2:00 p.m., Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire - Participate in indoor wilderness activities, which include maps, art, stories and more!
3:00 p.m., Philip A. Visitor Center in Empire - Join park rangers for the Junior Ranger Day ceremony celebrating what they’ve done and learned throughout the day. National Junior Ranger badges will be awarded and snacks provided.
So, if you are looking for something fun to do with family and friends, head out to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore during National Park Week and celebrate your national park.