These days it seems like there is a day celebrating everything: National Tequila Day. National Sibling Day. National Underwear Day. But on August 25, every year since 1916, those of us living in the United States have the privilege to commemorate the birthday of the National Park Service, which was created by President Woodrow Wilson to protect the our purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain.
August 25, 2016 is the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service and the organization is kicking off the celebration early. Beginning this August, it is launching the Find Your Park initiative, when, in addition to waiving the entrance fees for all parks, there are also events, experiences, and ways to win prizes. Below is just a sampling of the fun things you can do throughout the country. Many more can be found at FindYourPark.com.
Drink Rain at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
You don’t have to worry about dehydration here. This national park is home to state’s largest public rainwater catchment system, which harvests rainwater (that all meets EPA safe-drinking standards) from six acres of designated land.
Tour the Milky Way
Joshua Tree National Park in California, a drive away from many light-polluted cities, offers spectacular views of the night sky. While stars are visible any time of year, the Milky Way makes itself most brightly known in the summer and fall seasons.
See the Sunrise from the Top of the Fire Island Lighthouse Tower
There’s no better way to really feel like you’re on a vacation than watching the sun creep up over the water. Don’t miss this historic New York Harbor landmark.
Dinosaur National Monument in Utah offers you the opportunity to touch real dinosaur fossils! This park was founded in 1915, so they are currently celebrating its centennial with many fun events and even limited-edition dinosaur-inspired ice cream flavors available at local eateries.
Take a Trip to the Moon
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho was formed by various eruptions from the Great Rift thousands of years ago. Until trips to space become more affordable, this might be the most cost-effective way to experience the moon.