This past weekend we visited three different national parks. We did one on Saturday and two on Sunday. This proved a bit too much for the kids. Participating in the Junior Ranger programs at each site was just too taxing on them, mind and body. So we have a new rule in our house: one park, one day. We don't do more than that.
So here goes the first day. I will post the other parks in separate posts.
Saturday we visited the Wright Brother's National Monument in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. This is a wonderful park and while we have been there many times before we still learned something new on this trip.
(the monument at the top of the hill)
As you arrive there is a gate where you pay your entrance fee. Kids of course are free but adults are charged $4 each. We went ahead and purchased the annual pass for $80. It is a card that you get the size of a credit card. We parked and went into the visitor's center and picked up our junior ranger workbooks and a special pencil that had no eraser. (note to self: bring pencils with an eraser for the kids)
On the very day we chose to go to this park they also had a stunt kite exhibition and competition. We enjoyed watching the stunt kites fly as well as many large wind socks and other interesting kites.
(Stunt Kite Exhibition)
(helping the kids with their workbooks)
We then ran off to the other exhibition hall to search for the ranger who was giving a lesson in paper airplane making. It was a requirement for the kids to participate in a ranger led activity and this is the one we chose. As the kids were perfecting their paper airplanes the adults looked around the exhibit. We learned that it was only 66 years from the first flight to landing a man on the moon. That is pretty impressive. It also says a lot for technology. Once you figure out the basics you can improve it exponentially.
(Ranger Liz talking about the paper airplanes)
We walked around the rest of the museum and the kids finished up their requirements for the JR program. Then we hiked up the "mountain" (hill) to the actual monument. Boy is that a steep hill. The view from the top is well worth the hike!
(This Ranger was so funny with the kids and he added so much more to their
oath that the kids take. They promised to be good to their brother and sisters and
to clean their room every day!)
When going to the Wright Brother's National Monument allow for 2 to 3 hours to tour both the visitor's center and the exhibition hall. Don't forget to hike the hill to the top for the great views of the island and don't miss the ranger talk in the visitor's center where the replica of the original airplane is. That talk is great.