Celebrate Kids to Parks Day in Southern California and Beyond

In Southern California, we have so much to be thankful for. Wide open spaces surround us, but the hustle and bustle of life can easily get in the way. Thanks to the National Park Trust, they are inspiring families all over the US to get outside and get exploring.

Start by making the Kids to Parks pledge to get outside May 16, 2015, alongside 287,827 other families. In doing so, you will be automatically entered for a chance to win their GRAND prize, a Nikon COOLPIX L830 camera and a boatload of other prizes guaranteed to help you have fun outdoors, so round up the kids, slap on the sunscreen and get OUTSIDE!

To find a Southern California participating park near you, check out the National Park Trust park events page. There you can search by local community to find the closest park or the coolest park. There is also a great family resources section full of free cool stuff for kids like activity guides, an adventure book, inspirational stories and awesome tips for families who are not so well-versed in the great outdoors.

Check out these awesome Kids to Parks Day events in Southern California:

Channel Islands Tidepool Talk  (Ventura)
May 16, 2015
11 am - 11:30 am & 3 pm - 3:30 pm
Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001, USA
Phone: 805-658-5730
Website: http://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?eventID=347557-307230

Story Time with A Ranger (Joshua Tree)  
May 16, 2015
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
6554 Park Boulevard, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, USA
Email: lorna_shuman@nps.gov
Phone: 760-367-5521

Little Planet, Big Journey at Jumbo Rock Campground Amphitheater (Joshua Tree)
Joshua Tree National Park, National Park Road, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, USA
May 16, 2015
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Email: lorna_shuman@nps.gov
Phone: 760-367-5521

Cabrillo Critters That Creep Crawl and Slither (San Diego)  
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106, USA
May 16, 2015
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Email: Amanda_gossard@nps.gov
Phone: 619 557 5450 ex 4589

"Ready, Set, Wear It!" Life Jacket World Record Day (Oceanside)  
May 16, 2015
All Day Event
1950 N Harbor Drive, Oceanside, California 92054
Email: suzycoop@gmail.com
Website: http://www.readysetwearit.com

Be Outside - Kids to Parks at El Dorado Regional Park (Long Beach)
May 16, 2015
9 am - 1 pm
7550 East Spring Street, Long Beach, CA 90815, USA
Email: letthembelittle1@gmail.com
Phone: 310-918-7730

Need some more ideas? Here are fifteen! Now go outside and enjoy!


Fern Dell - Griffith Park

Malibu Creek State Park

Toganga Canyon State Park 

Eaton Canyon

Monrovia Falls

The Grotto @ Circle X Ranch

The Bronson Caves

Fryman Canyon Trail

Solstice Canyon Trail

More awesome Southern California parks:

Leo Carrillo State Park

Ernest E. Debs Park

Franklin Canyon Park

Temescal Gateway Park

The Ventana Wilderness

Limekiln State Park

Italy With Kids: Hiking Cinque Terre from Outdoor Families Magazine

Part two of our family's Italian adventure is now published at Outdoor Families Magazine! What an absolute delight it is to have the opportunity to relive the trip of a lifetime through narrative. I hope it inspires other parents to get out there with their kids and continue to check items off their bucket list!

I first discovered the tiny, scenic fishing villages of Cinque Terre, Italy nearly 20 years ago. A fellow traveler had thrown out a fascinating new term of “agriturismo” on the still-young internet, and, intrigued, I began researching its roots. Virtually scanning Tuscany’s rolling hills and vineyards, I was led to a magical place where craggy mountains greeted rolling seas, and Cinque Terre soared to the top of my bucket list. A quick jaunt from the French border, this region, known as Liguria, is sandwiched between relatively low, rolling hills of the Piedmont and an expansive, emerald sea where dramatic mountains crash boldly down to the warm Mediterranean waters. I became transfixed, perhaps even obsessed, with pictures of meandering passages, cozy coves and spirited locals. To read the full article, go to Outdoor Families Magazine!

Truly Tuscany: A farm-to-table family adventure from Outdoor Families Magazine

FINALLY the Tuscan leg of our epic Italian adventure has been published and I can't wait for you to read it!! 

Driving south from Milan’s Malpensa Airport, husband at the helm, our little rental car wound through the lush green of Italy’s interior, allowing us a view of every quaint hamlet, ancient mountain tunnel, and roadside espresso stand. This first leg of our inaugural Italian road trip, around 250 miles, would eventually deposit us in the Chianti region deep in the heart of Tuscany, but at the moment it was all about staring at scenery. Spellbound, we observed a heavy mist as it slowly evaporated to reveal the trademark pencil-thin cypress trees we had been romantically imagining for 20 years. As our daughter sang along to the Mamma Mia soundtrack on repeat in the CD player, my husband and I grinned knowingly at each other, finally smack-dab in the middle of our dream. To read the full article, go to Outdoor Families Magazine!

Outdoor Families Magazine: Helping families across the globe fall in love with the Great Outdoors

It is no secret that I have been pretty absent from you all, my beloved Mommy and Daddy Hikers! I certainly didn't expect it to happen, but about 11 months ago life took off on a completely different trajectory and I, being the heart-follower that I am, went for it! 

Not only have I been busy developing and executive producing a pretty awesome new television series, but more importantly to you guys, I have been busting my butt working on a project that probably would have never entered into my life had I not started this blog. So it is with the greatest pride and excitement that I  announce to you, my loyal readers, the launch of my newest baby! 

Outdoor Families Magazine! OFM launches in t-minus four days (January 15, 2015) and it will be a free digital magazine that encourages families toward lifelong appreciation of outside spaces. The magazine, available at http://www.outdoorfamiliesonline.com will strive to enrich the lives of multi-generational families worldwide by providing unparalleled outdoor and adventure related content meant to inspire a connection to, participation in, and stewardship of the natural world.

January Issue's Cover
To commemorate our inaugural issue January 15, 2015, Outdoor Families Magazine will also launch the “Great Family Adventure” Photo Contest, inviting families from around the world to show off their awesome family adventures pictures! At the end of the two week contest, we'll be presenting one lucky family with a two-night stay and three adventure-packed days on southern California’s Central Coast in the city of Oxnard, gateway to the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. In addition, our finalists will receive cool prizes from ten other awesome outdoor retailers including Hi-Tec footwear and Sierra Trading Post.

The magazine’s advisory board is comprised of more than 30 business and thought leaders in the outdoor family and adventure market, including my partners, our managing editor, Erin Kirkland, author of Alaska on the Go: Exploring the 49th state with children and our operations manager, Traci Lehman who will also be leading the magazine's team of research and development experts who are passionate about supporting our magazine's mission by documenting the benefits of outdoor time and identifying the barriers families face with regards to getting outside, so we can face these issues head on and find real world solutions.

Outdoor Families Magazine will be the go-to resource hub, supporting our already robust, engaged #OutdoorFamilies community and connecting with others who are interested in obtaining information related to family outdoor sports, activities and play, environmental stewardship, volunteering, adventure travel, mind and body nourishment and green living resources, ideas and tips. 

When I got into this crazy blogging world I never, in a million years, would have expected it to lead me where I am today; a member of The North American Travel Journalists Association, founder of a magazine, part of an absolutely incredible community of people. Throughout my wee three years, the one thing I noticed blatantly missing was a lack of relatable content available to families who simply want motivation and inspiration to get outdoors with their kids. I was dumbfounded by it actually and it is our hope that this magazine will fill that void. There are a lot of us out there, families who choose to go off-the-beaten-path, with our kids right beside us, along for the adventure. In the rapidly-growing market of outdoor family adventure we intend to thoughtfully lead the movement. I hope you'll join us for the ride!

Join the Outdoor Families community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube!
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