Family vacations - Thinking outside the Disney box

Filed under: Places To Go, Holidays, In The News

Last week, Utah lost one of its most famous (and photographed) arches in Arches National Park to time and gravity. Visitors to National Parks are down, due to what is believe to be increasing competition from theme parks, high gas prices, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Theme parks may make it easier to entertain kids with low-attention spans from electronic gaming, but they can never match the feeling of awe one gets when viewing the vastness of the Grand Canyon, taking a tour of Mammoth Cave, or discovering a waterfall after hiking in the mountains.

It's easy to take natural wonders for granted. But as Wall Arch reminds us, these marvels may not be around forever. Instead of going to Disney again, why not spend some family time exploring some of Mother Nature's parks?

Most National Parks offer free activities and information packets geared toward children and have friendly rangers on staff trained to answer any questions about the natural world kid campers might have.

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