13 area national park attractions to check out during National Park Week

This article has been updated to reflect the 2019 schedule. 

WASHINGTON If this year’s extended winter weather has left you itching to get outside, now is the time to do it.

April 20 through 28 is National Park Week, and memorials, museums and parks throughout the D.C. area are celebrating with family-friendly events and programming.

The annual celebration kicks off with a “fee free day” on April 20. National Park Service spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said this is an excellent opportunity to explore nearby parks that traditionally charge a fee, including the 800-acre Great Falls Park, just outside the nation’s capital.

April 20 is also Junior Ranger Day at parks throughout the country, “so it’s a great day to bring the kids out for kid-friendly programs,” Anzelmo-Sarles said. On April 21, military members and veterans will be recognized; April 22 coincides with Earth Day.

For a full list of events and details, visit the National Park Service’s website. Be sure to check out these parks in the D.C. area:

A kayaker enjoys the rushing waters of the  Potomac River at Great Falls, Va., near Washington, Tuesday, March 25, 2008. (AP  Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Great Falls Park Just outside the nation’s capital, along the Potomac River, is Great Falls Park in McLean, Virginia. On Saturday, April 21, entrance to the park is free. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/J. Scott Applewhite)
A woman who did not wish to give her name photographs blooming lotus flowers at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, Saturday, July 8, 2017. The week-long "Lotus and Water Lily Festival" begins, Saturday July 15, at the park. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is part of the U.S. National Park Service. Check out wildlife and wildflowers at this Northeast D.C. spot. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
The Frederick Douglass house is seen in Washington Monday, Dec. 3, 2001.  From the house on the hill with its view of the Capitol dome, Douglass, the most influential black American of his time, could survey some of the most important landmarks of his public life. (AP Photo/Kenneth Lambert)
The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site National Park Service spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles recommends visiting the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site during National Park Week. It’s the bicentennial celebration of Douglass’ birth. (AP Photo/Kenneth Lambert) (AP/KENNETH LAMBERT)
Viewers look out on autumn foliage from an overlook in Shenandoah National Park south of Front Royal. Va., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006. (AP Photo/Robert Meyers)
Shenandoah National Park  Just a short drive from D.C. is Shenandoah National Park, which encompasses 200,000 acres along the Blue Ridge Mountains. (AP Photo/Robert Meyers) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/ROBERT MEYERS)
A man runs past blooming daffodils along Rock Creek Park in Washington, on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Rock Creek Park Can’t make it out of the DMV? Go for a run in Rock Creek Park, which is part of the U.S. National Park Service. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Kayakers paddle past the Rosslyn, Va., skyline, seen from Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Theodore Roosevelt Island Theodore Roosevelt Island is the perfect place for a leisurely paddle on the Potomac, especially on Sunday, April 22, which marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Wild horses roam on South Ocean Beach at Assateague Island National Seashore near Berlin, Md. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
Assateague Island National Seashore Why wait for summer to take a trip to the shore? Hang with the horses during National Park Week at Assateague Island National Seashore. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma) (AP/Jacqueline Larma)
This Wednesday, May 9, 2010 photo shows the view from an overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Rocky Knob in Floyd, Va. (AP Photo/Zinie Sampson)
Blue Ridge Parkway See what “America’s favorite drive” is really all about with a cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway. (AP Photo/Zinie Sampson) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Zinie Sampson)
A woman jogs with her baby by George Washington Memorial Parkway, across the Potomac River from the Washington Monument in Arlington, Va. on Friday, March 23, 2007. Meandering through wooded hills, the George Washington Memorial Parkway offers stunning views of the Potomac River and the capital's monuments beyond. It also offers one of the most direct commutes to downtown Washington for suburban residents, and that has brought traffic it was never intended to handle. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
George Washington Memorial Parkway Also a nice drive (or stroll or run) is the stretch along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which is part of the U.S. National Park Service. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jacquelyn Martin)
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JUNE 13-14 ** FILE - This July 20, 2008 file photo offers a view looking down on Harpers Ferry, W.Va., at the conjunction of the Shanandoah, left, and the Potomac Rivers. The town was the site of abolitionist John Brown's infamous 1859 raid on the local arsenal, an event which led toward the Civil War. (AP/ Martin B. Cherry)
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park  Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, and is a great place to hike. (AP/ Martin B. Cherry) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Martin B. Cherry)
Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.  (PRNewsFoto/Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts) THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED BY PRNewsfoto and is for EDITORIAL USE ONLY**
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts Located in Vienna, Virginia, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is the only National Park space dedicated to the arts. (AP/PR Newswire)   (PR NEWSWIRE)
A bicyclist rides on the beginning of the 150.5 mile Great Allegheny Passage that runs between downtown Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md., Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Combined with the C@O Canal Towpath, that begins in Cumberland, Md., they are a 334.5 mile ride between Pittsburgh and Georgetown in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
C&O Canal National Historical Park The C & O Canal runs throughout D.C. and Maryland, and is a great trail to bike, walk, run and hike. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (AP/Gene J. Puskar)
This Oct. 23, 2014 photo shows Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Md., a historic site that started in the late 19th century as a Chautauqua community, part of a movement to create planned towns with a focus on culture and education. The community failed and the land was turned into an amusement park. The park closed in 1968 but the amusement pavilions have been preserved, operated by the National Park service with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for the Arts and Culture/Montgomery County. Buildings today house everything from a carousel to art classes. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)
Glen Echo Park Catch puppet shows, craft fairs and carousel rides at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Maryland. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz) (AP/Beth J. Harpaz)
(1/13)
A kayaker enjoys the rushing waters of the  Potomac River at Great Falls, Va., near Washington, Tuesday, March 25, 2008. (AP  Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A woman who did not wish to give her name photographs blooming lotus flowers at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, Saturday, July 8, 2017. The week-long "Lotus and Water Lily Festival" begins, Saturday July 15, at the park. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The Frederick Douglass house is seen in Washington Monday, Dec. 3, 2001.  From the house on the hill with its view of the Capitol dome, Douglass, the most influential black American of his time, could survey some of the most important landmarks of his public life. (AP Photo/Kenneth Lambert)
Viewers look out on autumn foliage from an overlook in Shenandoah National Park south of Front Royal. Va., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006. (AP Photo/Robert Meyers)
A man runs past blooming daffodils along Rock Creek Park in Washington, on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Kayakers paddle past the Rosslyn, Va., skyline, seen from Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Wild horses roam on South Ocean Beach at Assateague Island National Seashore near Berlin, Md. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
This Wednesday, May 9, 2010 photo shows the view from an overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Rocky Knob in Floyd, Va. (AP Photo/Zinie Sampson)
A woman jogs with her baby by George Washington Memorial Parkway, across the Potomac River from the Washington Monument in Arlington, Va. on Friday, March 23, 2007. Meandering through wooded hills, the George Washington Memorial Parkway offers stunning views of the Potomac River and the capital's monuments beyond. It also offers one of the most direct commutes to downtown Washington for suburban residents, and that has brought traffic it was never intended to handle. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JUNE 13-14 ** FILE - This July 20, 2008 file photo offers a view looking down on Harpers Ferry, W.Va., at the conjunction of the Shanandoah, left, and the Potomac Rivers. The town was the site of abolitionist John Brown's infamous 1859 raid on the local arsenal, an event which led toward the Civil War. (AP/ Martin B. Cherry)
Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.  (PRNewsFoto/Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts) THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED BY PRNewsfoto and is for EDITORIAL USE ONLY**
A bicyclist rides on the beginning of the 150.5 mile Great Allegheny Passage that runs between downtown Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md., Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Combined with the C@O Canal Towpath, that begins in Cumberland, Md., they are a 334.5 mile ride between Pittsburgh and Georgetown in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
This Oct. 23, 2014 photo shows Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Md., a historic site that started in the late 19th century as a Chautauqua community, part of a movement to create planned towns with a focus on culture and education. The community failed and the land was turned into an amusement park. The park closed in 1968 but the amusement pavilions have been preserved, operated by the National Park service with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for the Arts and Culture/Montgomery County. Buildings today house everything from a carousel to art classes. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up