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Passport Picks For Winter: Where In the National Park System Should You Visit?


Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great winter destination, whether you arrive to ride the Polar Express or simply to enjoy the snow-covered landscape. NPS photo of Everette Road Covered Bridge.

How would you like to enjoy our national parks this winter? The folks at Eastern National have put together the following list to highlight some of the activities that are taking place in December, January, and February. Pack up the car, grab your Passport®, and explore the parks!
Passport® Picks for Winter

Acadia National Park. Acadia offers many cold weather activities to its visitors. You can spend the day cross-country skiing & snowshoeing, snowmobiling, scenic driving, hiking, ice fishing, and/or camping. There's no cost to you to enjoy the park, but make sure you check for any closures due to inclement weather. Find more information here.

Boston National Historical Park. Head to Boston for the 238th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Take on the role of either Patriot or Loyalist at this reenactment. The event takes place on December 11 beginning at 4pm at the Old South Meetinghouse. Rain, snow, or shine. Cost is $8-9 per person. You can purchase tickets here.

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Experience Christmas at Connemara. This free celebration will honor the Sandburg family and their tradition of music. December 10, 10am to 4pm. More information available here.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Hop on the Polar Express at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway! Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas as they are read the holiday adventure "The Polar Express" on their way to the North Pole! Cookies and hot chocolate will be served on board. The trains will run all day through December 20. The cost is $38-58. More information and other events are available here.

Effigy Mounds National Monument
. The 49th Annual Winter Film Festival begins the first weekend in January 2012. The festival will run on weekends January through March. This event is free.  Details are available here.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield. Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of Fort Donelson. There will be various events at the fort February 11 through 16. This event is free. Details can be found here.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. The MLK Film Festival celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The festival is taking place January 14, 15, and 16 from 11am to 1pm. This event is free. More information is available here.

Homestead National Monument of America. Every Saturday and Sunday in January and February enjoy the Hollywood & Homesteading Filmfest. "Far & Away" is the first film playing on January 7 at 2 pm. This event is free. The film schedule is available here.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve. Join us for the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, the last battle during the War of 1812, at Chalmette Battlefield. This event is free. Click here for more information.

Vicksburg National Military Park. Commemorate the 149th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Cairo ironclad gunboat. Interpretive programs take place December 12 from 9am to 4pm. The cost is $8 per vehicle. More information can be found here.


I've done most of California's desert parks in winter. Joshua Tree, Mojave, and Death Valley. All are pretty awesome in the winter, though you need a really warm sleeping bag!

On our annual Florida trip to see family, we always stop at a couple of National Park units.
De Soto National  Memorial and Fort Frederica National Monument are on the list for this trip.
Danny Bernstein

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