If you’re thinking about heading to a National Park to take advantage of this week’s FREE entry days, you’ll want to learn about national park passport stamps, a super easy way to record your visits and make memories with your kids!
Read on for for this classic guest post from reader mom and site friend, CoreyAnn.
At the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park we came across a Passport to Your National Parks Booklet. The Park Ranger explained to us that every National Park has one stamp (if not many) located within each park for people to have canceled with the date of their visit there. This was a perfect way for Bee and me to document our travels, encourage us to see places we wouldn’t normally have ventured to, and to instill an appreciation of our wonderful National Park System within Bee!
Passport Cancellation stamping is actually very easy to do. One may choose to pick up a passport booklet at their first NPS stop (we started with both the blue cover one and the kids’ version) or one may take a more custom approach. There aren’t too many spaces within the small passport booklets, so we have now moved on to an approach that is simpler, easier, is scalable, and allows us to scrapbook each stamp with photos of our adventures.
We keep a stack of 3×5 unlined note cards in the car glove box and in my purse to have one whenever we are on the go. Start by finding where stamps are located. In the beginning we just asked Rangers in the park bookstore (where most stamps are housed) but soon found that there were so many we were missing. One of the best resources is from the National Parks Travelers Club , a nonprofit, hobbyist organization. They have an entire list of where NPS stamps and non-NPS stamps (lighthouses, National Registry homes, State Parks, etc) are located. It is free to join the discussion boards for information on National Park travel or for $10 a year one has access to the entire stamp database, as well as Google Earth maps to each location.
Lastly, if one is going to get out and stamp, this is the year to do it. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the program, which is run by Eastern National, an organization dedicated to promoting National Parks, and thus every park has a special anniversary cancellation stamp to mark the occasion.
- Good Websites:
- National Park Service
- National Park System Passport Cancellation Stamp Wiki
- Eastern National
- National Park Travelers’ Club
This is a classic guest post from our long time site friend, CoryAnn. She and her family alternate between Seattle and the Bay Area, and she knows a thing or two about fun ideas for adventurous families!