Photos of Children in Nature in the winter

For Parents

Enjoy Nature in Winter with Your Children

Snow Gauge Activity Embrace the Winter - Project Feeder Watch
Winter Scavenger Hunt
Ice Fishing
Winter Activities for Children in Nature Holiday Tree for the birds
Ice Candles Frozen Bubbles Ice Hanging

Plus, your children will enjoy our "For Kids" webpage, where they can click on the critters & objects and discover even more activities and ideas that will help connect them to Nature!

Maryland State Parks Team Up With The North Face Explore Your Parks Program To Help Families Get Outdoors in 2013

North Face Logo

For the fourth year in a row, the Maryland Park Service (MPS) is partnering with The North Face company for its annual Explore Your Parks program that encourages families to get outdoors and enjoy State Parks across the country.

"We're proud to have The North Face as a partner as we encourage everyone to have a more active, healthy lifestyle, all the while creating stronger connections between people and the outdoors," said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. "Maryland's State Parks provide endless opportunities for kids and their families to be active and connect with nature – hiking, climbing, running, biking, volunteering, camping, playing sports, paddling and everything else their imagination allows."

As part of the program, Marylanders can receive a free day-pass to one of nine participating Maryland State Parks with the purchase of The North Face products at local retailers. The stores will also carry free activity guides that provide information on things to do at the parks. Participating in Maryland are Calvert Cliffs, Gambrill, Greenbrier, Gunpowder Falls, Patapsco Valley, Seneca Creek and Smallwood State Parks in addition to the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Cedarville State Forest.

The Maryland Park Service is proud to partner with The North Face: Explore Your Parks, to offer an opportunity to camp at selected state parks.

With the new OPERATION: CAMPOUT! Program, we can lend you gear free of charge (includes a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and more). This program is designed for military individuals and military families new to camping or experienced campers stationed or recovering in this area. OPERATION: CAMPOUT! is an opportunity for families to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors in a comfortable, safe and relaxing setting. Choose from five Maryland State Parks including Patapsco Valley State Park, Pocomoke River State Park, Rocky Gap State Park, New Germany State Park or Swallow Falls State Park. Campsites have picnic tables and campfire rings. Bathrooms and hot showers are within walking distance. It’s never too late to discover the joys of sitting around a roaring campfire, roasting marshmallows or sleeping under the stars!

For more information, contact Christina Holden at (410) 260-8155 or by email at We are reaching out to wounded warriors stationed at nearby bases and hospitals and veterans with this program. We are committed to provide a means of reconnecting with family, friends and the outdoors.

Resources for Parents

Mapmaking from the Inside Out: The Cartography of Childhood
- by David Sobel

"It was our heart's desire all the autumn of fourth grade. The corn fields, overgrown pastures, thickets, and wetlands of the old farm stretched out just behind Kevin's house. They were strictly off limits, of course. No Trespassing signs hung on the barbed wire at the far end of our kickball left field. But this patchwork of countryside lured us as if we were compass needles and there was a giant horseshoe magnet buried in a field-stone root cellar somewhere out there." - David Sobel

Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education
by David Sobel

"While children are studying the rainforest, they are not studying the northern hardwood forest, or even just the overgrown meadow outside the classroom door. Lucy Sprague Mitchell, educator and founder of Bank Street College of Education, spoke of the 'here and now,' the local forest or urban neighborhood, as the basis for her curriculum with six through nine year olds. It is not until children are thinking logically and abstractly enough that she would embark on the 'long ago and far away.' It is hard enough for children to understand the life cycles of chipmunks and milkweed, organisms they can study close at hand. This is the foundation upon which an eventual understanding of ocelots and orchids can be built." - David Sobel

For additional Community Resource Information for parents and educators, click here.

Check out the Maryland DNR Events Calendar

Seasonal Archives of Outdoor Activities for Children

Office of Governor

Maryland's Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights

Click here to download a print version.

Find A Park

If you prefer, you can use a map to locate one of our parks.
Accessible Areas at Maryland State Parks