Celebrate National Park Week At The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial April 15-23

Photo courtesy West End Word.

The National Park Service invites the public to celebrate 101 years of service during Junior Ranger Day and National Park Week, April 15-23, 2017.

FREE, family-friendly, interactive programs focusing on national parks will be available at the Old Courthouse, part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

See a list of free activities below…

Junior Ranger Programs: Daily, April 15-23
Kids ages 5-15 can earn two limited-edition Junior Ranger badges at the Old Courthouse by completing activity booklets for the National Park Service Centennial and the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. A third Junior Ranger badge can be earned at the Gateway Arch.

Happy Birthday, National Park Service!: April 15; 12:00 p.m.
Join park rangers in celebrating 101 years of preservation and protection with a slice of birthday cake (while supplies last).

Junior Ranger Night Explorer Workshop: April 15, 16 & 23; 10:00 a.m.
Kids ages 5-12 and their families can join Ranger Richard to learn more about the night sky. He’ll help them earn the special Junior Ranger Night Explorer Patch that is only available these three days.

A Kids and Family Total Eclipse Primer: April 15, 16, 23; 1:00 p.m.  
Ranger Richard will give kids and their families tips on where and how to view this summer’s total solar eclipse, the first eclipse visible from the continental United States since 1979 and the first visible from St. Louis since 1442.  Kids will receive a free set of eclipse viewing glasses while supplies last.

Henry Chouteau vs. City of St. Louis Mock Trial: April 15, 16, 22 & 23; 2:00 p.m.
Ever wonder how the Old Courthouse became part of a national park? Abandoned in the 1930s, the Old Courthouse, full of important American stories and history, was dilapidated and in need of preservation.  Visitors will participate in this historic trial that began a chain of events that led to the Old Courthouse becoming the first National Historic Site.

Find Your Park Anywhere: April 15, 16, 22 & 23, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where is the closest national park? Ranger Karen will illustrate the diversity of over 400 sites to prove there is an NPS site for everyone. She will highlight some lesser-known parks and share her passion for national parks with the public. Pick up free park bookmarks, NPS trading cards and more when you stop by her table.

Find Your Park in Missouri: April 15, 16, 22 & 23; 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Ranger Isaiah highlights the six National Parks in Missouri by using natural objects, artifacts and puppets.  Learn surprising things you can discover when you visit these special places, and be inspired to take a road trip within your own state this spring or summer! Giveaways such as temporary tattoos, stickers and activity sheets are available to participants.

History of the National Park Service: April 15, 16, 22 & 23; 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m.
When Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1906, he went to work preserving America’s national treasures for future generations.  In just three years, he established 15 national monuments, including the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest, through executive order. Please join Ranger Isaiah as he reveals how presidents and average Americans worked to protect these areas for all Americans to enjoy.

Dress Like a Ranger Selfie Station: Daily, April 15-23
Kids can dress up as park rangers and pose with a life-size cut-out of former Park Ranger President Gerald Ford, work on a national park puzzle, collect stickers and learn about national park stories, icons, and symbols.

Every Kid in a Park Free National Park Pass: Daily, April 15-23
This special initiative gives fourth graders and their families a chance to visit hundreds of America’s special places—including the Gateway Arch!—with the Every Kid in a Park pass. Go before your park visit to print off your voucher. There will also be opportunities at the park for kids with no computer access to earn this pass throughout National Park Week.

Journey to the Top tram rides at the Gateway Arch are temporarily suspended to replace the motor generator sets and upgrade the tram’s electrical system. The Visitor Center, The Arch Store, Monument to the Dream documentary film and riverfront via the Arch Grand Staircase remain available to visitors during this time. Tram rides will resume in spring 2017. Please note: During the temporary suspension of tram operations, entrance to the Arch Visitor Center is free, and tickets are not required.

A list of downtown St. Louis parking locations within walking distance of the Old Courthouse is available at Metered street parking is also available around the Old Courthouse. Visitors are encouraged to check for up-to-date information on road detours and construction news before their visit.

Visit or; or call 877-982-1410. Reservations are not required, but large groups should call 314-655-1614 to alert the Old Courthouse of their attendance.

The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch Visitor Center features The Arch Store and Monument to the Dream documentary movie. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the winter. The Old Courthouse, which features restored courtrooms and gallery exhibits about the Dred Scott trials, westward expansion and early St. Louis, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The Courthouse is located at 11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102.  Programs are free and made possible by the generous support from Jefferson National Parks Association and Bi-State Development.

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