A moose splashes its way across the water at Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in New England. (USFWS

A moose splashes its way across the water at Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in New England. (USFWS

I’d like to think my kids have an appreciation for nature because of all the time we spent with them as children outside. One of our favorite places to go were National Wildlife Refuge locations here in Washington State.

Now that Spring is finally arriving around most of the US, its time to start thinking about outdoor activities. Time to take the kids away from the screens and get them out playing games in the forest and beaches like birdwatching and plant identifying.

Heck, try Geocaching too! Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt! There are currently 2,344,468 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide. Learn more about geocaching and how you can join the adventure. Kids love this fun outdoor activity because it mixes  technology with the outdoors fun.

Washington Wildlife Refuge Locations

And while you’re out there, you just might see elk shedding their antlers for the season or birds who’ve made their way back for spring start the process of building nests and having babies. Who knows what you’ll see when you spend time outside. Have the kids bring along a sketchbook and draw what they see – sure, a digital camera is an instant memory – but sitting still and drawing a fern, mushroom, or rock and looking at every detail of it, smelling it, feeling it, and capturing all of its essence on paper will last a lifetime.

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Take advantage of special refuge events too. Choose from nature hikes, bicycle tours, and bird festivals. Plus learn how the Refuge System is protecting our natural heritage.

US Fish and Wildlife and National Wildlife Refuge SystemNational Wildlife Refuge – Spring 2014 Events

All events are free but some require reservations – reserve your spot early!

Not sure where your National Wildlife Refuge is? Check out their homepage and the map which will tell you where they’re located.

Check out the Winter 2014 Holiday events here