A Complete Guide of Outdoor Holidays


Maybe you are just like me and let the daily grind of life get in way of enjoying the outdoors. Or even take the opportunity to experience new activities. Over the years, being spontaneous in this efforted has failed.  It seems that I need to take the time to schedule my outdoor activities. 

With a new year around the corner, I figured now was the time to fix this issue. I want to plan and schedule those activities. I felt like I needed to build a list of ideas or a bucket list. But the truth was I just needed something to make the hold process simple. So, this quest might have started with National Bike to Work Day, but I cannot remember. Once I had that date I researched other National Days. I felt like this was a great way to put a place marker on a calendar for myself. 

As I started to build my list of these national outdoor days. I had the idea to make this a yearly guide. A resource that puts all the national, world, or global Days that get us outside to enjoy the great outdoors. While compiling this guide I started to wonder how all of these days started in the first place. 

While conducting my research, I found that there was at least one organization that was the catalyst behind those days. Plus, most of these days there is an environmental, conservation, or stewardship cause behind them. The days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern. While other national days are just about getting people outside to enjoy nature. 

NOTES ABOUT THIS GUIDE:

  • DATES: Some of the national, world, or global days are set as a particular day, week, or month and it is that day, week, or month every year.  Some days are celebrated at different times of the year around the world. This is due to a growing or migratory season. I will do my best to provide the correct dates or note the dates can be different around the world.
  • WEBSITE LINKS: Where I can, I have provided a link that will navigate you from the blog to the organization or government website that provides more information and resources about the day. This might not be the only resource. There are a lot of groups and organizations that support and are the catalyst in the local area.
  • HASHTAGS: I have also provided social media hashtags. If you are into sharing your experience. These are the official hashtags suggested by the sponsoring organization.
  • READER INPUT: My intent in this guide, is that it will be a living resource. If you know of a national, world, or global day that should be listed. Please leave a comment. If you happen to know of other websites that should be added. Please leave a comment. The goal of all of this is to help you to plan and put a day on the calendar. Maybe one of these national days will be something you do annually with family and friends. Maybe you will find a cause that you are passionate about. But the goal is to get you outside and explore


JANUARY:

1 January 2023

First-Day Hikes: In state parks all across America, plus participating regions in Canada. Join thousands of hikers ringing in the New Year. In all 50 states, plus participating regions in Canada, there are ranger-led programs, and self-guided strolls to start your year off right. But First-Day activities are not just limited to hikes. There are First-Day orienteering meets, river floats, wilderness first aid, camp cooking, or a 5k. Bottom-line it's about getting outdoors and having fun. Check out your state parks website for information on First Day events.

5 January 2023

National Bird Day: Hike a birding trail or paddle a migratory waterway to learn about wild bird conservation. But this day is about the negative effects of holding exotic birds captive. For more information about National Bird Day navigate to Avian Welfare Coalition.

16 January 2023

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday: Celebrate one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders with free one-day entry to any national park. Choose from hundreds of volunteer opportunities or retrace Dr. King’s steps on the 45-mile Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. For more information navigate to National Park Service Celebrates MLK Day.


FEBRUARY:

2 February 2023

World Wetlands Day: Celebrate the role wetlands play in filtering pollution and buffering communities against extreme weather across the globe. Attending a free educational program or posting your own that will take place in a marsh, estuary, lake, or floodplain near you. For more information navigate to World Wetlands Day.

22 February 2023

World Scouting Day: This day marks the birth anniversary of Lieutenant-General Baden Powell who is known as the founder of Scouting. The term Scouts Day and Guides Day is a generic term for special days that observe the Scouting movement. There is also Founders Day, World Thinking Day, Saint George's Day, and African Scout Day. Some of these days are also observed on 22 February. If you belong to a Scouting movement check when your country observes its day. For more information navigate over to Scout.org.


MARCH:

March 3-4, 2023

Global Day of Unplugging: Formerly National Day of Unplugging. Its goal is to commit to 24 hours of smartphone-free living. Then shift to an off-line activity, in-person interaction, or real-life gathering. You can organize an outdoor activity to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with your community. For more information navigate to Unplug Collaborative. There is also a website called Global Day of Unplugging which lists this day in August. 

March 3, 2023

World Wildlife Day: Show your support for the world’s wild animals and plants by increasing awareness of our planet’s endangered species. Sign up for an endangered species program hosted by a state or national park near you, then share what you’ve learned on social media with hashtags #WWD2023, #PartnershipforConveration, #WorldWildlifeDay, #WWD, and #CITES50. For more information navigate to Wild Life Day

12 March 2023

National Girl Scout Day: Celebrate the anniversary of the first Girl Scout meeting in 1912 and help inspire your favorite scout to become a national park’s Girl Scout Ranger. Volunteers who contribute 10 hours or more are recognized with an official certificate and patch. For more information navigate over to Girl Scouts.

14 March 2023

Refuge System Birthday: Celebrate the birthday of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by fishing, hiking, paddling, or volunteering in one of over 550 National Wildlife Refuges across the country. For more information navigate to National Wildlife Refuge System.


APRIL:

15-23 April 2023

National Park Week: Kick off the National Park Service’s week-long celebration of America’s history, culture, and natural treasures with free one-day entry to the national park of your choosing. For more information navigate over to National Park Service.

22 April 2023

Earth Day: Marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement that started in 1970. In 1990 Earth Day went global and 190 countries are involved in this event. You shouldn't have to look hard for an Earth Day event.  Sharing stories on social media using hashtags #EarthDay2023. For more information navigate to Earth Day.

28 April 2023

National Arbor Day: Is celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on the best time to plant a tree. Get involved by volunteering to plant and care for trees in these wild lands and in your community. For more information navigate over to Arbor Day Foundation or also check your state forestry department. 


MAY:

19 May 2023

Endangered Species Day: Every year on the third Friday in May people around the world participate in Endangered Species Day. This year will be the 18th year of this celebration. The Endangered Species Coalition’s mission is to stop the human-caused extinction of our most at-risk species and restore their habitats. For more information navigate to Endangered.

20 May 2023

Kids to Parks Day: Celebrate the 13th annual Kids to Parks Day which is celebrated on the third Saturday of May. The day connects kids and their families to local, state, and national parks to promote discovery and exploration in the great outdoors.  Participate in a stewardship, STEM, and history event at a national, state, or local park near you. Or, just visit a park for a day of outdoor fun! Today is all about enjoying nature. For more information navigate to National Park

2-4 June 2023

Bike Travel Weekend: Invite a few friends and plan a bikepacking or touring trip with help from Adventure Cycling Association or find an overnight trip at Bikepacking Overnighters.


JUNE:

8 June 2023

World Oceans Day: Visit a coastal park, hike a beach trail, volunteer to pick up trash on the shore, or travel to your local zoo or aquarium for this global celebration of healthy oceans. For more information navigate to World Ocean Day.

24 June 2023

Great American Campout: Also known as the Great American Backyard Campout. This year Clean Earth Challenge to go camping and be a part of a wide-scale effort to clean up the plant. This could be around your campsite or on the trail. Hashtag #ComeCleanForEarth. For more information navigate to The National Wildlife Foundation.


AUGUST:

25 August 2023

National Park Service Birthday: Help the park service celebrate 103 years of preserving America’s wild places with this year’s theme Discovering Something New. Plan a park outing with your family, and share your adventure on social media with the hashtags #NPSBirthday, #FindYourPark, and #EncuentraTuParque. For more information navigate to National Park Service.


SEPTEMBER:

September is National Wilderness Month. The Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, opening a new chapter in American conservation by creating the National Wilderness Preservation System. Today there are 800 wilderness areas spanning 111 million acres.

4 September 2023

National Wildlife Day: Explore the wilderness areas in your state to discover the wild creatures in the woods and on the water around you. Learn about America's best wildlife viewing experiences.

22 September 2023

Car Free Day: A day to get around by bike, train, bus, or walking around. For more information navigate to Car Free Metro DC.

23 September 2023

National Public Lands Day: Celebrate the 26th anniversary of National Public Lands Day and the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and National Wild & Scenic Rivers System with a conservation project at a national park near you. You’ll get a fee-free token in return to use on a future visit. For more information navigate to National Park Service

23 September 2023

National Fishing & Hunting Day: Learn about the critical role hunters and anglers play in conservation efforts by attending an educational event at a shooting range, wildlife refuge, fish hatchery, or national forest in your area. For more information navigate to National Hunt and Fish Day.

24 September 2023

Bike Your Park Day: For more information navigate to Adventure Cycling Association or National Park Service


NOVEMBER:

11 November 2023

Veterans Day: Honor America’s heroic veterans with an educational visit to one of our nation’s battlefields, military parks, and historic sites. From the Statue of Liberty to the USS Arizona Memorial, daily admission is free to all national parks on Veterans Day.

17 November 2023

National Take a Hike Day: Brush up on hiking skills and Leave No Trace practices, then take off for the trailhead on the American Hiking Society’s last trail day of the year. For more information navigate to American Hiking Society.

29 November 2023

#OptOutside Day: Join REI’s movement to opt out of holiday shopping on Black Friday. Commit to spending the day after Thanksgiving outdoors, enjoying an activity you love, spending time with family and friends, or giving back to nature and your community. For more information navigate to Recreational Equipment Inc.


DECEMBER:

11 December 2023

International Mountain Day: Climb a peak to learn about fragile mountain ecosystems, and take photos of your journey to post on social media and tag #MountainsMatter. For more information navigate to United Nations.


Now It's Your Turn-

Please leave a comment on an outdoor holiday that needs to be added or a resource link.

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