Give the Gift to Get Outside

I’m all about getting people outside, especially kids.  I guess the Minnesota DNR is all for it too.  Here’s what they suggest for a Christmas gift this year.

DNR suggests 10 ways to connect someone to the outdoors in 2014

The holiday season is a great time to introduce a child or someone else to the physical and emotional benefits of the outdoors, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

A Minnesota state parks gift card offers an opportunity to inspire a love for the outdoors.

The cards can be redeemed for vehicle permits, campsites, camper cabins, and rental equipment, such as snowshoes. They also can be redeemed for the apparel, outdoor-related books and other items sold at Minnesota state parks.

To personalize the gift, here are some suggestions from the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division:

Browse the online calendar at or the new programs and special events brochure to find a winter program, such as a digital photography workshop or a snowshoe hike.
Pick a First Day Hike to take part in on Jan. 1 and resolve to get outdoors more in 2014.
Experience the outdoors in a whole new light at one of this year’s candlelight ski, snowshoe or hike events.
Make reservations at a camper cabin, and explore a new state park.
Join the Hiking Club and arrange a time to hike a nearby trail together.
Offer to rent a canoe or kayak and go paddling together this summer or fall.
Go on a treasure hunt to find one of the geocaches hidden at Minnesota state parks as part of the Avian Adventure.
Sign up for an overnight I Can Camp! program and master camping skills.
Attend other skill-building programs, such as I Can Paddle! I Can Climb!, I Can Fish! or Archery in the Parks.
Take advantage of the free fishing equipment for loan at many state parks, and wet a line together from a fishing pier.
Gift cards are available at any park office that sells merchandise. Gift cards also can be purchased:

In person at DNR Information Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.
Online at
Over the phone at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
Minnesota state parks gift cards feature a photo of the state’s highest waterfall and come packaged in a folder with a full-color guide to Minnesota state parks and trails, a 2013-14 winter programs and special events brochure and other helpful trip-planning information.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at or 651-296-6157 (Twin Cities) or toll-free at 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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