Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker, National Parks TravelingMom

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel with only one state left in her quest of seeing all 50. As a former flight attendant, she's landed in nearly every major North American airport at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting national parks, historic sites and cultural icons. She's a freelance writer and journalist based out of Central Texas, dividing her time between writing and restoring a 95-year-old house. She shares her life with her three kids, her husband, yardful ofcats, a dog and three backyard chickens.

11 Places to Get a NASA Fix

The National Parks TravelingMom grew up in Houston, Texas, so NASA was in her backyard. And legends like Alan Shepard spoke at school assemblies and students would watch live Space Shuttle launches on the TV. Opportunities to learn more about NASA lead to a life-long fascination with NASA and aviation. She eventually landed a job as a flight attendant for a major American airline, and the passion for exploration continued. On a layover, she saw a space shuttle launch from the Kennedy Space Center. With space always on her radar, the National Parks TravelingMom jumps at the opportunity to...

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3 Day Itinerary for Tokyo

  Since Tokyo is the largest city in the world, it offers the energy of New York City with the refinement of Paris. Though for first time visitors, it can be intimidating to plan a trip to Tokyo, Japan. With an extensive subway system and sights scattered across the metropolitan area, paired with an airport that’s over an hour away, it takes some research. So read through the National Parks TravelingMom’s 3 day itinerary for Tokyo to help plan your trip. 3 Day Itinerary for Tokyo  Tsukiji Market Hama-rikyu Onshi-teien Imperial Palace Japanese Food Tour Shibuya Station Hachiko Statue...

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3 Day Itinerary for Austin Texas

Austin, Texas, offers family fun throughout the year. With lots of outdoor adventure and a funky cultural vibe, Austin is the darling of the Lone Star State. Find tacos and trains along with murals and museums, perfect for a long weekend. The National Parks TravelingMom has lived in and around Austin for nearly 20 years. She’s passing on her 3 day itinerary for Austin Texas. 3 Day Itinerary for Austin Texas For families that love the outdoors, Austin, Texas, packs in the family fun. Start with Zilker Park then move on to West Austin for the arts and culture....

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11 West Coast National Park Trips for Families

The stale air of the city stifles the soul, so escape to the mountains for your next getaway. Find gondolas brimming with hikers looking to frolic among the wildflowers. Or rent a cabin in the shadow of the redwoods, making this a trip the kids will remember forever. See a volcano with its top and without. Read on to find 11 West Coast National Park trips for families from the National Parks TravelingMom. West Coast National Park Trips for Families Up and down the West Coast, find mountain getaways perfect for a long weekend or even a week-long family...

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The Ultimate Guide to Junior Ranger Badges

The National Park Service loves kids as much as it loves animals. With special programming at over 250 park sites across the country, kids grab the attention of Park Rangers with their infectious curiosity. Park Rangers across the country take a few minutes and discover their park through the eyes of a child while looking over Junior Ranger booklets. TravelingMom’s National Parks Mom outlines the National Park Junior Rangers program and even offers a few badges to earn from home. When my kids walk into a national park visitor center covered in shiny little badges, people notice. The park...

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7 Reasons Schlitterbahn is the Best Waterpark in Texas for Teens

  Teens need thrills and freedom to explore during summer vacation so head to the World’s Best Waterpark, located in between Austin and San Antonio in Central Texas. Find two separate water parks to explore, each with its own personality, and a tram to connect them. Families traveling on the cheap can pack their own cooler of snacks. And then pick up a boogie board for some wave action or hop on an alligator and float a river. Read on for National Parks TravelingMom’s 7 Reasons Schlitterbahn is the best water park in Texas for Teens. Traveling with a...

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The Best Things to do in Hollywood Studios with Preschoolers

Looking for family fun with preschoolers at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios? On a recent trip to Orlando, a pack of veteran TravelingMoms and TravelingDads hit the park to itemize all the fun for preschoolers. With the recent opening of Toy Story Land, Hollywood Studios is a must for preschoolers. Exploring this cheery and bright new land is fun, and perfect for preschoolers. Disney Hollywood Studios with Preschoolers We all know movies are magical, and of course, who does magic better than Disney? That’s why Disney Hollywood Studios is where entertainment magically comes alive and enthralls the entire family....

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9 Things to do in Southern Oklahoma with Kids

Southern Oklahoma offers mountains to explore, a national park site to hike, a wildlife refuge to tour and even chocolate to sample. On a recent trip to Southern Oklahoma, National Parks TravelingMom explored the area between Lawton and Sulphur, Oklahoma. Read on for things to do in Southern Oklahoma with kids. Head to Oklahoma for family fun with lots of outdoor recreational opportunities. Then learn some history about the Chickasaw Nation, the code talkers of WWII and how the cowboys drove cattle from Texas. Read on for things to do in Southern Oklahoma with kids. 9 Things to do...

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9 Places to Tame a Teen in Oklahoma City

When traveling with a teen, stock your itinerary with lots of activity, from thrills to chills. The Oklahoma City downtown area offers lots of activities for teens and their families to tackle. Hit the streets of Bricktown and see how many mural selfies you can take, then learn to whitewater raft before watching the sun set at the ballgame. Don’t forget to feed your teen regularly so National Parks TravelingMom suggests Oklahoma steaks for the meat eaters. Read on for the best things to do in Oklahoma City with teens. Keep the teens happy by keeping them moving. Walk...

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7 Junior Ranger Badges to Earn on Your Alaskan Cruise

  An Alaskan cruise gives families the opportunity to discover the rugged landscape of the Inside Passage from the comfort of a cruise ship. Seeing calving glaciers, breaching whales and soaring eagles offers bucket list to-dos for families during summer vacation. Our National Parks TravelingMom shares how to earn Junior Rangers badges on an Alaskan cruise. How to Earn Junior Rangers Badges on an Alaskan Cruise Several popular ports-of-call offer families opportunities to earn National Park Service Junior Ranger badges. And many of the park sites are free to enter. Here’s seven National Park Service sites that offer Junior...

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