Every year, Turtle River State Park in North Dakota hosts Turtle Fest in the park and this year I decided to take my two older ones. Turtle Fest allows children to have a hands on experience of the park and to learn quite a bit about nature while costing parents nothing unless you decide to eat the fundraiser lunch. (We did eat lunch there. ) Turtle Fest begins at 10:00 and runs until 2:30. We found that if you want to get all of the activities you need to arrive at 10:00 since most activities ended around 1:00. We arrived at 12:00 and we did not make it to everything.
My kids love to be outdoors and since we don’t really plan to go on “vacation” this year, I am trying to find every activity there is within 2 – 3 hours for us to experience a “staycation”.
Our first stop at Turtle Fest was the bounce house. Gabriel stayed off to the side for a while but Gracie got right in and had a blast. Nearby the bounce house, Safe Kids were teaching children about bicycle safety and giving away free helmets.
Our next stop was the Woodland Lodge where we found bathrooms, lunch, list of events, and arts and crafts. My kids wanted to go fishing really badly so we didn’t end up doing the crafts but it looked like a lot of fun.
We headed right down to the river where they gave the kids boxes of tackle and fishing poles to go fishing. My kids were absolutely thrilled. I had dressed Gabriel in his swim shirt from SwimZip in case he got wet. The shirt not only allowed him to get wet but also protected him from the sun. I love that SwimZip offers UV 50+ swimwear that is stylish and fun. Gabriel loved that it had turtles on it just like Turtle Fest.
The kids had a blast fishing. They didn’t catch anything and not only do I not cast well, I cast horribly when there is wind working against me.
Overall, we had a blast – each one of us leaving with memories of a great time. Next year, we will arrive at 10:00 so that they can do all of the activities. Turtle Fest happens every year in June but all year round Turtle River State Park is a beautiful place to visit, picnic, and fish. A hidden gem in North Dakota.
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