Discovery Trail Map 2016

The Discovery Trail Map is an annual summer program hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority. The gist of it is simple -- use the map as a guide to get out there and explore local sites, and earn stickers at the same time. After receiving 8 different stickers, participants receive a prize pack full of tickets to FCPA amusements. I knew about the program for years, but never got around to do it.
This summer, however, I somehow fell into doing it. It all started when a staff handed me the maps at Hidden Oaks Nature Center (we were there to use coupons received from the summer reading program). After earning the initial sticker there, it became a personal mission of mine to earn 7 more. Well, it took about 5 weeks (and a lot of gas money), but I am happy to say that we (read: I) are done.
I wish I can say that the kids got the most out of it, but truthfully, they didn't. This summer has been such a scorcher that sometimes we drove to various sites JUST for stickers alone, like Lake Fairfax. However, sometimes, we were forced to explore because we got there too early and the sticker location wasn't open yet, like Green Spring Gardens. Most of the time though, the kids did have fun, whether it was getting ice cream (Frying Pan Farm Park) or riding the train (Burke Lake Park) or staying cool at the nature centers while learning about turtles and snakes.
I was super excited to receive the prize pack yesterday. Lots of courtesy passes to more local fun. The best part? NO expiration dates and NO blockout we can take our time to use them. I am picturing a nice wagon ride or a tour boat ride in the fall to see the foliage :)
What do you think? Is this something your family would do? Kids 17 and under are eligible to participate. I think it will be several years before I attempt this again, though. Driving to all those places and handling two kids in the summer heat wore. me. out.

BUT, yay, I did it!!


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