The parks service is celebrating National Park Week next week between April 21-29, which made me think of another week we celebrate every year, Shark Week. Millions of Americans and viewers from across the world flop down into their couches and tune in for an entire week of shark attack videos, and documentaries filled with facts that will never be used in their real lives (unless they happen to get the one shark question at the weekly bar trivia night).
National Park Week has tangible offers that can help improve your health mentally and physically, provide an affordable family activity outdoors, and help grow an appreciation for our nation’s natural beauty. To be able to watch Shark Week a person has to pay for cable, which is a bill many people, including college students, simply cannot afford. Especially when Shark Week only offers shows with constant commercials, trying to sell you things.
National Park Week on the other hand, offers free history tours, free park admittance, free demonstrations, and opportunities for younger kids to become Junior Rangers for the day. When watching Shark Week, is the family bonding? While they sit silently with their eyes glued to the television, are memories being made? Or is it possible that watching sharks for an entire week gets boring and offers not much of an experience for single people, families, or couples.
On the contrary, National Park Week offers an experience that many will never forget. Seeing breathtaking sites that most people would use as their laptop background in person gives you a real appreciation for nature and how important it is to us and our country’s history. Walking deep into the woods with your kids, or significant other is a bonding experience that many try to find by going on expensive vacations, but with National Park Week all these opportunities are offered for little to no money at all.
So when it comes to choosing what week is the best Shark Week is dead in the water while National Park Week reigns supreme.