Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Rock the Park

Rock the Park

Spring 2017 Television
Ages: 13 - 16 yrs.
Rating: TV G

Rock the Park, a half-hour documentary-style program, is much more than a travelogue. Energetic show hosts Jack Steward and Colton Smith aspire to visit every national park in the United States and these outdoor enthusiasts offer practical tips and insightful interviews about the kind of stuff you just won't find in a tour book.

In each episode, they explore a particular park, a feat that could require anything from hiking boots to trail bikes to kayaks and their adventures usually include encounters with wildlife, wild terrain, and wild weather. In one episode, the hosts go off the beaten path in Yellowstone during a period they describe as "winter gone wild." It takes skis and snowmobiles to traverse the landscape, where bison and wolves stand out against the snow. Steward and Smith also explain the science behind the park's famous geysers. Another episode takes the duo to Alaska's Denali National Park. A midnight bike ride along Denali Park Road offers the chance to glimpse moose, Dall sheep, grizzly bears, and caribou, and with each sighting the hosts provide brief and interesting animal facts. (Did you know that hump on a grizzly bear's back is actually built up muscle from all the digging they do?) They also provide packing and safety tips and advice for when to hike for optimal wildlife viewing. Later, they try their luck panning for gold, a fun sequence elevated by interviews with experts who explain the region's history of gold-prospecting. When threatening storm clouds roll in, the hosts go off in search of shelter, forcing them to cross a river with a nasty current. Even then, they give advice for how to find shallower and easier-to-cross areas if a hiker ever encounters a similar challenge.

It's that kind of constant attention to usable, down-to-earth details is what makes Rock the Park both entertaining and educational. Thanks to the seemingly bottomless energy levels of hosts Steward and Smith, gorgeous wildlife photography, and the eclectic park paths and activities highlighted in each episode, viewers will find this program's 30-minute runtime flies by in the blink of an eye.

Fair warning: Expect this program to inspire more than a few entries on your family's Vacation Wish List.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
Litton Entertainment

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