Rock the Park
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fun-loving hosts + natural parks' splendor = inspiring TV.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers are treated to virtual tours of some of the country's most beautiful spots, and they learn a little about the geological evolution that resulted in what they see.
The series encourages appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the country's national parks. Promoting conservation issues isn't the main focus of the show, but some are referenced when appropriate. A trip to Glacier Bay National Park raises mention of global warming, for instance.
Positive Role Models
The hosts show great respect for the natural splendor and power of their surroundings, and they enjoy learning from the rangers and other experts they meet on their travels. As they try new activities such as kayaking, they're mindful of the risks and always take safety precautions.
Violence & Scariness
Some scenarios bring the hosts in proximity to wildlife, such as bears and whales, or within reach of powerful natural forces, such as crumbling glaciers. They're never in real danger, but they do talk about taking precautions to keep themselves safe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rock the Park is a fun way for families to experience some of the country's most beautiful sights within the national park system. Kids will enjoy the hosts' playful banter and enthusiasm for each new adventure, even as they (and parents) learn about each park's unique landscape and wildlife population. Some scenes show the hosts in mildly dangerous situations (kayaking amid a whale pod, for instance), but the show also spotlights some of the safety precautions they take specific to each new place. This series hopes to inspire families to get out and experience national parks firsthand, so with a little effort from you, it can open the door to wonderful adventures with your kids.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Rock the Park
Based on 2 parent reviews
Best as a children's program. Wonderful Scenery.
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Will not appeal to everyone, but will appeal to certain tastes.
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What's the Story?
In ROCK THE PARK, adventure guides Colton Smith and Jack Steward tour some of the country's most beautiful national parks, taking in the scenery and trying out some of the activities for which the areas are known. They observe native wildlife in their natural habitats, learn about the parks' geological history, and discover how nature is changing the face of each one even today, all on their quest to visit every national park in America. Often the guys step off the beaten path to take in scenes other tourists might miss, whether it's kayaking among whales or hiking to within reach of a moving glacier, and they encourage viewers to use their adventures as inspiration for their own.
Is It Any Good?
Rock the Park is an entertaining visual guide to some of the country's most awe-inspiring landscapes. Although the content certainly isn't groundbreaking, the show's appeal is thanks to the jovial hosts and their genuine boyish enthusiasm for each new adventure. Tagging along with Jack and Colton is more like following two fraternity brothers on an epic spring-break trip than getting a professional guided tour of the parks, but that makes it fun for all kinds of viewers. They're goofy, they laugh at their near-misses, and they imitate funny animal sounds for the camera, all of which bodes well for keeping kids' attention.
What's even better is that the guys aren't doing all this for themselves (although they're getting some pretty sweet adventures out of the deal). Their stated goal is to encourage you and your family to embark on outdoor journeys of your own, preferably in some of the very parks they visit. So grab your map to track their progress and settle in with the kids to be inspired by the guys' adventures before plotting the course for your family's adventures because, as Jack and Colton say, "If we can do it, so can you."
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the parks the hosts visit. Are they near where you live? How are the animal populations and climates related to their geographical locations? What natural forces contributed to their creation?
What is the value of the national park system? Why is it important to conserve some of our natural landscape? What factors threaten wildlife and vegetation in other parts of the world? Why is that a problem?
Families can use this series to inspire their own outdoor journeys. What are some places you would like to visit? How far away are they? How would you get there? What famous landmarks are there? Why is screen-free time important?
- Premiere date: October 4, 2015
- Cast: Jack Steward, Colton Smith
- Network: CW
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Adventures, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: February 26, 2022
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