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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

How to Gain Free Entry to National Parks for Free in 2020

The National Park Service is a national treasure, especially if you're a person who loves to get outdoors and hike, take pictures, get some fresh air, or just see some nature. If you're traveling or hoping to get outside for Spring Break and you're near a National Park (which most people are or can easily drive to), this is the time to see some of America's most beautiful scenery, along with amazing plants and native animals. For a whole week, you can get in to all National Parks free of charge. 

Use this week as a budget-friendly way to see some nature, get some exercise, and maybe even educate yourself or your kiddos by visiting famous landmarks or historical site. Pack a picnic or even pack up your car for a few days away to make the most of your free time. 

Some things you could do:
  • Find a park
  • April 18: Today is National Junior Ranger Day! Get the kids involved in the Junior Ranger program. This free program allows them to learn through fun programs, games and exploration. When they finish the assignment at each park they visit, they get a special badge. 
  • April 19: Volunteer Day! Make your local park (or one you're visiting near) a better place by volunteering for things they need, like clean-up, because you're awesome and you love to give back.
  • April 20: Military Monday! Did you know that you can get a free Parks pass by using your military ID? That's cool, right? Even if you aren't a member of the military, you can show up and show your appreciation for those that dedicate themselves to our country.
  • April 21: Transportation Tuesday! Learn about past, present, and future transportation getting visitors to parks.
  • April 22: Today is Earth Day! Show your appreciation for Mother Nature and a free outing by getting involved in clean-up programs and other activities. 
  • April 23: Throwback Thursday! Explore the history preserved in national parks while also learning about the ongoing efforts of the National Park Service and partners to preserve America's cultural treasures in communities across the country.
  • April 24: Friendship Friday! Join an Instagram meet-up and make some new outdoorsy friends to take pics with and post to inspire others to also get outside and pay a visit to a National Park near them.
  • April 25: Park Rx Day! Learn how to get healthier and get moving when parks hosts fun activities to promote physical and mental health.
  • April 26: Bark Ranger Day! Bring your pup(s) to the park and then learn more about the dogs that actually work in the parks. So many puppies!
Bryce Canyon

If camping is something you love, you can definitely find one where you can pitch your tent. if you are into birdwatching, get your binoculars out and find the best park for that. If you want to learn how people farmed and harvested in the old days, you can find a park to learn about that, too! Use the Find a Park page to search by activity or by where you are. Not sure which park is the best for you? Check out Budget Travel's post about finding just that!

Now, go pack a weekender bag with some sunscreen, walking shoes, your camera, and a couple changes of underwear and get out there and see the cool stuff our nation has on display for absolutely nothing.

If you can't get time to visit during National Park Week, you can also get free admission to parks on these dates:

  • January 20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

Where will you be headed for National Park Week?

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