National Parks for Free!

Tomorrow (September 24) is National Public Lands Day. Why should you care? Because it means another chance to visit your national parks for FREE! This is the perfect chance to give back to your community by keeping our national parks clean and open to all. Tons of parks have events where you can volunteer your services. Nickelodeon has teamed up with the national parks to encourage kids and parents to come out and volunteer. The channel will shut off between noon and 3 PM eastern time to encourage kids to help out. The groups made a list of the top kid-friendly national park activities you can participate in and the National Park Foundation created a guide as well, “Parks for Play: 35 National Park Adventures for Kids of All Ages.” 

CALIFORNIA: Lassen Volcanic National Park

Budding geologists will be fascinated with Lassen Volcanic, as it can count all four major types of volcanoes — shield, plug, cinder cone, and composite. There’s even a Volcano Club kids can join to learn more about this volcanic landscape.

COLORADO: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Kids love to get sandy on the tallest sand dunes in North America. Rising to about 650 feet, these dunes in the heart of the park are perfect for skiing, sand-boarding, or just plain old rolling down.

FLORIDA: Biscayne National Park

Families visiting Biscayne between December and April can sign up to attend “Family Fun Fest” – a daylong program held on the second Sunday of those months and focused on activities tied to the park’s diverse resources.

KENTUCKY: Mammoth Cave National Park

A Mammoth Cave trip is built around a cave tour with the family, or three! Take the Violet City Lantern Tour to experience the passageways by flickering lamp light as many of its first visitors did, view the incredible flowstones on the Frozen Niagara Tour, or visit the Snowball Room with its ancient autographs inscribed with soot.

MAINE: Acadia National Park

Sea-life bingo keeps youngsters excited tallying green sea urchins, orange sea stars, and other curious marine creatures that reside in tide pools that surface at low tide. Watch for harbor seals farther out in the water.

MASSACHUSETTS: Cape Cod National Seashore

Cycling is one of the best ways to get around the Cape thanks to its paved rail trail, which leads through the woods, pass kettle ponds created by retreating glaciers, and to spurs leading to Coast Guard, Marconi and Le Count Hollow beaches.

MICHIGAN: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Winter isn’t the off-season here, as there are trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. And if there’s enough snow, kids and adults can even sled down the 100+ ft. Dune Climb.

WASHINGTON: Olympic National Park

Kids can start the day with a snowball fight (on Hurricane Ridge) and end it soaking in warm springs (like those at Sol Duc Hot Springs).

WYOMING: Grand Teton National Park

Teens looking for a challenge can measure themselves against the Tetons, thanks to climbing schools where world-class guides will teach them the basics and lead them to the summit of 13,770-foot Grand Teton.

 

 

Just want to visit? Check out the full list of parks waiving their fees or find a park near you. In the past we’ve suggested a large number of parks to visit. Consider combining a museum visit and a national parks visit Saturday to really save some money.

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Author:julie

I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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