The National Park Service is offering a one-time special in honor of its Centennial in 2016: any 4th Grader can get a free annual pass that is good for the entire family! Normally an annual pass for the national parks costs $80, so this is a great deal, especially for families who would like to take a National Park vacation this next summer.
Although some of the National Parks have free admission, more and more of them are charging at least a minimal entrance fee. The Chickamauga Battlefield does not have an entrance fee, but Point Park on Lookout Mountain does. At last count, 128 of the National Parks charged an entrance fee and more are considering it because of government funding cutbacks. Grand Canyon National Park entrance fee is $30. Death Valley National Park is $10. Mammoth Cave is $5 per person. Consequently, a 4th Grader’s free pass can save a family a lot of money.
All you have to do to get the free pass is go to www.everykidinapark.gov, print out a voucher, and take it to any National Park. There you can exchange the voucher for a pass that will be good from September 1, 2015, until August 31, 2016. What a deal! We all love to get something for free and all you need is a 4th Grader!
Another thing I really like that the National Park Service offers for kids of all ages is the WebRanger program. Many National Parks have a Jr. Ranger program where you can earn a cool badge. With the WebRanger you can earn a free patch without even visiting a park. The WebRanger program has lots of fun activities that help educate people about the National Parks. Help a baby sea turtle reach the sea. Drive a dog sled. Be a spy. These are some of the activities on this web page. And you can do it no matter how old you are. As someone married to a man who will do anything for a patch, I know how motivating those can be.
I am fresh out of 4th Graders in my family, but I know lots of families that have 4th Graders. Maybe you do too and you can pass this good deal on to them. The WebRanger program is fun no matter how old you are. So check it out and be as smart as a 4th Grader!