Visit a National Park for Free During National Park Week

On April 16-24, 2016, leave your wallet at home and get into a national park or monument for free.

South Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Photo by NPS
South Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Photo by NPS

Leave your wallet at home and get into a national park for free April 16-24, 2016

To celebrate its 100-year birthday this year, the National Park Service is offering free admission to everyone for nine days in April. Festivities during National Park Week kickoff with the National Junior Ranger Day on April 16. On this day, children can participate in fun, park-specific activities and receive the new centennial Junior Ranger booklet and badge.

Other highlights during the week include an education summit on April 20 and events celebrating Earth Day on April 22. Different parks will host activities related to their unique environments. For instance, Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate the 46th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 with an open-house celebration at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center Plaza in the South Rim. The theme will be water conservation, water quality and education about this vital resource that is especially scarce in the Arizona desert.

On April 23, there will be a national park InstaMeet, followed by Park RxDay on April 24. During Park Rx, medical doctors “prescribe” time in parks to promote wellness and help prevent and treat chronic disease. More than a dozen national parks will offer health screenings and recreational activities, including an event with the U.S. Surgeon General. Discover the specific activities planned in the national park you will visit during the nine days at

“We have an amazing variety of special events taking place during the centennial,” says National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis. “Some commemorate our first hundred years, but many others look to the future, to the next 100 years, and will help connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. It is through them that America’s lands and stories will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”

As part of an ongoing National Park Service goal of getting Every Kid in a Park, every fourth-grader can take an online quiz, print out a certificate and present it at any park entrance to get a free annual pass for the family. Be sure to bring the printed certificate with you to get the free pass for the year.