Hey, parents! Are you hoping to take your kids to a National Park, but really don’t feel like paying the entrance fee? Are one or more of your kids in fourth grade or the homeschool equivalent? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then you really need to check out Every Kid Outdoors.
Every Kid Outdoors
Every Kid Outdoors is a government program aimed at getting kids outdoors as much as possible. The organization offers a free National Parks pass to children in fourth grade. Why? Because research has shown that kids begin to learn about the world around them from ages 9-11. With the pass offered to fourth graders every year, every kid in the country could be given the opportunity to check out one of the United States’ incredible National Parks.
These passes don’t just work for the kids, either. At National Parks that charge per-person entrance fees, any kids under the age of 16-years-old and three total adults are permitted to enter, for free, when accompanied by a pass-holding fourth grader. At parks that charge per-vehicle, anyone in the vehicle with the pass is permitted to enter for free.
How it works
The current pass is for the 2022-23 school year, and thus expires on August 31 this summer. The program asks kids to complete a short education based game to receive their pass, which they can simply print for use. Educators can get passes to hand out to each of their students, too.
You’ll need to present a printed pass at the entrance, electronic copies won’t do! Once you get to the park, you just need to present the pass to the ranger. If there’s no ranger at the entrance, you can just leave it on the dashboard of your car. The pass won’t be accepted at local, city, or state parks, unless otherwise stated on their website or on location. Obviously the expense of actually traveling to the park still needs to be considered, and the pass doesn’t cover parking fees, camping fees, or most other additional NP fees.
Image Credit: National Park Service via Facebook