Curious about the FREE National Parks Pass for 4th Graders? If you’ll have a fourth grader in the house and want to visit our nation’s great parks and monuments–for free–don’t miss your chance to register your student for a 1-year “Every Kid in a Park” pass. (And yes, their family members traveling with them get in free, too!)
Here are six helpful things to know about the 4th Grade National Parks Pass:
ONE – Your FREE 4th grade National Parks pass is valid from the September you start fourth grade through the end of the following summer. Those in fourth grade this school year can use it now through August 31. Home-schooled fourth graders are included!
Follow this link to go to the official Every Kid in a Park site and get your free National Parks pass! Once you’ve answered a few fun questions (kids click the “Play” button) to earn it, you’ll need to print your redeemable paper pass right from your own computer. Don’t show up at a park without your printed pass! Digital versions of your pass (eg. just filled out on a parent’s phone) cannot be accepted.
TWO – At National Parks where admission is charged for private vehicles (eg. Arches, Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc.), the entire carload of friends and family members accompanying the pass-holding fourth grader gets in free! Show your printed pass to the ranger at the park entrance, or where there is no ranger, you can simply leave it displayed on your dashboard.
THREE – You can, and will even need to, trade in your paper Every Kid in a Park pass for a commemorative credit-card style pass at certain National Park locations. Here is my son recently signing his Every Kid in a Park pass at Joshua Tree National Park. 😀
“This is worth a lot of money, kid,” the ranger said. “Be sure to keep it in a safe place, won’t you?” Follow this link to see if a National Park you’ll visit offers these special passes.
FOUR – Be aware that the Every Kid in a Park pass will not cover ferry or boat admission to National Park sites, nor private tours, campground fees, or other activities that cost in addition to park entrance fees (eg. Alcatraz Island transportation and tour, or Dry Tortugas National Park ferry service).
FIVE – There is no limit to how many National Parks, Lands, or Monuments you can visit with your valid pass, so get planning, get packing, and get going! For help picking an ideal park for your family to visit, you can use the Every Kid in a Park Trip Planner here, or get all the details on a park of interest on the official National Park Service site.
SIX – And don’t forget! Many of our U.S. National Parks offer Junior Ranger educational programs and the chance to earn Junior Ranger badges. Ask for your booklet at the Visitors Center upon arriving at your next National Park.
How many badges will YOU earn before fifth grade? Don’t miss our linked features with tips for visiting national parks with kids below!
Click here for more information about the Every Kid in a Park pass and to get your own pass today. And for tips and inspiration in planning your family’s National Park vacation, don’t miss these helpful guides.
You might also like these National Park features:
U.S. Virgin Islands with Kids – St. John & St. Thomas plus St. Croix
This is a revised and updated version of an article which first ran in September of 2015.