Great Park News!

Hi Readers: Here’s something very nice: America’s 392 national parks are suspending their entrance fees next week — April 17-25. Moreover, a bunch of them will have kid activities.

In truth, I had no idea our national parks charged entrance fees at all. But it’s nice to learn that they do at the very same time I’m learning that they’re being suspended. Here’s how to find a park in your area. And April 24 is Junior Ranger Day. Click on this to find out about Junior Rangers and how to keep them from getting eaten by bears.

No. Wait. Apparently it’s a link to find out about what parks are holding Junior Ranger activities.

Anyway, it’s nice when the First Lady says to “Get Moving,” and the next thing you know, all the parks are open for families and kids to do just that. Part of Free-Range Kids is the idea that once kids spend some time in nature, they end up loving it and wanting to spend more time there. Here’s a chance to make the introduction. Have fun! — Lenore

11 Responses

  1. Entrance to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is always free. http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/whyfree.htm

  2. As a Canadian who frequently travels into the US, I can say that I am very impressed with the US Junior Ranger system. It’s a great way for kids to get involved in a visit to a National Park or Monument

  3. I was telling my husband about this the other day. Figures that his plans to go to Yosemite aren’t until next month.

    My kids much want to go camping. It’s been too long. It will be a little hard with the toddler along, but that’s how it goes.

  4. The fees started about the time the budget for parks went down. Ours don’t charge if you bike or walk in, but if you bring a car, it’s 3 dollars to park. Totally worth it when you’re traveling to the peak of the mountain to hike on some of the high trails with the kids.

    Thanks for letting us know, though! I think there are some plans to be made. 😀

  5. Different parks are different, but the one near me – Glacier National Park – is $30.

  6. Notably, the entrance fees at each National Park don’t go directly go back to the park where you pay, they go into the “general fund” of the U.S. government. It woudl be nice to see all the money collected at every park be dedicated to the park service as a whole. Since some parks don’t receive the attention that a Yosemite or Yellowstone get, the monies those attractions receive needs to shared with other parks.

  7. it’s sad many of them are close to closing down, we need to pay the entrance fee to get in, i know it’s not what were used to but it will pay off.

  8. Thanks for the link, we’ll take advantage of this!

    On an unrelated note, I wondering if you’re going to comment on the boy sent back to Russia by his adoptive mom. The whole thing seems like a mess but every. single. time. the story is mentioned, the media points out that she sent him on a plane ALONE. I’ve heard it again and again as the final punch.. the adoptive mother who sent her boy to Russia on a plane BY HIMSELF. Curious if you’ve noted the same “and as if that wasn’t bad enough, he was alone” tone in the coverage and your thoughts on that.

  9. Many are free; others have low fees. One hing the gvmt does well!

  10. The entrance fees are like Girl Scout cookie fees – some of the money stays with the local park you are visiting (or the local troop you’re buying cookies from) and some goes to the parent organization (the US Gov’t, or GSUSA.)

    Many parks do not charge fees. Some of the Junior Ranger programs are free, some are not. Some can be done online.

    Park visitation is on the decline. You can change that!

  11. Park fees should be justified with the maintenance. Kids need to be in touch with nature as it promotes their health.

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