Deal: Fourth-graders and their families receive free pass to national parks

Children and a ranger examine shells at Biscayne National Park near Miami.

Children and a ranger examine shells at Biscayne National Park near Miami.

(National Park Service)

Fourth-graders may now be able to call the shots on the next family vacation. They're the ones being given a free pass for an entire year to visit national parks and other federal lands that charge fees.

The deal

Yellowstone National Park (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Every Kid in a Park was announced by the White House and went into effect Tuesday. The idea, of course, is to get more youngsters and their families onto the millions of acres of federal parkland across the country.

Here's how it works: Children play an online interactive "game" in which they're asked to imagine what park they would visit with their pass. Upon completion, they're allowed to download and print out the pass.


Zion National Park (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The pass is good through Aug. 31. There are no limits on the number of times you may visit a particular park or how many parks you visit.


Sequoia National Park (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Families really can save a bundle with the pass (provided, of course, someone in the family is in fourth grade). It means, for example, they may visit Yosemite National Park as many times as they like without paying the $30 entrance fee. Ditto for the $20 fee to enter Joshua Tree National Park

Yosemite National Park (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

There are some nice extras with this program too. For example, the National Parks Foundation, which supports the program by offering transportation grants for under-served areas, asks kids to take an online pledge to the program.

In return, they may download different park guides, including "Parks for Play: 35 National Park Adventures for Kids of All Ages."

Every Kid in a Park was rolled out to mark the beginning of the National Park Service's centennial year in 2016.


Denali National Park. (Lance King / Getty Images)

Go to Every Kid in a Park for the free pass, and the National Park Foundation for free park guides.


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