Friday, April 16, 2010

Freebies! National Park Week, April 17-25

I know, I know. Everyone is going to the Coachella music festival today. But if you're not one of those lucky ticket holders, why not take some time off this weekend or next week to get outdoors and visit a national park?

From April 17 through April 25, national parks are waiving entry fees. That's right: every single national park will be free. So, whether you're dreaming of heading to California's Yosemite or Arizona's Grand Canyon, you won't pay a cent. (Of course, some parks are free year-round, like Nevada's epic Great Basin, but that's another story.)

Visit this National Park Week companion site, and you'll find out about special events happening at parks across the country. Courtesy of the National Parks Foundation, parents can download a PDF activity guide with 35 national parks vacation ideas to keep you going all summer long. April 24 is National Junior Ranger Day, too. (Kids can earn their badges at almost any national park year-round, or even online at home).

And since the national parks are letting you in for free, why not give back by helping them out with a volunteer project, either on Earth Day (April 22) or anytime during the week? To find an opportunity near you, just search the database.

Photo credit: Kings Canyon National Park (Michael Connolly, Jr.)

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