Is Your Child In 4th Grade? Get A Free National Parks Membership For Your Family

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Flickr | niemand und nichts

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If you have a child in fourth grade (or one who will be soon!) and also happen to be looking for a summer vacation idea, listen up!

Thanks to the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative, fourth grade students and their families can get into national parks for free.

Why fourth graders? Those behind the program say research shows children ages  nine to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them.

They’re not only open to new ideas, but they are likely to connect to nature and America’s history.

The pass is offered to fourth graders every year, so eventually, every child will get a free pass to explore our national parks, with a goal of letting them all discover wildlife, resources and history — for free.

Flickr | MyFWCmedia

Pass Details

The current pass is for fourth graders (or homeschool equivalent students) for the 2017-18 school year, and expires Aug, 31. Then, the cycle starts over for the next group of fourth graders!

Flickr | inkknife_2000 (8 million views +)

The pass includes not only free entrance for your fourth grader, but also all children under 16 years of age and up to three adults.

If you visit a park that charges admission per vehicle, the pass admits all children and adults in one passenger vehicle.

Flickr | lfarhadi

All you have to do is click here to get your pass, then begin planning your trip!

Don’t have a child in fourth grade right now? You can still get into the national parks for free on select days this year including April 21, Sept. 22 and Nov. 11.

Getty Images | George Frey

If you’d like to visit the national parks year-round, you can purchase an annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass for $80. The pass will allow unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks.

If you’re at least 62 years old, you can buy a lifetime pass for that same price, or an annual one for $20.

Getty Images | Lance King

RELATED: Here’s when you can visit the National Parks for free in 2018

Park Free Days In 2018

Hurry, if you act fast, you can still make the first “free day” at the National Parks of 2018 on April 21.

If you can’t make it to a park on April 21, admission will also be free on Sept. 22 and Nov. 11.

Getty Images | Scott Olson

Click here for a list of some of the parks you’ll be able to visit with your free pass. Do you have a favorite national park?

About the Author

Kaitlin Gates

Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Don't Waste Your Money, she also writes for Simplemost, where she covers new product and food launches and overall general news. You can email her at or find her on Facebook at More.