Fourth Grade Park Perks

Well, Labor Day sure came and went in a flash. I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. We headed up to Kansas City to visit friends, which was a usual blast consisting of late nights and loads of laughter.

As I was catching up on Facebook and Instagram last night it looked like many friends hit the lake, campgrounds and nearby parks. This leads us to today’s post, which is a quick Tuesday tip for everyone with fourth graders in their lives.

Did you know 4th grade students and their families receive free admission to all national parks?

national park pass

It’s true. The program is officially called Every Kid in a Park. The goal of the initiative is to encourage students and their families to “experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture FREE OF CHARGE!”

Beginning September 1st, kids have access to a year-long park pass.

The pass is valid for the entire 2015-2016 school year. So you may want to organize a few weekend trips or plan your holiday breaks around some of our country’s best gems while the free pass lasts.

This is big news. I’m sure Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec be like…

Leslie Knope dance

Now if you’re like me, you’re not exactly sure where the closest national parks are located and what they have to offer. I did a little homework for us. Look no further than this complete download resource created by the National Park Foundation.

You can find lists and guides to more than 400 national parks. Among them is a complete Owner’s Guide, that not only shares the best secrets of each destination, but also reminds us that the national parks belong to us.

Another list that’s especially helpful is Places Nobody Knows. Everyone knows about Yosemite, but there are smaller hidden gems that might be closer and easier to access.

If you want a more interactive map of all of the parks, this one lets you search by location, theme, or category, such as “national battlefields.”

It’s an exciting time to be in 4th grade. If you and your kiddos are ready to lace up your boots, here’s the link to get your free pass. If you’re a 4th grade teacher (like my sister and niece), you can get class passes at this link.

Have fun blazing new trails, and here’s hoping you run into Amy Poehler along the way!