The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees on August 14 and 15. Depending on the park, you save from $3 to $25. You can choose among 392 parks in 49 states to visit. (146 of the parks charge entrance fees; the other 246 are free year-round.)
Several will be holding free events. Here’s a sampling of what you can enjoy:
- Fun on the water. Several parks will offer ranger-led programs that include free instruction and equipment loans. Enjoy snorkeling at Cape Cod, kayaking at DeSoto, or canoeing in Congaree or Big Cypress. Or you can simply enjoy relaxing by the water in one of the 50 parks with beaches.
- History re-enacted. Watch history come to life at military encampments and firing demonstrations at Antietam, Gettysburg, Fort Laramie, Fort McHenry Fort Vancouver, Fort Stanwix, Fort Matanzas, Kings Mountain, Wilson Creek, Kennesaw Mountain, and Yorktown.
- Music shows. Dance or tap your toes to the sounds of the Pig War Band at San Juan Island, Cajun music at Jean Lafitte, Ojibwe music at Grand Portage, mountain music on the Blue Ridge Parkway, folk songs at Carl Sandburg, classical music at Saint-Gaudens, or dulcimer music on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
A complete list by park or state is available on the National Park Service website.
Remember, the entrance fee free waiver does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions.