Take Advantage of Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Take Advantage of Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Take Advantage of Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Are you looking for a way to get your family out into nature? Check out Free Entrance Days in the National Parks near you!  Keep reading for details of our last visit to Acadia National Park during National Park Week.  The 2016 dates are listed below:

  • January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • April 16 through 24: National Park Week
  • August 25 through 28: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 24: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

Check out the National Park Service website here for more information on this great program.

If you aren’t sure where the closest National Park is click here to search.


Exploring Acadia National Park

 Living in the Northeast our closest National Park is Acadia.  We are about an hour drive away and try to visit at least once a year.  This year our kids April vacation lined up perfectly with National Park Week so we headed to Acadia to play outdoors and enjoy the beginning of our warmer weather.

National Parks allow you to get out and enjoy nature.  Acadia is no different – you can hike, picnic, bike, swim, and more all in one place.  Our kids love to visit each year.  As they get bigger we will start to explore more of the hiking spots.  Most parks also offer a Junior Ranger program – you can find more information about Acadia’s program here.


Off Season Visit

This is the earliest I have ever visited Acadia and it was a bit chilly.  The wind was strong – especially on Cadillac Mountain.  As we were driving over we ran into rain showers but luckily after we ate our picnic lunch in the car it stopped!  We have a few spots that we frequent each time we visit Acadia – click the links below for more information on each:

Sand BeachTake Advantage of Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Thunder HoleTake Advantage of Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Cadillac MountainTake Advantage of Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Our visit was brief this early in year – it was colder than expected and we didn’t bring winter jackets for the kids.  We still had fun though – the kids played in the sand at Sand Beach and we witnessed a wedding.  Lucy got to come with us down to the beach because it was offseason (during peak dates dogs aren’t allowed on the beach).  

We missed seeing Thunder Hole in action – you need to be there roughly 1 hour prior to high tide to see the best action and we didn’t plan our visit correctly.  You can check a tide schedule online to help plan the perfect time to visit.

Cadillac Mountain offered great views as always but the wind was definitely whipping.  We walked around for 10-15 minutes before we were all really cold.  The kids happily ran back to the car to warm up!  All in all we had a great time – it was nice to get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery as a family.


Do you have a favorite National Park to visit?  If so let me know in comments below.


This post is letter “N” for National Park in a great A-Z of Outdoor Activities Series.  Click the image below to take a look at all of the other letters.

A-Z of Outdoor Activities

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