Did you know there are 5 Free National Park days this year?
We are always advocates for getting your family outside and off the screens, and our protected national parks are a great place to explore. Our national parks offer history, hiking, swimming and more. We have your ways for visiting these parks and take advantage of National Park Service free admission!
The Free National Park Days for 2020
- January 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 18: First Day of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 26: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Every Kid in a Park
Did you know fourth graders and their families can get a full year of National Park Service free admission? Apply now and travel through the end of August 2020. Read our recap here!
New Jersey National Parks
Below is our list of National Parks in New Jersey, or read our article for more details on these national treasures close to home!
- Ellis Island – take ferry from Jersey City, Hudson County. No entrance fee but various ferry fees apply as well as fees for advanced tours. Visit the hall where 12 million immigrants entered on their way to an American life.
- Gateway National Recreation Area – Sandy Hook, Monmouth County. Parking fees in summer only, no entrance fees. Beach, bird watching, nature trails, Fort Hancock and the Sandy Hook lighthouse await!
- Check out our Melanie’s post about 8 Ways to Spend a Day at Sandy Hook with kids.
- Delaware Water Gap – Warren County. No entrance fee but amenity fees may apply from April – October. Mountains, streams, and the 1000 foot deep water gap are available for outdoor fun.
- Thomas Edison Historical Park – West Orange, Essex County. Explore Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory. Entrance fee $15, 16 and under free.
- Paterson Great Falls – Paterson, Passaic County. No entrance fee. View the majestic falls and explore the Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center.
- Read our stories about visiting Paterson Great Falls with kids
- Morristown National Historical Park – Morristown, Morris County. No entrance fee. Encompasses the sites of George Washington’s winter encampment from 1779-1780. Explore trails, museums, and the Ford Mansion.
- Learn more about Morristown National Historical Park in our guide, 4 Areas & 10 Locations to Explore at Morristown National Historical Park.
National Park Service Junior Ranger Program
The Junior Ranger program offers a way for kids to get engaged while at the National Parks. Did you know that at most national parks, children can earn a badge learning more about the parks, their environment, and animals by becoming a Junior Ranger? We’ve had great experiences at the National Mall and in Fredericksburg VA. Read more about the Junior Ranger program, and you’ll wish you could earn one of those badges too!
In New Jersey, Junior Ranger programs are offered at:
- Thomas Edison Natural Historical Park
- Delaware Water Gap
- Ellis Island
- Gateway National Recreation Area
- Morristown National Historical Park
- Other national parks outside of New Jersey
Events in NJ National Parks
Our Jersey Family Fun calendar of New Jersey events lists low cost and free events across the state including those in our National Parks. You can find nature walks, history demonstrations and beach events and more!
Want to have more National Park fun? Want a way to keep kids busy in the car on the way? Want to learn more about where you are going to visit? Check out some of our favorite National Geographic Kids books we were sent, as National Geographic Kids Insiders, about the National Parks. You can purchase your own with our Amazon affiliate links.
- National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide USA Centennial Edition: The Most Amazing Sights, Scenes, and Cool Activities from Coast to Coast!
- National Geographic Kids Junior Ranger Activity Book: Puzzles, Games, Facts, and Tons More Fun Inspired by the U.S. National Parks
- National Geographic Kids Funny Fill-In: My National Parks Adventure
Where will you visit during Free National Park days?
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In full disclosure, we were provided with these books at National Geographic Kids Insiders. Jersey Family Fun is a participant in the Amazon Affiliates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.