Did you know there are 6 National Parks free admission 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 National Parks Free Admission Days for 2021
- January 18, 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 17, 2021 First Day of National Park Week
- August 4, 2021 First Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- August 25, 2021 National Park Service Birthday
- September 25, 2021 National Public Lands Day
- November 11, 2021 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 2021. 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 in Jersey City, Hudson County
- Take the 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 at 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 in 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 in West Orange, Essex County
- Explore Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory. Entrance fee for ages 16 and over.
Paterson Great Falls in 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 in Morristown, Morris County.
- No entrance fee for the grounds but to tour inside there is. 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:
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!
More National Park fun
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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Ready to explore MORE of the New Jersey outdoors? We’re ready to help you with these blog posts and listings.