National parks are akin to all-natural playgrounds for individuals and families who love the call of the wild. A trip to any national park creates fun memories that don’t break the bank; most of these public parks don’t charge an entrance fee for people to use the basic facilities. Those who are going on a vacation can look forward to these top free things while visiting a national park.


The Fine Art of Bird-Watching: Because these parks are unspoiled with an abundance of trees and other plants, a significant number of birds love the undisturbed treelines. Some even have unique bird sanctuaries to encourage visitors to sit back, relax, and watch a broad range of bird species. Make sure to bring binoculars to amplify the experience. Some families even bring a bird book and play a round of “spot the bird”. This is a great activity to do with children. For instance, in the Grand Canyon, small children can see eagles and condors in their natural habitat without extra help. 

The Great Wildflower Hike: Since all national parks offer the best of the great outdoors, one of the top free activities offered is hiking. You’ll be able to see a variety of unique, indigenous flora and fauna. National parks located in Arizona are some of the first parks in the US to show off vibrant wildflower colors as early as March. This is an excellent way to explore and appreciate the landscape. For those who are curious about the specific types of plants in the region, a quick trip to the park visitor center will provide loads of information.

The Perfect Chance to Look at the Night Sky: Without the distracting city lights, visitors can enjoy the vast night sky in national parks. Prepare a sleeping bag and camp out for the night; you’ll be amazed by all of the stars you can see. Without the smog of the city, stars seem to twinkle brighter. Bring a telescope for a more in-depth look. Those who are lucky might even see a shooting star or two. Apart from stars, looking at the moon and searching for the other planets are perfect night activities. For instance, in Great Basin National Park, rangers offer lunar-lit night walks for free.

Bottom Line

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Most national parks are free, and those few parks that do have an entrance fee charge very little, and most activities inside the park come at no cost. Some parks even offer accommodations that are much cheaper than hotels during peak season. Spending quality time with loved ones in a national park makes for a perfect and memorable vacation that won’t hurt any pockets.