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National Park Week Is on the Way (Along With a Free Day)

The April celebration will include a host of happenings, from learning opportunities to gorgeous hikes; you can enjoy it all from home, too.

H Peter Ji/500px/NPS

What to Know

  • April 17-25, 2021
  • April 17 is a free-entry day at fee-charging national parks
  • Park visitors will enjoy "a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences" during the multi-day event

HUG EVERY ROCK? Blow a kiss to every tree? Wave at the lizards, bunnies, and birds you see? Tip your sun hat, in gratitude, to the brave and true rangers you encounter along the way? How you go about communing with the epic sights of your favorite natural park is up to you, but commune, you should, for studies, theories, and time-tested wisdom all come to very similar conclusions: Being in nature is a very helpful and hope-filled experience for we humans. And if we can do so with a bit of a perk involved? Oh sweet: We'll hug every rock, pebble, stone, and twig to show our enthusiasm. That amazing perk arrives on April 17 in 2021, which just happens to be the first day of...

NATIONAL PARK WEEK: The annual celebratory spotlight on our national parks will run from April 17 through 25, and that opening day will include a fee-free welcome at the 100+ parks and places in the system that usually ask an entry fee. That free day is understandably one of the headlines of National Park Week, but there are so many more elements to acknowledge. "Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences," shares the National Park Service, and the National Park Foundation, the service's charity partner, is also in on the fun. And we do emphasize "fun": There's a theme for each day of the 2021 event, so best prep for Volunteer Sunday, Friendship Friday, as well as some other awesome, day-long to-dos.

AND EARTH DAY? You can bet that April 22 will be devoted to planet-embracing pastimes. See all the themes now, and decide which parks you might call upon (or if you'll join in from home, thanks to the digital element of the event).

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