Every Kid Outdoors Pass Program for 4th Graders


Our family LOVES Rocky Mountain National Park and visits there often. We were especially excited to take advantage of the free annual pass program for fourth graders when our kids were that age which allowed us to save some money on our family vacations and make some great memories too. Check out our experience! 

4th grade park pass des moines moms blog

Reserve Your Pass Early

To be eligible for this program, your child must be a current 4th grade student (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age). Spend some time with your child visiting the National Park Service website to get registered for this program. 

Your child will complete a very quick Adventure Diary which is an online activity where they make choices about the type of outdoor adventure they would like to take. Once they have completed this adventure, they will be able to print a pass to take to the gate of any National Park for complimentary entry fees. (It is important to actually print the pass.)

4th grade park pass des moines moms blogArrive at a National Park

Like I mentioned earlier, we love visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and that’s where we were able to use our passes. We were lucky to be greeted by some really energetic Park Rangers who asked us to roll down the back window so they could talk to our fourth grade. I am sure this was to be sure we actually had a child with us, but they made our kids feel very special. 

Our kids signed a form and got a laminated card showing they had received a National Park Pass. As parents, we made a big deal in making it special too. We could only enter the park with that pass when the child was with us. We said “thank you!” to our kid each time we went. This made them excited to visit RMNP each day of our vacation.

FYI–Day passes at Rocky Mountain National Park are $25 and a 7-day pass is $35. An annual pass runs $70 so the Every Kid Outdoors pass is a great deal for families who visit multiple parks in that fourth grade year! Make sure to look at park passes for your specific park. Some parks like RMNP require you to make advanced reservations to enter. 

4th grade park pass des moines moms blog

Make the Most of Our National Parks

Many National Parks have great learning experiences for kids. One of our favorites is the Junior Ranger program where they have to complete different tasks throughout the national park. At completion, they receive a special Junior Ranger badge. 

We also love stopping at the Ranger Stations to talk to the Park Rangers about local wildlife, rocks, plants, etc. They often have things for the kids to look at like antlers and fur pelts to touch. 

Spend some time just wandering around a lake or take a hike on a path. Our family uses the app called National Park Service website for hiking suggestions because we can find hikes based on length and elevation gains.

New to hiking or have kids that can’t handle longer hikes? Look for hikes under two miles that are stroller friendly. These are usually flat paths with nearby parking. We also love hiking to any type of water feature (lakes, waterfalls, rivers, etc.)

Whatever National Park you end up at, we wish you safe and exciting adventures. It’s great to be outdoors with family! 

Previous articleHow Turning Red Took Me Down Memory Lane
Next articleShow and Tell Items
Katie Nyberg
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Wes, and we have two energetic boys who are active in hockey, cross country, choirs, bands, and track. Our family loves to explore Des Moines, travel around the country, and do anything sports related together! I own a birth and postpartum doula agency called The Iowa Baby Ladies that supports families in Central Iowa. We love serving mothers in our area as they grow, birth, and mother their babies with confidence!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here