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I wrote a few months ago about the start of the Every Kid in a Park program, which aimed to give free National Park entry to all US 4th graders and their families.  I have a 4th grader (with 6 kids, the odds were good, right?!?), so I was definitely excited about the program.  The Every Kid in a Park program officially went live on September 1st, and I wrote about how to get your free Every Kid in a Park pass


Planning our National Park adventure

Free National Park entry would have been super helpful on our recent Amtrak trip to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore – where, because we’re a 2 rental car family, we paid $60 to enter Yellowstone and another $24 to enter Mt. Rushmore

(SEE ALSO: Why I didn’t spend $9,144.92 on my vacation)

(SEE ALSO: How I spent 350,401 points)

Living in Cincinnati, as we do, the amount of federal National Parks is slightly limited compared to what they might be if we lived in, say, Utah or Wyoming.  I mean the William Howard Taft historical site is nice and all but…. 🙂  So we looked through some of the options and one that we were interested in was Mammoth Cave, which is a few hours drive away in Kentucky.


I’ve been to Mammoth Cave before as a kid, and while I don’t remember a ton about it (because let’s face it, when you’re a kid, all you do is complain about places your parents drag you to, right? 😀 ), I knew it would be a good site for a family trip. It IS a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after all!

(SEE ALSO: Tracking UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

(SEE ALSO: Most Traveled People – tracking places you’ve been)

Calling up Mammoth Cave

So I went over to the Mammoth Cave fees and passes page, and found


I wasn’t sure if the Every Kid in a Park discount would apply here, so I called up and got the bad news. Every Kid in a Park just waives “entrance fees”, and because Mammoth Cave has no entry fees, there’s nothing to waive.  You’ll still have to pay the full price to take a tour to actually go INTO the cave (and of course, that’s the whole point, right?)

I do understand that they have these fees to help support the parks, but it is a bit frustrating to have a program touting free access to National Parks, only to find that the closest big attraction will actually cost our family somewhere around $50.

In any case – now you know if you were planning an Every Kid in a Park fueled National Park trip! ONLY the Entrance fees will be free – everything else you’ll still need to pay for! Have you used your Every Kid in a Park pass yet?


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