Parks are Free on Veterans Day 2013

Get outside this weekend in honor of our veterans! The National Park Service will honor all military veterans with special events and free national park entrance for everyone during the Veterans Day weekend, November 9-11, 2013.

Additionally, other Federal lands, including wildlife refuges, national forests and propterties managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation will offer free admission.

During fee-free days, many park partners will also offer discounts, saving you money on food, lodging, tours and souvenirs. Additional discounts are also available for active and retired service members.

Hallowed places such as Saratoga, Fort McHenry, Vicksburg and the USS Arizona Memorial are among the 94 National Park Service battlefields, military parks, national cemeteries and military-related historic sites that commemorate the service and sacrifice of veterans throughout our country’s history. Additional national parks preserve American icons like the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore and the Liberty Bell which have inspired generations of troops.

Some of the military-related special events taking place during the Veterans Day weekend are:

  • The annual illumination of 6,000 gravesites of Union soldiers in the Poplar Grove National Cemetery in Petersburg National Battlefield (Va.)
  • Encampments with living history demonstrations at Colonial National Historical Park (Va.), Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve (Fla.) and Kings Mountain National Military Park (S.C.)
  • An open house with Cold War veterans at Minute Man Missile National Historic Site (S.D.)
  • The program "A Soldier's View of Wars and Trains" with re-enactors, veterans and active duty armed forces members at Steamtown National Historic Site (Penn.)
  • A living military timeline that includes 70 reenactors and contemporary soldiers at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park (N.C.)
  • Military commemorations and an enlistment ceremony for 20 recruits at Valley Forge National Historical Park (Penn.)

Other family-friendly programs taking place include:

  • A beach walk at Padre Island National Seashore (Texas)
  • A 19th century magic show featuring “curious and innocent diversions for parlor and refined gatherings” at Hampton National Historic Site (Md.)
  • A sunset stroll at White Sands National Monument (N.M.)
  • The “Wish Upon a Star” program at the Rock Creek Park (Washington, D.C.) planetarium
  • A tour of the Paramount Ranch movie set at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (Calif.)
  • The making of sweet sorghum molasses at Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tenn.)

To find nearby parks, use the free Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app, or search our public lands database at

Note: The National Park Service also provides active duty members of the military and their dependents with an annual national park pass, an $80 value, at no charge. Permanently disabled veterans can receive a free lifetime pass to all parks. The passes provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands–more than 2,000 in all. The passes can be acquired at any national park that charges an entrance fee. Information about all national park passes is available at