The U.S. National Park Service wants to mark the start of National Park Week with a bang, offering free admission for a day of outdoorsy fun.

Saturday is one of a handful of free admission days that the National Park Service offers to the public, and it's a great opportunity to explore a nearby national park, or to take in the sights at a park you've never explored before. Your next opportunity to get in for free won't be until September, so if you want to get out to a national park, this is great opportunity. Here's the list of free admission dates for the rest of 2018:

  • Sept. 22: National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 11: Veterans Day weekend

There's no time like the present to get hooked on national parks, especially if you have kids. Recent surveys have found that the average age of park visitors is increasing, making some outdoor enthusiasts fear that national parks are becoming irrelevant to kids.

It's true. Kids can't fall in love with national parks if they've never been to one. Books, apps and websites that teach them about nature are great, but when it comes down to experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of a national park, there's nothing like the real thing.

So grab the kids and the camera and hatch a plan to visit a national park this Saturday. I know where I'm heading — what about you?

Editor's note: This story was originally published in June 2012 and has been updated with new information.

Get free admission to your favorite national park this Saturday
Saturday, April 21, is no-fee day at national parks to mark the start of National Park Week. Which one will you visit?