2016 marks a big milestone for the National Park Service. The NPS celebrates its 100th birthday, August 25, and they're giving you a big present!

From Thursday (8/25) until Sunday (8/28), admission is free at the 124 national parks that charge an entrance fee.

In South Dakota, that means a savings of $15 dollars (for a single vehicle) at Badlands National Park. A concert from Brule will highlight the celebration.

In the Black Hills, you can save $12 per adult to tour Jewel Cave National Monument. Jewel Cave will be burying a time capsule as part of the celebration. It will be opened in 2066.

Closer to home, the $7 per person fee at Pipestone National Monument is Minnesota is waived. The free event coincides with the monument's anniversary celebration.

The National Park Service was founded August 25, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson. In June of 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt consolidated all National Parks and National Monuments, National Military Parks, National Cemeteries, National Memorials, and the National Capital Parks into a single National Park System.

There are two more fee-free days coming up in 2016:

  • September 24: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
National Park Service

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary, the Park Service is also issuing a series of National Park Forever stamps as well as some other unique products, like a framed 16-stamp pane depicting 16 National Parks spanning the nation from Maine to Hawaii, and other keepsakes.