You know what the best price is for something? Nothing. Free. No charge. And there are a surprising number of things that will cost you nothing more than the air you breathe. Here's a list of 14 great freebies you can check out right now.
1. Free entry to national parks
The National Park Service (NPS) manages 423 parks, from Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah. Of those parks, more than 100 charge entrance fees. The rest are free. However, the NPS waives entrance fees at all parks five days a year. Here are the free dates for 2022:
- Jan. 17: MLK Day
- April 16: Start of National Park Week
- Aug. 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Sept. 24: National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11: Veterans Day
Speaking of veterans, members of the military, as well as military veterans and Gold Star Family members, can all get a pass for free entry to national parks.
For others, it's not free, but it can be a bargain: People 62 and older can purchase a lifetime senior pass to national parks for just $80 (plus a $10 processing fee). Anybody in the car with a person holding a lifetime senior pass also gets in for free.
Also, don’t overlook state parks, many of which are free to enter. State parks in Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Tennessee are all free.
2. Free fishing
If you want to go fishing, you’ll often have to reel in a fishing license. But many states have days when you don’t need no stinkin’ license to fish. In Montana, for example, you can fish for free on Father’s Day weekend and Mother’s Day weekend too. California lets you fish for free on July 2 and Sept. 3. TakeMeFishing.org has the rundown on free finny fun for all 50 states.
3. Free fireworks displays
Nearly every major town has free legal fireworks on the Fourth of July. But if you want the most bang for no bucks, consider Addison, Texas, whose Kaboom Town offers 1,500 pounds of fireworks, live entertainment and air shows. Or head north to Boston, which offers the Boston Pops Orchestra, complete with the 1812 Overture and cannons, of course. Lake Tahoe normally has two shows — one on the Fourth of July and one on Labor Day — but the traditional fireworks will be replaced by drones this year to minimize fire risk.
4. Free dental care
If you have a low income and a dental problem, you may be able to get free dental care in your state via Dental Lifeline. Typically, you need to lack adequate income for a dental visit and have a permanent disability, be 65 or older, or qualify as medically fragile.