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How to Save Money at Missouri State Parks

How to Save Money at Missouri State Parks

Getting into Missouri state parks is free so you can enjoy your day trip to the parks at no cost. Calling all campers! We have you covered too; we figured out how to save money on camping at Missouri state parks!


Stay at Missouri state parks for a lower rate

Anyone can get the camper award for staying at Missouri state parks. If you stay at a park five or more times in a one-year period, you qualify for the camper award. Each park offers different incentives for the award, but you can choose any of the 88 different parks to camp at to get your award. Some of the parks offer free nights of camping or percentage discounts on camping for the award. Everyone who gets the award receives a certificate and a patch.

Most sites at Missouri state parks cost under $20 per night. While that’s a great rate, things can really add up. If you plan on camping at Missouri state parks for an extended time, you may want to consider the park host program to camp for free. All you need to do is apply for the program, park your RV or camper (pop-ups too!) on the designated host spot and help people out when they come to you. The program is easy and you get free seasonal camping in exchange.

Seniors and people with disabilities get reduced camping rates at Missouri state parks. Each park has a different reduced rate because they all have different regular rates. Generally, the savings are around 30% of what you would typically pay to camp at the state park.

Free things for kids to enjoy at Missouri state parks

The explorer program lets kids learn more about the park. They can learn different things from park rangers who are working on the programs. Each state park in Missouri has different programs kids can sign up for. Families are welcome to join in on the exhibits and activities, too. Everyone in the explorer program gets a certificate and patch for participating.


Whether you’re visiting the park as a family or as part of a big group, the interpretative programs help kids learn more about the parks. They can learn about the ecosystems in each of the parks and other things they can enjoy while there. The interpretive programs also show the kids how to be great visitors to parks.

Family activities are free at Missouri state parks

Rangers at Missouri state parks know how rewarding a hike in the woods can be. They also know it can be dangerous if you don’t have experience. The guided hikes are perfect for families who want to start hiking but don’t quite know how to do it. The hikes range in difficulty levels, are led by a ranger or expert hiking volunteer and are free at each of the state parks.

The Graham Cave is one of Missouri’s most popular state park attractions. You can visit for cave stories during the peak season. The cave stories are offered at different times each day and are totally free!

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Check out other parks in Missouri!

Get a cheap National Parks Pass to help you enjoy some of the other parks Missouri and the Ozarks have to offer.

Get more free stuff in Missouri!