There are few greater things during the holiday season than getting home from a long day at work, throwing the front door open and instantly being greeted by the crisp pine smell coming from your Christmas tree. Here in New York State, your kids can help get the entire family a free one this year.

That wonderful aroma is probably the top reason for people joining #TeamRealTree. What’s fun about #TeamRealTree is that you can further break it down into subdivisions. Some families want a fresh tree, but opt to spend time browsing a tree lot to find one that’s the perfect size and shape for their living room.

Others choose to search for their tree in a manner that would make Clark Griswold proud. They’ll load up the family and venture out into the woods to find a tree that might not necessarily be as full of needles as some of the pretty trees on the lot, but it’s full of character.

This free Christmas tree offer is for those who fall into that second group. Did you know that New York State National Forests participate in "Every Kid Outdoors?" This is a program available to fourth graders across the state of New York. Signing up for a pass lets kids and their families experience outdoor adventures through over 2,000 federal lands and water for free. The goal is to help inspire these kids to reduce their screen time and become the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher holders are also eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through their local National Forest! To obtain a free Christmas tree permit, visit to apply using the Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher by checking the box indicating you have a pass and entering the pass or voucher number (note: a $2.50 reservation fee will be applied).

Once your fourth grader has their pass, they can print the pass and use it to get their free Christmas tree permit. You can read more online here.

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