The Late Night, Free Cultural Event Extravaganza: European Night Of Museums 2013

Budget traveling night owl alert: if you’re in Europe right now you don’t want to miss out on the ninth annual European Night of Museums this Saturday, May 18.

The idea is simple: open up museums way past their general closing hours, cut the entrance fee and make museum going a little more like nightlife instead of a rainy Sunday afternoon activity.

Coinciding with International Museum Day, European Night of Museums is organized by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and this year almost 3,000 museums around Europe are participating not just by opening their doors for the late-night crowd, but hosting special events and beyond. Track them down here.

In Paris for example you have access to 150 museums and cultural centers – most of them for free – and while the waived entrance fee might attract a larger crowd to some of the more well known spots, it also means the chance to explore a few new places that you might have been meaning to check off the list.

In the U.K., you’ll also find Museums at Night, tied in with the European Night of Museums campaign, but open for a couple of extra days, this year held May 16-18, 2013.

Latvia, Romania, Norway … wherever you are in Europe, find a museum and book your Saturday night.

All U.S. national parks free next weekend

While the U.S. celebrates a long, three-day weekend this week, the National Park Service is giving us all something to look forward to next weekend as well. The NPS has announced that it is continuing its very popular free admissions program, and on June 5 and 6, more than 100 parks will throw open their gates and waive the entrance fee to all guests.

The complete list of parks that will be free next weekend can be found by clicking here, and there are certainly some great places to visit on the list, no matter what part of the country you are in. For example, if you’re in California, Yosemite is always a great place to explore, although the crowds might be a bit smaller in Death Valley. Similarly, Yellowstone is an amazing place to visit as well, but it is one of the most popular parks in the system. If you’re in that area, you might find Big Horn Canyon offers more seclusion.

So, while we’re enjoying the Memorial Day holiday this weekend, which generally marks the unofficial start of the summer, it is never too early to start making plans for next weekend as well. With the entry fees waived, there are no excuses to not go outside and play in one of these great parks.

[Photo Credit: The National Park Service]

Gadlinks for Wednesday 6.3.09

Welcome to Gadlinks! This is the inaugural post of what will be Gadling’s daily trip around the travel blogosphere. Aaron and I will be bringing you the newest and coolest travel news, updates, anecdotes, and insights from the world wide web. Just think of us as your very own travel link forum. You can count on us every weekday evening. Who needs the morning paper when you have Gadlinks?

Hooray for Hump Day! There’s plenty to be thankful for when it comes to our midweek travel news.

‘Til tomorrow, have a great evening.

For past Gadlinks, click HERE.