Of course kids love vacationing to theme parks. Why wouldn’t they? They’re packed with thrilling rides, fun games, and yummy treats. But, if you (or they) are interested in experiencing something new, why not explore one of the many National Parks inside the United States?
It’s essential for kids to get outside; Fresh air can clean out any toxins in the lungs, and time spent inside of a natural park helps give them a better understanding and appreciation of nature and wildlife.
If you’re wondering which ones are family-friendly, you’ve come to the right post. We will tell you a little bit about a handful of them and why we think each one is perfect for family vacations.
Before You Go
Calling All 4th Graders
If you have a 4th grader in your group, there is a special National Parks program specifically designed to get them into the parks. Find out more information on how to obtain your pass and start planning your trip today at EveryKidInAPark.
When you get to the park, ask about their Junior Ranger program. Most, if not all, of the National Parks, have one. Kids take an oath to protect and respect the land and are given a series of adventures they have to complete before receiving their very own ranger badge. It’s a great way to get kids involved in their surroundings and absorb information. They can collect a new pin from each park.
Acadia has easy to moderate trails kids can hike or bike without a problem, carriage rides and beautiful sunsets.
Arches is one of the smaller parks, which means, less ground to cover for little feet. It’s equally beautiful even if you want to drive through it. Younger kids should start at Sand Dune Arch. Older, more experienced kids can hike the Delicate Arch Trail, which is a bit steeper and slipperier.
Bryce Canyon offers excellent family photo ops, horseback riding, and easy trails to explore, including the Navajo and Queen’s Loop.
Don’t let the name scare you from exploring this beauty. Have you ever seen so many sand dunes? What about sliding down on one?
Go on an airboat ride in these marshy wetlands- so long as your kids are fine with the loud sound of the motor. It’s an expedition like no other. Look for wildlife together while your tour guide navigates the area; Manatees, alligators, crocodiles, turtles, deer and more. Fun fact- It’s one of the larger National Parks in the system.
If your teen needs a reminder of just how big the world really is, take them to the Grand Canyon and watch their jaws drop. The reminder will be good for you too. You’re never too old. Stay and watch a sunrise or sunset together. The melting colors in the sky are one of the most magnificent sights to see.
If you plan it right, you can stay overnight and catch fireflies together. Get your mason jars ready. In addition to all of the outdoor activities, Gatlinburg is nearby. It’s a family-friendly city with many restaurants, shops, and attractions to enjoy.
If you have a stroller in tow, Myrtle Falls hike inside of Mount Rainier is a scenic one-mile walk with a beautiful waterfall at the end of it.
Kids will love the hundreds of giant bison roaming around this National Park. Each one weighs about 2,000 pounds.
Take the family on a camping trip in Yellowstone. Go fishing, biking, climbing, and view wildlife together.
For starter’s- there’s a one-mile long tunnel at the very entrance that everyone is sure to love. Also, there’s gorgeous waterfalls and the biggest trees you’ve ever seen called Sequoias.
If you visit during the hotter months, Zion has several swimming holes to cool off in. It’s the perfect way to cool off after a family hike.