Top Five Kid Friendly National Parks

yellowstone-national-park Top Five Kid Friendly National Parks

(Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: pic from NPS.gov)

TOP FIVE KID FRIENDLY NATIONAL PARKS

The holiday season is approaching quickly and parents are researching frantically to find the best places to visit with children. We love our National Parks because they offer nature’s beautiful landscape, incredible outdoor activities for the whole family along with scheduled tours. Before you go, check out the NPS.gov website to give you the park’s schedules, tips for the park, lodging information and what is unique to each park. This year marks the 10th birthday of the National Park Service!

FIRST, check out the Junior Ranger programs for kids on the site. Children can print Junior Ranger badges, create their own JR station and print online color pages. This site also provides kids with videos of kids in the park, different programs at each park and fun things to see and do.

OUR TOP FIVE NATIONAL PARKS:

1. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

WHAT YOU WILL SEE:
This amazing park has over 500 geysers, almost four dozen waterfalls, hissing steam vents and exploding mud pots. Kids will be intrigued wherever they look. You haven’t lived yet until you have seen the most legendary geyser: Old Faithful. How about the wildlife walking around the park? You will see bears and wild bison and elk exploring the park.

ACTIVITIES:
The night sky program will blow your mind after a delicious s’more campfire experience. There are over 400 species of animals in the park to gaze, photograph and talk about. Make sure to buy your child a disposable camera to help them feel the experience through their own lens too. You can either fly into Belgrade, Montana, Jackson Hole Wyoming or Salt Lake City. You will be close to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

2. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
California

yosemite-national-park Top Five Kid Friendly National Parks

(Yosemite National Park in California, picture from NPS.gov)

WHAT YOU WILL SEE:
Yosemite National Park is best known for their beautiful waterfalls and gigantic sequoia trees. Yosemite Valley is the most popular area for tourist to visit known for its unusual rock formations, meadows and cliffs. Glacier point is a scenic overlook with views of the half dome and High Sierra, perfect for those family photos that you will treasure forever. Entrance fees are roughly 30 dollars per car or 15 dollars per person on bike or foot for 7 days. That is an incredibly affordable vacation if you ask me!

ACTIVITIES:
They are also offering a landscape photography class through the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Village. The Happy Islands Nature Center has short trails through the area’s forest, river and you can see evidence of a huge rock fall from Glacier Point.
Make sure you check the weather before you go on NPS.gov and explain to your children how important it is to plan and prepare before you go on trips. You can help them track and compare the weather to your area to see the difference in climate and reasons for the change.

3. GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Wyoming

grand-teton-national-park Top Five Kid Friendly National Parks

(Grand Teton National Park, pic from NPS.gov site)

WHAT YOU WILL SEE:
After visiting Yellowstone National Park, head over to Grand Teton and you will experience a whole different world with soaring mountains and beautiful lakes.

This park rises more than 7,000 feet above the valley of Jackson Hole.

This December you can experience a snow hike in a Ranger led program. Rangers offer guided snowshoe hikes from the Taggart Lake Trailhead, lasting two hours. Reservations are required and accepted beginning December 1st. Snow shoes are provided with a suggested five dollar donation.

You can also float on the Snake River beneath the jagged peaks of the Teton Range.

Make sure to check the weather before you go since Winter is one of their longest seasons there.

4. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
Tennessee

great-smoky-mountains Top Five Kid Friendly National Parks

(Great Smoky Mountains, pic from NPS.gov)

WHAT YOU WILL SEE:
The Great Smoky Mountains might be one of the most majestic parks bordering North Carolina and Tennessee. This park is known for its diverse plant and animal life, waterfalls and beautiful mountain landscape. Approximately 80% of the park is comprised of deciduous forests. There are over 100 species of trees and when the leaves are changing you will see the most beautiful site in the park so get your cameras ready!

ACTIVITIES:
You can camp under the stars, hike on the historic trails or take a drive to the waterfall called “Place of a Thousand Drips”. This waterfall is quite a site during wet weather. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is kid friendly because you can travel at a leisurely pace and see wildlife from the safety of your car. This December there are two exciting events happening at this park: Festival of Christmas Past: December 12th and Holiday Homecoming: December 19th.

5. GRAND CANYON
Arizona

grand-canyon Top Five Kid Friendly National Parks

(Grand Canyon, pic from NPS.gov)

WHAT YOU WILL SEE:
This 18 mile wide, 277 mile long canyon is a view of a lifetime. You’ve seen it in many movies but it isn’t the same until you have stood on the Desert View Watchtower to see if for yourself! If you have a toddler you will be okay in the watchtower and main area of the South Rim Path because it has barrier walls and it safe for viewing.

ACTIVITIES:
You can take a guided 60 minute 1 mile fossil walk that starts at Bright Angel Lodge every morning. You can explore an exposed fossil bed with marine creatures from 270 million years ago.
Half day river rafting trips can be booked with children starting age 4 and up on motor rafts through raftthecanyon.com.

You can also visit and camp in Havasupai (means people of green waters) Indian Reservation. Be careful and mindful when entering this area because this tribe is intimately connected to the water and land.

We hope to have inspired you to visit our Nation’s natural wonders. Our five top family friendly National Parks are a wonderful way to see nature’s beauty while connecting with family. We would love to hear your comments on your favorites too in the comment section below.

Make sure to check ahead for weather reports and pack accordingly. Of course don’t forget to bring your Mooshu Trainers along for safety and comfort while traveling. You will love our squeakers to hear your little one to keep track of in the airport and on those amazing trails in the National Parks. Don’t forget you can replace them with our non- squeaker for quiet time.

mooshu-trainers-girl-in-suitcase Top Five Kid Friendly National Parks

We love our shoes for any occasion but you will love them for your family vacation too. Here are a few of our vacation ready picks:

The Maddie Boot for boys and girls will be a hit on the trails!

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The Cowboy Boot for boys and girls are perfect to keep feet warm and comfy while looking ready for a picnic under the stars.

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The Buck Boot for boys and girls are super comfy and easy to take on and off for the much needed nap time on vacation!

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