Best US National Parks for kids

By Stef Zisovska
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Best US National Parks for kids

Stef Zisovska
 
Adventures for your kids
Adventures for your kids
 
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You want to take your kids for an unforgettable adventure in one of the country’s national parks, but you have no idea which one is the best? Well, don’t worry about it because all over the States there are parks that offer fun things to do and your kids will love it more than any video game. Kids like to spend time in the outdoors because it’s in their nature to explore and learn new things. If your kid is not quite an outdoorsy person, then you will need to teach them why visiting national parks is cool and important for their development.

Arches National Park, Utah

The Double Arch – Author: Hustvedt – CC BY-SA 3.0
The Double Arch – Author: Hustvedt – CC BY-SA 3.0

With more than 2000 sandstone arch formations, Arches National Park is a real adventure paradise for kids. Walking between the arches, sitting under them, climbing the smooth and curvy sandstone rocks are some of the activities that you can introduce your kid to. Imagine the joy on your child’s face when it sees the world’s largest concentration of arches. And it’s not going to be fun for the little ones because this park has breathtaking scenery, no matter how old you are.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Wooden walkways allow visitors to closely approach the Grand Prismatic Spring
Wooden walkways allow visitors to closely approach the Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone National Park offers three-day tours for kids where they get familiar with all the park’s features. One day is dedicated entirely to wildlife spotting, while on the other two days you’ll get to see waterfalls and thermal springs. Apart from gaining knowledge about all the park’s features, your kids will surely enjoy the diversity of all that they will get to see and do while there.

For example, all kids are given laser guns to measure the temperature of the thermal waters. Tracking earthworms is another activity that smaller kids love because it makes them feel like real explorers.

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Painted desert and petrified logs seen from Blue Mesa – Author: Adbar – CC BY-SA 3.0
Painted desert and petrified logs seen from Blue Mesa – Author: Adbar – CC BY-SA 3.0

A wonderland full of petrified wooden logs, fossils older than 200 million years, and archeological items provide evidence of 13,000 years of human activity in the area. Going back to the dinosaur era is a dream to many kids.

There is nothing more interesting for them than to walk the same paths that the gigantic dinosaurs roamed. Don’t make your kid watch it all from the back seat, step outside your car and take a short hike in the Painted Desert. This way you’ll teach your kid that hiking is cool because it gives you an opportunity to meet the real world instead of learning about it from websites.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado

Elk at Big Spring Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park
Elk at Big Spring Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park

Take your kid to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and join one of the youth group tours led by the local rangers. The preserve is rich with natural beauty, including the sand deserts, grasslands, alpine tundra, dunes, wetlands, forests, mountain peaks, and lakes. Your kid will be happy to explore and learn a lot about each of these various environments and their importance.

A hike on the High Dune is the most amusing activity that challenges the group to climb for 1-2 hours, and then, once at the top, to roll back down the sand. Medano Creek is another feature of the park that you can’t miss. It runs through to the main park area, but it becomes dry during the summer months.

Don’t miss the opportunity to teach your children how to appreciate nature and to take care of the environment from an early age. Knowing that our kids are the future of this planet, we need to make sure that they develop into ecologically-aware grown-ups. Travel with them, take them to national parks, visit weird and incredible spots of the country and let them explore and play around outside. Spending time in the great outdoors with your kid is a better gift than any computer game or gadget. Good luck!

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