With so much to see and do at the Grand Canyon, it’s a great destination if you’re vacationing with your kids. The Grand Canyon offers plenty of engaging exploration activities, including hiking, rafting, biking, ranger programs, and more for kids of all ages! It’s also an iconic natural wonder that parents will enjoy and the perfect place to build fun family memories. If you’re considering a trip to Grand Canyon National Park, here are the top things to do with your kids:
1. Bike the Rim Trail
Biking the Rim Trail between the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and the South Kaibab Trailhead is an exciting family-friendly activity. The paved path and mostly level ground make for an ideal biking trail for even your youngest riders. It’s a five-mile ride to the end of the trail, and the whole route is closed to traffic.
If you don’t have your own bikes, you can rent bikes of all sizes at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. They even have bike trailers for small children if they’re not old enough to ride themselves!
2. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway
Another great thing to do at the Grand Canyon with your kids is to ride a restored WWII passenger train to the historic Grand Canyon Village station. In addition to seeing stunning scenery and wildlife, your kids will also have the fun experience of a mock Wild West train robbery and a visit from the train’s conductor!
An added bonus is that some of the operating locomotives are fueled by vegetable oil, giving your children a real-life example of clean energy and its impact.
3. Hike the Bright Angel Trail
If your kids are eager to explore the Grand Canyon by foot, the Bright Angel Trail is an excellent opportunity for a family hike. This particular trail is perfect for kids because the path is wide, has well-defined markers, and is not as steep as the others you’ll see at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
However, parents should keep in mind that excessive summer heat can make the hike much more difficult for your kids. Be sure your family stays hydrated and dresses appropriately if you expect high temperatures.
4. Visit the Yavapai Geology Museum
Get the wheels in those little minds turning with a visit to the Yavapai Geology Museum. This is an opportunity for your kids to see how the Grand Canyon was formed, what types of rocks and sediment make up the visible layers in the canyon, and put into perspective just how massive the Grand Canyon really is. Children love the 3D map of the Grand Canyon, which is designed to be touched and explored for a hands-on learning experience.
You’ll also get beautiful panoramic views and awesome photo opportunities just outside the museum at Yavapai Observation Station.
5. Take a Helicopter Tour of the Grand Canyon
Some of the best Grand Canyon tours for kids include a thrilling helicopter flight over the breathtaking terrain of the canyon. Your professional tour guide will point out prominent features and provide expert narration during your air tour so your kids will get insight into what they’re observing. Many Grand Canyon helicopter tours also offer rides over nearby Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, so your family will get stunning views of the whole area without the long drive times.
6. Walk the Grand Canyon Skywalk
If your Grand Canyon tour package includes Skywalk tickets, it’s definitely a unique experience you will enjoy with your family. Older kids and teenagers will love the exhilarating views from 4,000 feet above the canyon floor! The U-shaped glass walkway juts out from the side of the canyon and allows visitors to look straight through the floor at the impressive depths below. However, do keep in mind that this is not the best activity for very young children or if your kids are wary of heights.
7. Desert View Drive
Kids love this 25-mile drive from the Canyon View Information Plaza at the South Rim to the Watchtower at Desert View. Along this scenic route, you get incredible views of the canyon with several lookout points where you can stop and take pictures. Some of the favorite stops along the way include Grandview Point, Navajo Point, and Yaki Point, particularly for gorgeous canyon sunsets. The Watchtower at Desert View is 70 feet high with a 360-degree view of the Grand Canyon and sweeping desert vistas below.
8. Junior Ranger Program
One of the favorite activities geared towards kids at the Grand Canyon is the Junior Ranger Program. Kids ages four and up can earn a certificate and badge for completing certain activities while at the park, including attending a ranger-led program. The goal is to help young explorers learn about nature and the history of the Grand Canyon, as well as conservation efforts to protect the environment. You can pick up the Junior Ranger Activity Booklet at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center or Park Headquarters.
Grand Canyon Tours From Las Vegas
If you’re visiting Las Vegas and are looking for a tour of the Grand Canyon your kids will enjoy, Gray Line Las Vegas offers several Grand Canyon tour packages to the Grand Canyon West Rim and South Rim that will fit your schedule and budget.
Gray Line will even pick you up directly from your Las Vegas hotel for a comfortable ride to the Grand Canyon in our air-conditioned motorcoach. Also, our experienced tour guides make every Grand Canyon trip fun and engaging for the whole family. To learn more about our Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas, contact the Gray Line team today!