Undoubtedly, your kids will know about the United States’ most famous national park through Yogi bear and because of this, the reserve is one of the top family vacations destinations in the country. There is a lot to do there all year round — in the summer you can go swimming in hot pools and natural springs and in the winter you can experience a skiing vacation like no other. Wildlife such as bears, bison and moose are a popular and much-loved attraction and you can go adventuring through the canyons, grottoes, caves and waterfalls in the park as well.
Become a Junior Ranger
The Junior Ranger Program has been a mainstay of the national park for the last two decades. Thousands of children between the ages of 5-12 have completed the course since then. When you enter the park you receive a 12-page activity paper (or you can download it online before you go) and you must complete it while you are in the park. The paper has a huge number of exciting activities that should be completed while you are in the park, such as following a map and writing down what you see along the way, drawing things that the map asks you to do, completing a journal, and nature puzzles and crosswords. Kids will also be able to learn to identify tracks of different animals in the park and tell the difference between the black bear and the grizzly bear footprints. With a pair of binoculars that you can rent from the park or bring from home, you will also be taught how to spot certain animals from a safe distance and your kids will also learn about all the amazing geothermal and geological features of Yellowstone National Park.
When the activity booklet is complete, it is evaluated by a park ranger and if it is good enough, your kids will receive a merit badge from the park that will certify them as a Junior Ranger and that can be sewn onto their bag or coat when they are home. This can be one of the most exciting family vacations for your kids especially if they love to be outdoors.
In addition to the program above for children, you can and are also extremely encouraged take some of the other guided tours led by experienced park rangers, such as the Junior Ranger Wildlife Olympics, Young Scientist tours as well as different guided tours for the Fall, Winter and Summer. There are guided tours to the Mammoth Hot Springs, West Yellowstone and Old Faithful among others.
Young Scientist Badge of Commendation
You can also earn the Young Scientist Patch or Key Chain at the national park. You will complete activities in a book in the visitor center as well as out in the field and you will also get a toolkit that contains a thermometer, stopwatch, compass and other survival gear. When you complete the booklet using the gear you are given, you get the commendation!
Apart from the above activities, you can go camping, hiking, skiing, boating, rafting and a host of other wonderful children friendly vacation activities in the national park and the surrounding areas.
The Yellowstone National Park is one of the best vacation destinations in the United States for families. Read on to find out more about what activities you can do with your children there.