10 Fun National Park Activities for Kids

Sure, you can take your kids hiking, fishing or camping in a national park, but if you really want to wow them, take them on a helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon or go sledding with them down sand dunes at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Take a look at 10 of the coolest ways kids can explore our national parks this year.

Photos

Roosevelt Arch

Roosevelt Arch

The Roosevelt Arch is located at the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park in Montana. The arch's cornerstone was laid by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. 960 1280

Westend61/Getty Images  

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring

If you're traveling to Yellowstone National Park, don't leave without seeing the Grand Prismatic Spring. 960 1280

Lorcel/iStock/Getty Images  

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

Old Faithful, Yellowstone's famous geyser, can shoot 3,700-8,400 gallons of boiling water at a height of 106-185 feet for 1.5-5 minutes. 960 1280

Adam Long Sculpture / iStock / Thinkstock  

Picturesque Yellowstone

Picturesque Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is full of picturesque mountain views. 960 1280

Michael H Spivak/Moment/Getty Images  

Yellowstone Wildlife

Yellowstone Wildlife

Travelers driving through Yellowstone National Park get to see all types of wildlife, including this bull elk in Lamar Valley. 960 1280

MSMcCarthy Photography/iStock/Getty Images  

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs has been shaped over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. Its energy has been attributed to the same system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas. 960 1280

iStock  

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park can see the beautiful contrast of colors and textures at West Thumb Geyser Basin. 960 1280

Paola Moschitto-Assenmacher/EyeEm/Getty Images  

Castle Geyser

Castle Geyser

Castle Geyser is located in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. The geyser was named because of its large deposits that resemble a castle. 960 1280

Westend61/Getty Images  

Lower Falls

Lower Falls

The sun rises over the Lower falls of the Yellowstone River in Wyoming. 960 1280

JTB Photo/Universal Images Group/Getty Images  

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River, nestled between 2 banks, makes Yellowstone National Park seem serene and peaceful all year long. 960 1280

  

Badlands National Park 1971

Badlands National Park 1971

Our first campsite in a national park was at Cedar Pass Campground in Badlands, South Dakota.  960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Mount Rushmore National Memorial 1971

Mount Rushmore National Memorial 1971

My brother and I met the presidents at Mount Rushmore. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Grand Teton National Park 1971

Grand Teton National Park 1971

My brother navigates the Snake River with the help of a friend. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Yellowstone National Park 1971

Yellowstone National Park 1971

My family joins the faithful at Old Faithful. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Grand Canyon National Park 1971

Grand Canyon National Park 1971

My brother and I experience the Grand Canyon with our dad. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Yosemite National Park 1971

Yosemite National Park 1971

We became Junior Rangers at Yosemite. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Sequoia National Park 1971

Sequoia National Park 1971

Tiny family or giant tree? 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Golden Gate Park 1971

Golden Gate Park 1971

We enjoy the playground at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Golden Gate National Recreation Area protects a portion of this area, including an expansive view of the bridge.  960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Big Sur 1971

Big Sur 1971

After traveling across the country and through many national parks, my mother makes it to the Pacific Ocean, a lifelong dream fulfilled. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Acadia National Park Circa 1980

Acadia National Park Circa 1980

Acadia National Park became our family's €œsummer home. Here's my baby sister and me at Sargent Mountain. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Wedding at Acadia 1996

Wedding at Acadia 1996

Acadia's €œWonderland€ Trail was the perfect setting for my wedding. See more inspiring national park weddings.  960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Junior Rangers 2005

Junior Rangers 2005

My own children became junior rangers, a family tradition. 960 1280

Jennie Baird  

Acadia 2015

Acadia 2015

My 17-year-old daughter pitches our tent at Seawall. 960 1280

  

Acadia August 2015

Acadia August 2015

My parents pose on Acadia’s Ship Harbor Nature Trail. 960 1280

  

Backcountry Camping: Glacier National Park

Backcountry Camping: Glacier National Park

Each year, Glacier National Park updates its Backcountry Camping Guide, a necessary accessory for backpackers who plan to spend the night at one of the remote campsites. Primitive campsites have a spot for a tent, pit toilets, as well as an area to prepare and store food. 960 1280
Backcountry Camping: Glacier National Park

Backcountry Camping: Glacier National Park

Serious hikers rave about the looming mountains and alpine lakes that make up Glacier National Park's million-plus acres of natural wonderland. To fully appreciate the park's beauty, load your backpack for a multi-day back-country adventure. 960 1280

Education Images, Getty Images  

Forest Camping: Bryce Canyon National Park

Forest Camping: Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its tall rocky spires known as hoodoos, but its elevation creates 3 unique forest areas. As the park reaches 2,000 feet, there are distinct forest areas with spruce, Ponderosa pines and Pinyon pines. 960 1280

Ethan Miller, Getty Images  

Forest Camping: Bryce Canyon National Park

Forest Camping: Bryce Canyon National Park

There are 2 campgrounds in the park, and the Sunset Campground is located just west of some of the park's best easy-to-moderate hiking trails that begin at Sunset Point. 960 1280

Ethan Miller, Getty Images  

Beach Camping: Assateague Island

Beach Camping: Assateague Island

At Assateague Island you can feel the sand under your feet -- and under your sleeping bag, too -- when you pitch your tent at an ocean-side site on this barrier island. The campsites are just steps from the water where you can spend the day swimming, fishing, collecting shells or just lounging in the sand. 960 1280

The Washington Post, Getty Images  

Beach Camping: Assateague Island

Beach Camping: Assateague Island

Although the park is located in both Maryland and Virginia, camping is only available in Maryland. In addition to the camping basics, bring along firewood, long tent stakes to steady your tent from strong breezes and extra bug spray as the mosquito populations thrive during the warm summer months. 960 1280

Maddie Meyer, The Washington Post, Getty Images  

RV Camping: Yosemite National Park

RV Camping: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a great option for car campers and road-tripping RVers who don't want to leave behind all of the comforts of home. The park has 10 campgrounds with ample space for RVs and trailers. 960 1280

RiverNorthPhotography/Getty Images  

RV Camping: Yosemite National Park

RV Camping: Yosemite National Park

In Yosemite Valley, RVs can unpack and settle in Upper, Lower and North Pines campgrounds and enjoy great views of the towering rock formations and easy access to hiking trails to Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls. 960 1280

Pacific Press, Getty Images  

Isolated Camping: Voyageurs National Park

Isolated Camping: Voyageurs National Park

If you're searching for a remote campground with few neighbors, Voyageurs National Park just might be your spot. However, you will need your own boat to access any of the 200 remote campsites. 960 1280

GeorgeBurba/Getty Images  

Isolated Camping: Voyageurs National Park

Isolated Camping: Voyageurs National Park

Each site is equipped with a food locker, fire ring and picnic table so you can enjoy dinner under the stars. Be sure to double-check your packing list as there are no nearby shops to pick up forgotten essentials at these isolated camping spots. 960 1280

StevenSchremp/Getty Images  

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