Every year, millions of parents bring their children to the Grand Canyon to explore one of America’s most beloved landscapes.
The Grand Canyon is a fantastic destination for families with children of all ages. No matter which Rim you choose to visit, spectacular viewpoints, educational opportunities, and exciting adventures wait around every corner.
What To Do with your Kids at the Grand Canyon
There’s more to the Grand Canyon than simply taking in the breathtaking scenery! The South Rim and Grand Canyon West regions are full of exciting activities for adventurers of any age. Here are some of our favorite family-friendly activities:
1. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway
Hop on board this old-fashioned engine and travel back in time as you wind your way through the Southwest to the Grand Canyon, complete with performances by singing cowboys and even an old-fashioned theatrical train heist!
Image Source: Robert1979
The train departs from Williams, AZ, and takes just over two hours to reach the Grand Canyon. Learn more about the Grand Canyon Railway.
2. Become a Junior Ranger
Kids ages 4-14 can earn their official Junior Ranger badge by completing the Ranger Badge booklet, available for free at visitor centers throughout the park. Read more about the Junior Ranger program.
3. Visit the IMAX Theater
Enjoy the longest running IMAX film of all time in nearby Tusayan, AZ. Fully immerse yourself in the Grand Canyon as you soar over the Rim and down into the heart of the inner Canyon thanks to a six-storey tall screen and 12,000 watts of digital sound! The show plays every hour on the half hour at the National Geographic Visitor Center.
4. Check out the Skywalk
Take a walk on the wild side at one of the Grand Canyon’s most exhilarating attractions – the glass Skywalk extends 70 feet out from the edge of the West Rim and offers views 4,000 feet straight down to the Canyon floor.
Learn more about the Skywalk.
5. Hike the Rim Trail
Enjoy a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk along the Rim and check out the scenic vistas along the way! The Rim trail is mostly paved and doesn’t descend into the Canyon, making it the perfect activity for active families. Just remember to keep an eye on your kids – the trail isn’t entirely fenced.
Image Source: Werner Keulen
Making Sure your Kids Stay Safe
The Grand Canyon is perfectly safe for children of any age, but like any destination, it comes with its share of dangers. Here are our best tips for keeping your kids safe at the Grand Canyon:
1. Keep an eye on them at all times
The most effective thing you can do to make sure your kids stay safe on your Grand Canyon adventure is to keep a watchful eye on them at all times. Don’t let them wander off on their own – many accidents occur when children and adults leave the trails and get lost or enter an unsafe area.
In addition, don’t let your kids climb on or explore beyond the safety railings – the terrain beyond the railings can be loose or unstable.
2. Bring lots of snacks and water
Snacks can be costly to buy at the Grand Canyon, and you may have to wait in line for a while to get them. Save some time and money by bringing along some easily packable snacks like granola bars, apples, or trail mix.
There are also water refill stations located throughout the park, so don’t forget to pack a reusable water bottle for each member of your family!
3. Pack toys and activities
Toys, books, and other activities are the perfect way to keep your kids occupied while you wait in line for food, shuttle buses, or ranger demonstrations.
Image Source: Grand Canyon National Park
4. Don’t feed the animals
The Grand Canyon is teeming with wildlife, even on the Rim, but don’t be tempted to feed any of the animals. One of the most common injuries reported at the Grand Canyon is squirrel bites sustained trying to feed the squirrels!
Feeding the animals also disrupts their natural diet and encourages the wildlife to stay in busy, populated areas rather than their natural habitat.
The Complete Grand Canyon Visitor Guide
Find answers to all your questions about the Grand Canyon in our newly updated guide!
Getting to the Grand Canyon
While You’re There
Download the Complete Grand Canyon Visitor Guide for guides to each Rim, packing lists, travel tips and more.
Featured Image Source: Grand Canyon National Park