Several suggestions

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:57:11 07/19/14

In Reply to: Children Activities posted by KB


There are several "kid specific" activities I would suggest:

1.) Visit Mud Volcano and Fountain Paint Pots, and allocate a bit more time than you would otherwise. Kids tend to get a giggle out of boiling and spouting mud. They just love seeing mud splatter all over the place.

2.) Spend some time at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. This new iteration has some interactive exhibits designed specifically for kids. I think the Canyon VEC may have some as well, but I'm having trouble recalling.

3.) As soon as you reach the park, go to the first visitor center you come across, and enroll your daughter in the Junior Ranger program. Rangers will provide her with age appropriate Yellowstone-centric learning material to work on as she moves around the park. I know the material for the very youngest children consists primarily of a checklist, with drawings of different wildlife for kids to check off once they have seen them, but for a seven year old, there should be something a bit more challenging. Once she completes the tasks, she takes the paperwork to any visitor center in Yellowstone, where the rangers will confirm that she successfully completed the work (with minimal help from parents). Then, they will conduct a "formal" ceremony, enlisting the assistance of any other visitors present, to recognize your daughter's achievement, and award her a Junior Ranger patch. (It's a great prop for telling her class "what she did on her summer vacation" once school starts.)

4.) If you are in Yellowstone in late September, drive the Blacktail Plateau Drive, and visit the aspen groves to the south of the road. Walk out to the groves and soak in the ambiance that is only available for a couple weeks annually.

5.) If you are in Yellowstone in early September, and it is warm, check out the swimming hole on Firehole Falls Drive, just south of Madison Junction. The water is thermally altered by all the geysers and hot pots upstream. It's a comfortable soak. There are numerous great spots to wade in the Firehole River, including immediately adjacent to the Nez Perce Picnic Area, by the entrance to Fountain Flat Drive.

6.) If she doesn't already have a camera or a smartphone, get her a camera to document her experiences in Yellowstone. She will be much more psychically invested in the trip.

7.) If you are in the park in late September, make a run down to the Tetons to check out the fall colors. They are spectacular, and overall, much better than Yellowstone's.

8.) Bring a few age appropriate props to keep her occupied during any bad weather days, if you wind up cooped up inside. (It has been known to snow in Yellowstone in September.) There are some great indoor hangouts in Lake Lodge, the Old Faithful Inn, Old Faithful Lodge, and the Mammoth Hotel map room.

9.) Visit the Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. Kids love this opportunity to see the critters up close.

Have a great trip.


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