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Exploring Yosemite With Kids
Time outdoors in our National Parks is the best way to teach kids about nature, how we need to respect the outdoors and do what we can to protect it. Yosemite is one of the most jaw dropping, incredibly breathtaking places in the world, and its right in our own backyard. The entire family has access to this pristine destination for less than the price of one amusement park ticket for a single family member.
Why not give your children the chance to explore the destination of a lifetime, filled with endless opportunities for adventure and learning? There is so much to do at Yosemite National Park with kids, here are some of the top kid friendly activities and tips for making the trip go as smoothly as possible.
OVERNIGHT IN THE PARK
If it is at all possible, try to plan for at least one overnight stay in the park so that kids and the entire family can get the best experience. Learning about nature also includes learning about living with nature and there is no better way to teach this lesson than to fully immerse the family in the outdoors. Campsites book up well in advance so make sure to book as soon as you know you are going.
When it comes to time spent outdoors at a National Park, families sometimes feel as if they have to schedule more into the day in order to keep their children entertained. Once they are actually there though, most will tell you that they ended up skipping most of the planned activities or putting them off till later. Kids are naturally curious, so they are going to want to explore, play around and check out everything that is slightly different than their normal environment. This leaves little time for much of the planned activities but is a great time to really spend quality time with your kids.
BEST OF YOSEMITE FOR KIDS
Among the top rated sites in Yosemite are also the top rated things for kids to do. Yosemite Falls is easy to reach and is paved so you can push rather than tote the youngest in the bunch. For a more interactive day spent hiking, try out one of the Great Yosemite Family Adventure treasure hunts that park rangers and guides put together. Also organized by the park for children is Ranger Ned’s Big Adventure, a children’s play held in the amphitheater on site. A host of other children activities can be arranged once you get there to help fill the day and night.
ENJOYING NATURE WITH KIDS
Through simple exploration, you can enjoy nature with kids by just getting outside and hiking around. Rent the use of a telescope for a night and study the face of the moon, or just bring a blanket to stargaze on with the family. Explore pristine sequoia tree groves which will amaze children with their huge size. Help children discover how many different types of wildflowers they can discover and either take along a sketchbook and colored pencils for sketching, or give them their own camera for snapping pictures.
SLIGHTLY MORE ADVENTUROUS
If you are after a little bit of a thrill ride in Yosemite, the park offers a tram ride that will take guests to all the highlights in the park, starting at Half Dome and winding through Tunnel View. If you want a day out on the water, there are outfitters ready to put you in a boat, canoe, kayak or raft for a thrill ride you won’t forget. Finally, off site, but nearby enough to still enjoy the beauty of the park, zipline companies offer the chance to get a birds eye view of Yosemite for kids that are old enough to participate in the wild ride.