fun things to do with kids southern oregon   Travel for Kids
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Southern Oregon

oregon coast

Southern Oregon has a plenty of fun things to do with kids, from rafting trips down the Rogue River, to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, exploring the Oregon Caves, and traveling around dazzling Crater Lake (the deepest lake in the United States), formed in the caldera of an ancient volcano.

  Crater Lake National Park
    Rogue River rafting (Grants Pass) – Rafting trips down the Rogue River are fun for everyone in the family. Choose from float trips, rafting trips or kayaking.

On our float trip, the guide did all the rowing, all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the marvelous scenery and wildlife along the river, the day was warm, and the water refreshing (you will get splashed).


If you choose a rafting trip, kids get to paddle the raft, but the guide steers the through the rapids. And, for kids 12 and up, try kayaking in big inflatable kayaks (this is fun for teens). Kids can paddle the kayak for awhile, then climb back onto the bigger raft.


For float trips, there's no particular age limit, life jackets are included. On raft trips, your guide may thoughtfully provide big squirt guns. Wear swimsuits, rash guard shirts, hats, and slather on plenty of sunscreen, you're out on the river for 3 or 4 hours. June through August is rafting season on the Rogue River, go midweek to avoid crowds on the weekend.

    Oregon Caves National Monument – Formed by water over thousands of years, the caverns have shining stalactites and stalagmites, moonmilk, clay worms, soda straws, cave popcorn, and the cave formations continue to grow. The cave is also home to bats, who hibernate in the caverns through the winter.

On the 1 1/2 hour tour through the caves (kids will like ducking through low cave passages), you'll pass through the Beehive Room with stunning cave drapery, stop to look at Angel Falls in the Ghost Room, cross over the underground river called the River Styx, and climb up a ladder to see the spectacular Paradise Lost cavern.


Tours are for kids 6 and up, must be 42 inches high, and there's lots of stairs and climbing on the tour. Wear a jacket and closed-toed shoes, check backpacks at the visitor center. Tour tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, March to November. Click here for more information.


Editor's note: As a child, when our family visited the Oregon Caves, it was first time I'd seen stalactites and stalagmites – unforgettable.


Go for a hike – In the summer months, take a hike through old-growth Douglas fir forests around the caves. From the visitor center, the Old Growth Trail is just half a mile; for a longer hike, there's the No Name Trail, or Big Tree Trail. Here's the map.

travel for kids | united states | oregon | southern oregon
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