fun to do kids united states america usa family travel   Travel for Kids

United States

The United States spans six time zones and climates from Alaskan glaciers to warm shores in California and Florida, plus high mountains, ancient volcanoes, cactus-covered deserts, tropical beaches and panoramic wide open spaces. And this physical landscape also encompasses wonderful cultural diversity, in cities such as Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City.

On Travel for Kids are many choices for a family vacation in the United States and tons of "fun things to do with kids," from toddlers to teens. Planning a kid-friendly itinerary, remember this is a big country. Rather than spend your holiday getting from place to place, pick fewer destinations and leave time for unplanned excursions and spontaneous adventure.

  Washington, D.C.
San Francisco
Los Angeles - Disneyland
San Diego
  Arizona - Grand Canyon
  Wyoming - Yellowstone
  Florida - Disney World
    New York
New York City
    Tip: Read our blog post: Immigrant Experience Children's Books," inspiring stories of hope, courage, new ideas and challenges of immigrants in America.
kids books united states america (usa)
The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A.
Gabrielle Balkan, Sol Linero

Explore each of the 50 states, with colorful two-page maps for each state - famous people, city landmarks, historical events, outdoors and wildlife, key facts, fun, unusual details. (Picture book)


National Parks of the U.S.A.
Kate Siber, Chris Turnham

Take a coast-to-coast journey of America's national parks, from the Everglades to fossil-filled Badlands, condors in the Grand Canyon, hot and dry Death Valley, Bryce Canyon hoodoos, Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, Olympic rain forests, Hawaii volcanoes, maps and facts about each park. Beautifully illustrated! (Picture book)


Her Right Foot
Dave Eggers, Shawn Harris

The Statue of Liberty, iconic symbol of freedom, has welcomed millions of visitors and immigrants to the United States. How can she stand still? Look at her immense right foot, taking a big step to meet "the poor, the tired, the struggling to breathe free." (Picture book)

Dave Eggers points out the Statue of Liberty is an immigrant too – the statue was made in France and brought to the United states.


Looking at Lincoln
Maira Kalman

A fresh, fun look at Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, whose portrait is on a five-dollar bill. He loved apples and vanilla cake, hated slavery, and when you visit the Lincoln Memorial, you can look into his beautiful eyes. Fabulously illustrated, this is a gem! (Picture book)


Looking at Lincoln kids united states
childrens books Babar's USA  
Babar's USA
Laurent de Brunhoff

Babar, Celeste and the family take a grand tour of the United States – sightseeing in New York City, hiking in the West, riding the cable cars in San Francisco, visiting the Grand Canyon, kayaking in Florida, standing at the Cloud Gate in Chicago, and more. (Picture book)


American Revolution (Eyewitness Books)
Stuart Murray

A visual guide to the American Revolution – battles and leaders, soldiers, spies and traitors, battlefields and the home front, peace and birth of a nation. Rich, historical illustrations. (Picture book)


american revolution
Lafayette (Hazardous Tales)
Nathan Hale

In 1777, nineteen year old Marquis de Lafayette was a major general in the army and aide to George Washington. Lafayette held the line and was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine, foiled a plot to overthrow Washington, helped get support from France, and led key battles in the American Revolution. (Graphic novel)



Action-adventure based on historical events, it's 1776 and the British control New York City. Sophia Calderwood is recruited as a spy, and goes to work as a servant in a British household. After finding incriminating letters, she must stop the plot by Major John Andre and Benedict Arnold to betray the Americans. (Chapter book)


Fight for Freedom civil war kids graphic novel united states  
Fight for Freedom
Stan Mack and Susan Champlin

High adventures of the Civil War, in a cartoon-style format. Sam is a young slave on a plantation, Anabelle is the wealthy daughter. As the war progresses, Sam escapes to look for his father, starts a school for slaves, and fights against the Confederates. Anabelle runs the plantation with the help of freed slaves, provides a hospital for sick and wounded of both armies, and becomes a crack shot. (Illustrated chapter book)



Araminta Ross was born a slave, her family was split up and sold, but with two names and a star to follow, she escaped to the North. She became Harriet Tubman, and returned to the South to lead slaves to freedom. Gripping adventure, peril and danger, Harriet worked as a scout, nurse, spy in the Civil War, and lived to a ripe old age. (Graphic novel)


the underground abductor
The Civil War for Kids  

Pictorial history of the Civil War – battles east and west, camp life, soldiers and generals, war timeline, plus 21 activities, make a quilt, create a code, berry ink, coffee can drum, homemade hardtack, and more. Wonderful historical photographs. (Chapter book)

Also, for younger kids, a story of the Civil War: Civil War Drummer Boy


Which Way to the Wild West?
Steve Sheinkin, Tim Robinson

Wild and wonderful adventures of America’s westward expansion – Indians, mountain men, pioneers, miners, cowboys, immigrants, filled with amazing tales of boom and bust (no one ever said life would be easy out west). Super illustrations, fresh stories, thoughtful insights with a light touch, this is fun for kids and parents alike. (Chapter book)


which way to the wild west
united states native americans kids books The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses  

Spooked by a thunderstorm, a young girl rides with the village horses. In the hidden hills, she meets the wild horses, led by a magnificent stallion, who welcomes her to live with them. A vibrant, spirited tale with bold illustrations, like Native American art. (Picture book)


Brian Floca

Ride the rails in 1869, after the Transcontinental Railroad changed America. Wait in the station for the mighty steam locomotive, full steam ahead day and night, "westward, westward, rolls the train." Gorgeous illustrations capture the adventure of train travel across the United States. (Picture book)


locomotive brian floca
united states kids biography The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)  
The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)
Barbara Kerley, Edwin Fortheringham

Absolutely charming biography of Mark Twain, seen through the eyes of his daughter Susy. Here's Mark Twain at home, writing by day and reading pages to his family at night, riding a balky donkey, making jokes and discussing deep questions. (Picture book)

For a chapter book biography: Who Was Mark Twain?


Through Georgia's Eyes
Rachel Rodriquez, Julie Paschkis

Discover the wideness and wonder of deserts and canyons through the eyes of painter Georgia O'Keefe. Deep-colored cut paper collages capture the artist's imagination and amazing landscapes that inspired her work. (Picture book)


Through Georgia's Eyes united states kids artist georgia okeefe
Play, Louis, Play
Muriel Harris Weinstein, Frank Morrion

Louis Armstrong was too poor to have food on the table growing up. But he could sing and music was everywhere in New Orleans. This is the story of how Louis got his first real horn, when he was just a boy with a dream, and became one of the most famous musicians in the world. (Illustrated easy reader)


Baseball Is ...
Louise Borden, Raul Colon

"Baseball is our game ... the sport of America. Its stories are stitched through our nation's history." The teams, leagues, curveballs and fastballs, grand slams, stealing the bases, World Series, ball parks, baseball heroes, luminious illustrations take us to the game. (Picture book)


baseball is louise borden

Celebrate the first landing on the moon fifty years ago, July 20, 1969. Follow the roar of the rockets lifting into space, dramatic moments to safely land the lunar module, and then the astronauts explore where no man has gone before. (Picture book)


The Camping Trip That Changed America
Barb Rosenstock, Mordicai Gerstein

Ride with President Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir through Yosemite. Hiking on their own, sleeping outdoors, they talked about preserving the wilderness for generations to come. The result is national parks, public lands for everyone today. (Picture book)


The Camping Trip That Changed America childrens books
National Parks Guide U.S.A.
National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids guide to the national parks, from Acadia to Zion. Filled with activities, hiking, camping, biking in each park, ranger tips for your visit, detailed maps, wildlife to look for, excursions near the park. (Guidebook)



Explore our national parks, monuments and historical sites in each of the fifty states, from highest peak in North America to deep canyons, petrified forests, geysers, and volcanoes, famous battlegrounds, forts, memorials, archaeological sites. (Illustrated chapter book)


national parks
childrens books music united states Passing the Music Down  
Passing the Music Down
Sarah Sullivan

A young boy travels to Appalachia to learn to play the songs of an old fidddle player. Together they play "tunes as old as the mist and twisty as the roads." And one day the boy is grown, and he's passing the music down. (Picture book)


(More children's books on other United States pages)
travel for kids | united states
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