fun things to do with kids in yellowstone national park   Travel for Kids
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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, the first National Park, is a remarkable landscape – the most geysers anywhere in the world, bubbling mudpots, brilliant turquoise hot springs, wisps of smoke emerging from hillsides, rushing waterfalls, steep canyons, steaming creeks, a huge lake and abundant wildlife. Kids are mesmerized by smelly blurping pools, hot springs like a bottomless abyss, frozen waterfalls of rock, the sight of a grizzly bear or huge bison. Yellowstone really is an amazing place.
Yellowstone National Park covers a big area (it’s the size of Connecticut). In planning your family trip, allow several days to travel around, we recommend at least three. In summer, the roads are crowded and it’s some distance to get to different parts of the park. You’ll want time to enjoy the sights (not just drive and drive), and don’t cram too many things into one day.
Yellowstone Photo Album
    Old Faithful & Around
    Yellowstone Lake
    Grand Canyon
    Lamar Valley
    Mammoth Hot Springs & Gardiner
    West Yellowstone
    Tips for Yellowstone with kids
  Wildlife – The wildlife you’ll see up close is unforgettable. We saw elk herds grazing in the meadows, bison everywhere (sleeping in the sagebrush or walking down the middle of the road), plus moose and two calves, bald eagles, chubby marmots, beautiful pronghorn, osprey family, and white pelicans. Grizzly bears and black bears are often seen also. Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley are especially good for wildlife spotting, especially early in the morning or later in the day. Be sure to bring binoculars, as you want to keep your distance.
    Yellow Bus tours – Take a tour on a vintage yellow bus (1930’s style), with canvas top that rolls back for spectacular views. Your best bets are the geysers and wildlife watching tours (parents can enjoy the scenery instead of driving). Tours depart from lodges and campgrounds, and West Yellowstone. A wonderful park tradition.
    Madison Junior Ranger Station – At the Madison Trailside Museum are ranger-led programs, just for kids (ages 5 –12). May to August, programs focus on different wildlife, geysers, history and lore of the park. For the daily schedule, stop into the West Yellowstone Visitor Center, or in Madison.
    Snowcoach tours – Take a snowcoach tour in the winter landscape, December to March. Snow covers the ground, lakes and rivers freeze over, but hot springs steam in the cold and the wildlife is amazing. The tours are accompanied by naturalist guides, who know where to spot elk or bison in their winter grazing grounds.
family hotels yellowstone

Travel for Kids has many fun things to do with kids in Yellowstone, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in and around Yellowstone National Park, all styles and price ranges, near to places you'll want to explore:

Yellowstone family hotels
kids books yellowstone
what i saw in yellowstone  
What I Saw in Yellowstone
Durrae Johanek, Christopher Cauble

Kid's guide to geysers and wildlife in Yellowstone, and also keep track of different animals you'll see. Info and photos about bison, elk, deer, coyote, gray wolf, grizzly bear, chipmunk, raven, osprey, bald eagle, white pelican, and where to locate the wildlife - very handy. (Picture - Activity book)


Bringing Back the Wolves
Jude Isabella, Kim Smith

Fascinating story of how gray wolves play an essential role in Yellowstone. In the early 20th century, wolves were hunted to extinction in the park; as a result, elk became too numerous, destroying trees and wrecking habitats of other animals. In 1995 when wolves were reintroduced to the park, the ecosystem was restored. Good for older kids. (Picture book)

Also, The Wolves of Yellowstone


bringing back the wolves
volcano dreams  
Volcano Dreams
Janet Fox, Marlo Garnsworthy

Did you know Yellowstone is a giant volcano that popped its top millions of years ago? All those mud pots, steam vents, geysers and hot springs are heated from fiery magma deep in the earth. Beautifully illustrated, story of eruptions that formed Yellowstone landscape, and wildlife that lives here today. (Picture book)


Cherie Winner

Bison are big and you’re sure to see them in Yellowstone. Find out how bison are the largest land animal in North America, have good hearing and sense of smell, but don’t see well, live in herds, and are fierce fighters. (Illustrated chapter book)

Also, read about moose, they eat only plants, run very fast and are good swimmers: Moose


Bison kids books yellowstone
Who Pooped in the Park Yellowstone kids  
Who Pooped in the Park?
Gary D. Robson, Elijah Brady Clark

Find out about animals that live in Yellowstone National Park by following their tracks and scat (poop) – grizzly bear, mule deer, elk, moose, bison, gray wolf, mountain lion and badger. (Picture book)


B is for Buffalo
Katy Brown

Yellowstone from A to Z – from adventures and animals of all kinds to deer, elk, geysers, jackrabbits, pronghorn, wolf, ziplines. Cut-paper illustrations, fun for younger kids. (Board book)


b is for buffalo
field guide to yellowstone and grand teton national parks  

A super field guide for Yellowstone – it includes mammals (bison, elk pronghorn), birds, fish, reptiles, insects, plants, tracks & scat. Illustrations for each entry, and clearly organized. (Guidebook)


A Ranger's Guide to Yellowstone Day Hikes
Roger Anderson, Carol Shively Anderson

Use this guidebook to plan your day hikes in Yellowstone. Each hike has the level of difficulty distance, trail directions, and notes about plants and animals, geology, and observations by early explorers. (Guidebook)


A Ranger's Guide to Yellowstone Day Hikes
yellowstone treasures  
Yellowstone Treasures
Janet Chapple

Our favorite guidebook to Yellowstone National Park – detailed descriptions of the five main roads through the park, nature trails, geyser basin walking tours, driving distances, geological history, animals to look for, photos, color maps, campgrounds. (Guidebook)


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