Heading to the Grand Canyon and checking off your to-do list of things to do in Grand Canyon? Finding yourself overwhelmed and wishing you had more time to complete your planning? You’re not alone. Grand Canyon is one of the most visited parks in the world and has an extensive network of historic landmarks within the massive park.
From the Grand Canyon West where the Grand Canyon Skywalk is located to the Grand Canyon North, and of course the Grand Canyon village which is where you might be heading to, and the Grand Canyon South Rim which is most certainly have on your list, there’s plenty of adventure waiting for the kids in Arizona, and subsequently, plenty of planning to do to make sure you have a great time.
To help you plan your ultimate Grand Canyon experience, we have a short of list of the best things to do at the Grand Canyon with your family.
1. Family Bike the Rim
One of the most popular options for kids of all ages is biking the paved Greenway portion of the Rim. Wide and level, this trail is perfect for easy riding. The biking portion of the Rim extends five miles. Simply rent your bike from Bright Angel Bicycle Rentals at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and enjoy a scenic, automobile-free bike ride with your kids!
2. Summer Ranger Programs
Want to make your trip to the Grand Canyon educational as well as fun? The Grand Canyon offers summer ranger programs every day during the summer months of June, July, and August. These programs allow your children to learn about such topics as wildlife, history, and geology from qualified rangers. Your children will have so much fun following the rangers and listening to their stories, they won’t even realize they are learning!
3. Shoshone Point
One popular rest area for Grand Canyon travelers is Shoshone Point. Located one mile off the main path, Shoshone Point peacefully overlooks the South Rim and offers some of the best Grand Canyon Kids’ activities. You and your kids alike will enjoy traveling the dirt path through a cool forest of pines. Once you reach the top, hang out and eat at one of the picnic tables. Keep in mind, however, that there is no running water at Shoshone Point—you will need to bring your own.
4. Summertime Native American Dances
Though the Grand Canyon is mostly known for its hiking trails and overlooks, there are several cultural activities available that are suitable for kids. For instance, many families enjoy taking their children to see the traditional Navajo dances performed in the summer. Each dance is scheduled for a particular time, so you will need to check the sign next to the Hopi House to know what time to go.
5. Ride a Mule
If your kids are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, they are eligible to participate in one of the Grand Canyon’s best kids’ activities: mule riding. Though it may sound unconventional at first, mule riding offers a unique experience your children won’t forget any time soon. Let them see the Grand Canyon from a completely different angle, while at the same time learning of the area’s history and geology.
6. Go Souvenir Shopping at the Hopi House
Your trip to the Grand Canyon won’t be complete without visiting the Hopi House. Designed by Mary Colter more than 100 years ago, this house is next to the El Tovar Hotel and is one of the Grand Canyon’s most visited shopping locations. Inside, your kids will be able to purchase a variety of Canyon-related souvenirs to take home and show their friends. Among these are jewelry, Native American dream catchers, and other area-specific memorabilia.
7. Have some Dessert
Once you’ve done some hiking and mule riding, take your kids to enjoy a treat they are sure to love. The Bright Angel Lodge Fountain offers a variety of quality desserts, including hand-scooped ice cream cones, floats, and shakes of various flavors. This is the perfect way to cool off from the summertime Canyon heat. And while these delicious ice cream treats are perfect for your kids, no one will judge if you get a cone (or two) for yourself.
8. Raft the Colorado River
While there are several rafting options available at the Grand Canyon, the best for younger kids is Grand Canyon Discovery’s half-day ride down the Colorado River. Unlike other options, this ride avoids any rough terrain or rapids. Instead, your kids can enjoy a safe, lackadaisical ride starting from 130 6th Avenue in Page, Arizona. With stops along the way at several interesting locations, this ride is offered to anyone age four and older.
9. Join the Star Party
There’s nothing better than the night sky at the Grand Canyon. That’s why the area puts on an annual star party every year on both the North and South rims. Astronomers from around the country set up their telescopes during this event, which is hosted every summer, and gaze at the stars. Your kids will have a blast looking at the most dazzling night sky they have ever seen. The best part? The annual star party is 100% free, making it the best event to see at the Grand Canyon with children.
10. Walk the Skywalk
Located above the Canyon’s North Rim, this glass walkway is the perfect way for you and your kids to truly fathom the depth of the Grand Canyon. This is why it has become one of the most popular Grand Canyon kids’ activities. Its unique glass structure makes visitors feel almost as if they are walking on air—something your kids will never forget – and something you should have on your list of things to do in Grand Canyon whenever you do visit.