Activities for Children at Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has a lot to offer children who come to see it. Versatile weather can demand sunscreen and a parka be packed all in the same day. Wildlife is abundant, and there are several lodges and lakes throughout the park. But, what is a kid to do? Stare at a mountain all day? Here are some kid-friendly activities for families visiting Glacier National Park.

Toddlers

This is the age of zero attention span. The goal is to keep moving and introducing more activities until their little bodies give in to naptime. Kid-friendly, easy-going trails offer small hikes that often can accommodate a stroller. Being able to touch, smell, listen, and hear things throughout the park can enhance a visit to Glacier for a toddler. There is a swinging bridge over a creek, rocks to study, visitor centers and ranger stations to visit. For toddlers, see if Discovery Cabin in Apgar Village is open. There is a lot for a toddler-sized minds to explore.

Preschoolers

Much of the same activities the toddlers enjoyed, a preschooler would also. However, they are more curious and may tend to want to do their own thing. For this group, organizing the day is the best choice. Some options for activities include small, short hikes, ranger-led activities, Discovery Cabin, and taking pictures of objects they are interested in learning more about or just find fascinating.

Elementary kids

With a mind and will for learning, the Junior Ranger program is for this age group. The books are free and offer guided insight to Glacier National Park. Longer hikes are acceptable, and offer more to see, touch, and hear. The Swift Current Motor Inn has a spot to view wildlife down below. It is not always open, so check ahead first.

Older kids

The park is their playground and learning center. While Discover Cabin is okay for the younger kids, it may be very boring to older kids who want to explore the park on their own. Long hikes and even camping overnight could appease an older child’s appetite for adventure.

Always discuss safety precautions and warnings before heading out to Glacier National Park with any age child. Remember, this is actually wilderness with wild animals, and children (especially young children) do not understand the difference between their dog at home and a wolf in the wild. Glacier National Park offers online information about the park and how to stay safe all year long.

Resources:

http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/brochures.htm

http://www.nps.gov/glac/forkids/parkfun.htm

http://www.nps.gov/glac/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm

http://www.nps.gov/glac/forkids/index.htm