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Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon With Small Children

Updated on March 10, 2015

The Grand Canyon in Arizona is a fantastic place to visit. It's one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and an awe inspiring sight. However, travelling with young kids can often be a challenge. The canyon can quickly lose it's fascination to younger children. These are some tips to make your vacation with young children more enjoyable.

Take a trip from Williams, Arizona to the Grand Canyon on the Grand Canyon Railroad
Take a trip from Williams, Arizona to the Grand Canyon on the Grand Canyon Railroad
  • Williams, AZ can be a great place to stay. Hotels are affordable and offer lots of features like indoor pools, fridges and microwaves in rooms, and free wifi. It's about a 45 minute drive to the canyon from Williams.
  • May and September are the best months to visit with average temperatures in the 70's. Young children will not be able handle the intense heat of the summer months.
  • If doing a day trip, stop first at Mather Point. It offers the best views of the canyon but may not be much fun for small children. Plan to spend most of your time at the Grand Canyon Village area. It has lots of gift shops, restaurants, activities and trails. After you get through the entrance gate to the Grand Canyon continue on South Entrance Road to reach Mather Point or turn left on Center Drive to reach the village.
  • Sign your kids up for the free junior ranger program at the Verkamp Visitor Center in the Village, so they can earn a junior ranger badge.
  • Take your kids to Hopi House Gallery to see native American crafts and to enjoy native dances and music.
  • Take the Grand Canyon Railroad to the Village area from Williams, AZ. Many kids love trains. The two hour train ride goes through many scenic areas. The train has a cafe car and bathrooms. Entertainers visit each car and kids will experience a mock train robbery on the return trip. Only take the train if you will be visiting the area for a couple of days because the train arrives around noon but departs at 3:30pm. If you want to spend a longer day at the canyon, drive instead.
  • Bring water bottles or containers. You won't be able to buy bottled water inside the park. You will find water bottle filling stations and restaurants will fill your bottles and containers for free. It's can get hot at the canyon, so make sure your kids have plenty to drink.
  • After leaving the Canyon, stop at the National Geographic Visitors Center to watch an IMAX® movie. The movies are about 30 minutes in length. The center is located at the South Rim entrance area.

Grand Canyon Visitor Map
Grand Canyon Visitor Map

Verkamps Visitor Center, on the left side of the map, is in the Village area of the Grand Canyon. This is the best area to take young kids who may quickly get tired of the amazing canyon views. It has restaurants, gift shops, shows and walking trails. Mather Point on the right has better views but only has a couple of stores.


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