The park's Junior Ranger Program will engage your kids. Register for it on the South Rim at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, Verkamp's Visitor Center, or Tusayan Ruin and Museum, or on the North Rim at the North Rim Visitor Center. Your child will receive a Junior Ranger Activity Book outlining the needed steps to complete the Junior Ranger program (including attending a ranger-led program, completing educational puzzles, and picking up litter). When completed, bring the booklet back to any of the places listed above to obtain a Junior Ranger certificate and badge.
In summer, there are additional children's programs. For a complete listing of kids' activities, consult the park's free newspaper, The Guide, available at all park entrances.
Kids may also enjoy the following activities:
- Look for deer. At sunset, take a quiet walk in the grass along the train tracks by Grand Canyon Village, or watch a meadow along the entrance road on the North Rim. See how many deer you can count. But please don't feed or approach them.
- Hike a rim trail. If your kids are too young to make the steep descent into the canyon, take them walking along the canyon's rim. This gets them away from the car and into less crowded areas. On the South Rim, the rim trail from Grand Canyon Village to Mather Point is a nice option. On the North Rim, the Transept and Cliff Springs trails are fun for kids.
- Go birding. During the daytime, sit on the rim and watch raptors and ravens ride the thermals. See if you can identify eagles, hawks, or vultures -- and perhaps even California condors. You'll also likely see swifts and swallows darting around the rim.
- Watch wranglers prepare mules for the trip into the canyon. At 8am daily (9am in winter), wranglers bring mules to the corral on the South Rim (just west of Bright Angel Lodge). While the mules entertain the kids, the wranglers entertain adults with a humorous lecture on mule-ride protocol. A word of caution: Certain tourist-weary mules will bite when petted.
- See the canyon on the big, big screen. If the canyon fails to dazzle your young ones in person, show it to them on the 82-foot-high screen at the IMAX theater outside the park in Tusayan.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.