For Kids

A group of school age kids in the cave with bright headlamps on.
Some of the parks younger visitors explore the wild side of Mammoth Cave.

NPS Photo/ Ashley Decker

Visiting Mammoth Cave with Your Family

Visitor Center – The park visitor center is a great stopping off point to starting your trip to Mammoth Cave. Explore the interactive exhibits to learn about the areas people, geology, cave system, plants and animals. While in the visitor center you can purchase tickets for a cave tour, get started on a Junior Ranger book, or look for a souvenir in the bookstore.

Cave Tours – With several different cave tours offered throughout the year, finding the right tour for your family is important. Many families with young kids find short tours such as the Frozen Niagara or Mammoth Passage tours enjoyable. Slightly longer tours that are suitable for kids capable of walking longer distances are the Historic Tour or the Domes and Dripstones tours. For the more adventurous kids, ages 8-12 years, the Trog Tour is an exciting off-trail crawling adventure. Read more about cave tours and check the current schedule to find the tour right for your family. Please note, no backpack child carriers are allowed to be used on cave tours.

A family reading a wayside sign inside Mammoth Cave
The Discovery Tour allows people who visit the park to explore part of the cave at their own pace.

NPS Photo/ Nathaniel Leies

Hiking Trails – Mammoth Cave has several hiking trails on the surface that are great for families with young kids. The Heritage Trail loop between the lodge and Sunset Point is half a mile in length, flat and paved. This trail is accessible for strollers and provides views of the Green River Valley. Other Easy trails are the Echo River Springs Trail, Sand Cave Trail, and Turnhole Bend Nature Trail.

Food and Picnic Areas – Food is available for purchase in the park at the Mammoth Cave Lodge and the Camp Store. The towns surround the park offer many opportunities for the purchase of food at restaurants or grocery stores. While in the park, picnic areas with tables are available at the Mammoth Cave Picnic Area, Echo River Spring Trailhead Area, Maple Springs Day Use Area, Houchin Ferry Picnic Area, Dennison Ferry Day Use Area, and Sloans Crossing Pond Picnic Area. Please dispose of your recycling or trash properly and remember to never feed wildlife

A round logo with a park ranger hat in the center

Become a Junior Ranger

Mammoth Cave offers a self-guided Junior Ranger activity book for anyone wanting to learn more about the park while earning your very own Junior Ranger Badge.

Backyard Explorer

Explore the natural world around your home and become a Backyard Explorer.


Nature Track for Kids

The Nature Track for Kids programs are fun, hands-on activities that take place during the summer months. These 30-minute programs can include games, stories, or short hikes, to further the exploration and discovery of Mammoth Cave National Park. Check the current Ranger-led Programs page to see the current schedule of programs or ask at the visitor center when you arrive.

Logo for the Every Kid Outdoors program. A circle featuring three kids playing on a green field.

Every Kid Outdoors

The Every Kid Outdoors initiative is aimed at providing an opportunity for each fourth grade student across the country to experience federal lands and water in person. Students logon onto the Every Kid Outdoors website to complete an on-line activity and earn a voucher that can be exchanged for a plastic pass at park entrance stations. The Every Kid Outdoors Pass gives students free access to public lands during their fourth-grade school year and up through August 31.

Last updated: January 24, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007


270 758-2180

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