Every Kid in a Park: Visiting Yellowstone

Top Fun Summer Activities

  1. Watch Old Faithful erupt. Check out the other nearby hydrothermal features like mud pots and find out what the “rotten egg” smell is. Preview the eruption on our live Old Faithful Geyser webcam and predict the next eruption.
  2. Become a Yellowstone Junior Ranger. Stop by any visitor center to purchase a Junior Ranger activity booklet for $3 (4 and older). Make your visit active and earn the Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger sticker or tattoo.
  3. Sit on the shore of Yellowstone Lake, the largest high-elevation lake in the lower 48 states. Feel smooth driftwood and stones and dip your toes in the cold water. Picnic tables are available at many pull-outs along the lake shore.
  4. Bike to Morning Glory Pool. Bikes are allowed on the paved path between the Old Faithful Lodge and Morning Glory Pool. Take this short (2 mi. round-trip) paved path and make three stops. Bikes are not allowed on the boardwalks, but there are several racks where you can park your bike while you explore. This route becomes busy with people walking so the best bicycling is early in the morning and in the evening.
  5. Become a Young Scientist by completing a self-guiding booklet--available for $5 at the Canyon Visitor Education Center (ages 10 and older) or Old Faithful Visitor Education Center (ages 5 and older). Once you finish, you will be awarded a Young Scientist patch or key chain.
  6. Go to the Canyon Visitor Education Center and learn about the geology behind the canyon and Yellowstone’s supervolcano.
  7. Strive for gold at the Yellowstone Wildlife Olympics. Test your skills and compare your abilities to animals in Yellowstone. How far can you jump? How well can you see and smell? Stay for as little or as long as your plans allow. Get specific dates in our schedule of ranger programs.
  8. Stay up late and watch the stars. Look for constellations, the Milky Way, and craters on the moon from your campsite. Stargazing programs are occasionally available in the summer at the Madison Information Station and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. Bring a copy of the Junior Ranger Night Explorer Book from home.
  9. Attend a ranger activity. Meet at the Junior Ranger Station at Madison Junction and learn about Yellowstone’s wildlife, geysers, history and much more! These 30-minute family programs are geared towards kids 5 to 12. Accessible with assistance. Check dates on our program schedule or at visitor centers.
  10. Watch wildlife. Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley are great places to see wildlife. Animals are easier to see in the early morning and evening when they tend to be feeding. Get a mammal checklist when you enter the park and record your sightings. Check at visitor centers for recent sightings and receive a sticker for your efforts. Do not approach bears or wolves on foot within 100 yards (91 m) or other wildlife within 25 yards (23 m). Keep a safe distance from all wildlife. Each year, park visitors are killed or injured by wildlife when approaching too closely.
 

Top Fun Winter Activities

  1. Go wolf watching in the Lamar Valley. The snow-covered landscape makes this a great time of year to see wolves. In fact, this is when our biologists study the packs each year. Animals are easier to see in the early morning and evening hours when they tend to be feeding. Get a mammal checklist when you enter the park and record your sightings. Check at visitor centers for recent sightings. Do not approach bears or wolves on foot within 100 yards (91 m) or other wildlife within 25 yards (23 m). Keep a safe distance from all wildlife. Each year, park visitors are killed and injured by wildlife when approaching too closely.
  2. Ski the Mammoth Hot Springs Upper Terraces. In the winter, this loop drive is groomed and open only to foot travel—skiing or snowshoeing. Watch out for hot thermal features.
  3. Watch Old Faithful erupt. Stand on the boardwalks with other hardy visitors and watch Old Faithful's steamy winter eruption. Preview the eruption on our live Old Faithful Geyser webcam and predict the next eruption.
  4. Attend a ranger activity. Find a ranger program online or check at the visitor centers for location, topics, and times.
  5. Sit by a fire at Snow Lodge. Warm up end enjoy the view from Snow Lodge in the Old Faithful Area, one of the two lodges open in Yellowstone during the winter (the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is also open).
  6. Become a Yellowstone Junior Ranger. Stop by Albright Visitor Center or Old Faithful Visitor Education Center to purchase a Junior Ranger activity booklet for $3 (4 and older). Snowshoes are available at the Albright Visitor Center. Families can also check out Junior Ranger Snowpacks with supplies for completing activities from the Albright Visitor Center, Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, and West Yellowstone Information Center. Make your visit active and earn the Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger sticker or tattoo.
  7. Become a Young Scientist by completing a self-guiding booklet available for $5 at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center (ages 5 and older). Once you finish, you will be awarded a Young Scientist patch or key chain.
  8. Take a guided tour of the interior, by snowcoach, snowmobile, skiing, or snowshoeing! Many businesses provide tours in the park.
  9. Listen to all of your senses. Safely stop on a boardwalk tour of thermal features. Close your eyes for 30 seconds and notice what you hear and smell. Take a moment to safely do this again when you are viewing wildlife. What does winter in Yellowstone feel like to you?
  10. Watch the stars. You don't need to stay up late in winter to look for constellations, the Milky Way, and craters on the moon. Bring a copy of the Junior Ranger Night Explorer Book from home.
 

More Information

 
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The Every Kid in a Park initiative provides free access to every 4th grade student and their guests to visit national parks and other federal areas. Download your voucher and get more information

Last updated: June 7, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

(307) 344-7381

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