Everyone knows that Jackson Hole is a great place for adults to visit, take a breather, enjoy some wonderful scenery, and experience the true west. Did you know that Jackson Hole is a great place for families too? With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s no surprise that kids and parents alike feel the pressure these days. A visit to Jackson Hole is a great way to let go of those burdens, ease into the routine of our high altitude mountain lifestyle, and get kids, and adults, to put down their tablets, enjoy some natural beauty and focus on family time.
Family Friendly Activities with Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures
If you’re planning a trip to Jackson Hole and have some young adventurers with you, check out our Wild Child Adventure. This wonderful late morning activity will reconnect the whole family with nature. Don and Buzz, the trusty Belgian draft horses of Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures, will lead the way, taking the family for a horse-drawn vintage wagon ride along the Snake River and through the cottonwood forest. Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch, as the kids get hands-on learning, and explore the local flora and fauna of this quiet corner in Jackson Hole.
Spend late afternoon on the water with the whole family. Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures runs a luxury scenic float in the late afternoon/early evening. Head out on the water for a wooden boat tour with dinner after the crowds have departed and have the Snake River all to yourself as you float to Tipi Camp. Once you arrive, the chefs will prepare an amazing gourmet dinner, served riverside. Once the sun starts to set behind the Grand Tetons, the campfire is a cozy spot to roast marshmallows and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. Every river departure is private, so you’re free to explore the cottonwood forest as a family, or try your hand at rowing a wooden boat in the calm river eddy. This is one bucket list adventure that is not to be missed.
Stargazing in the Grand Tetons
After a wonderful afternoon spent rummaging around the woods, feeding Don and Buzz, and enjoying a unique forest bathing experience, there is no better way to cap off the night than with a private stargazing experience with a local non-profit organization, Wyoming Stargazing. Disappear into the dark, and watch as the night sky begins to sparkle. Jackson Hole’s high elevation of approximately 6,500 feet (~2000m), paired with the low levels of light pollution make our stargazing particularly spectacular. Learn all about the wondrous universe that surrounds us. Wyoming Stargazing staff will provide the knowledge, and all you need to provide is curiosity.
Known as an adventure capital for outdoor enthusiasts, Jackson Hole has loads of options for those families looking to get an adrenaline boost. Look no further than taking a trip down the rushing class II and III rapids of the Snake River with Barker-Ewing Whitewater or hop on over to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for a Via Ferrata experience.
There’s no better activity, rain or shine, than hitting the Snake River with Barker Ewing White Water. Enjoy class I-IV rapids, (depending on the season), as you splash your way down the Snake River canyon. This adventure is great for families with children ages six and older, as you can adjust the boat size to fit the level of adventure you seek. The classic boat is perfect for first-time rafters, those visiting Jackson Hole in the early summer when the river is typically higher, or first time rafters. For the thrill-seekers in the family, make sure to book a small boat. With only eight people per raft you’ll really feel every rapid.
For families with older kids, (ten years of age and older), try your hand at the Via Ferrata course at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Traverse the iconic high granite walls, across suspended bridges, and fixed holds with unbeatable views of the valley. With four new routes recently added, this adventure is sure to get the blood pumping.
For Younger Ones
If you are feeling a bit pressed for time, or looking for a great drop-in activity, or trying to pass the time on a rainy day, the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum is great for the younger tikes in the bunch. Kids will be occupied for hours with a number of hands-on rotating exhibits teaching kids about science, art, and local history.
Get Outside and Explore
No trip to Jackson Hole is complete without hiking in Grand Teton National Park. Located just a short twenty minutes drive north of the town of Jackson, Grand Teton Nat’l Park has accessible hiking for the whole family. The Teton Range on the west side and the Absaroka Range on the northeast line the park, and the valley below is dotted with beautiful alpine lakes. Stop by the Jenny Lake Visitors Center to learn a little history about the park and local area, and then hop on the lake with Jenny Lake Boating. They offer scenic tours, but more commonly are used as a shuttle service across the lake to access the hiking on the other side without having to do the two-mile one-way hike around Jenny Lake. Across Jenny Lake, you will find Cascade Canyon trailhead leading to boundless hiking opportunities. Two wonderful family hikes from Cascade Canyon are the Hidden Falls hike (1-mile round trip) or trek to Inspiration Point (2 miles round trip) for stunning views.
Family Friendly Alfresco Dining
With all these adventures you are bound to wind up with some hungry family members. Jackson Hole’s dining scene ranges from takeaway to fine dining and everything in-between. For some good kid-friendly options head over to Calico. Calico is located in Wilson just ten minutes from town, and its Italian-inspired menu has something for even the pickiest eaters. With a beautiful wrap-around porch and large yard, parents can enjoy alfresco dining, while the kids run around on the grassy lawn; that is, if they have any energy left after all of the great adventures they’ve been on!
Jackson Hole has no shortage of great adventures for families. Whether your kids are large or small, or adventurous or cautious, Jackson Hole has activities for all.
Traveling with really little ones, and don’t want to haul all their equipment across the country? Check out Jackson Hole Baby Gear. With drop-off and pick-up available, providing your little one with everything they need while traveling couldn’t be easier.
Jackson Hole Nannies offers on-demand sitting services for families visiting Jackson Hole. You can make arrangements for an evening out or for full time assistance while on vacation here in Jackson Hole.