10 Best Places to Take the Kids in Alaska

Parents and grandparents will love these activities just as much

Family Travel Expert

Between glaciers, wildlife and truly unique outdoor experiences, Alaska is bound to be a memorable trip for all members of the family. Alaska is made up of five distinct regions (Inside Passage, Southcentral, Interior, Far North and Southwest) and twice the size of Texas, giving travelers the luxury of arranging a variety of itineraries. If your family is eager to visit The Last Frontier, we've narrowed a list of the 10 best things to do with kids in Alaska from a long set of fabulous options.

A family dog sledding — Photo courtesy of Frank Flavin

1. Experience the state's official sport of dog sledding. Relax in a sled, mush your own dogs (experienced riders only) or take a tour run by various operators around the state.

2. Visit Denali National Park. Six million acres make up the most visited National Park in the nation. Spot dinosaur tracks, moose and more in the gorgeous terrain.

3. Kayak or raft through Alaska's waters. Kids ages 6 and up will love a guided tour of Alaska's waters, though they will need to paddle too. Tours vary from a relaxing trip down the Chena River to multi-day excursions through the Arctic Circle.

4. See native animals up close at Alaska Sealife Center. Funded by settlement money from the Exxon Valdez spill, this aquarium and wildlife rescue center provides visitors with close encounters with puffins, octopus, sea lions and other sealife.

5. Pan for gold at El Dorado Gold Mine. Take a short train-ride to the mine through a permafrost tunnel, tour the facility, learn about Alaska's mining history and then pan for your own gold.

Kayaking Kenai Fjord National Park — Photo courtesy of Brian Adams

6. Cruise an icefield. Book a fully-narrated cruise leaving from Seward to tour one of the four remaining icefields in the United States at Kenai Fjords National Park. Or, kayak like the folks in the photo above.

7. Visit the Alaska Zoo. If flying into Anchorage, stop at this popular attraction to familiarize yourself with animals you may see in the wild.

A plane over Denali National Park — Photo courtesy of Robin Hood

8. Flightsee. One of the best ways to see Alaska is from the sky. Kids will love a birds-eye view of Denali National Park and landing on glaciers.

9. See wildlife up close at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Bring your cameras for this once in a lifetime experience.

10. Take the train. The Alaska Railroad provides families with narrated sightseeing excursions from the Interior to Kenai Peninsula and beyond. 

Arrive by car, cruise or plane--Alaska is just a 2 to 3.5 hour flight from Seattle, depending on where you start your journey. Next, mix up your modes of transportation between boat, plane, train and coach tours. Not only will kids love that, but it's the best way to see the 49th state and is easy to arrange.

About Katie Dillon

Though Katie does not like being cold, she is looking forward to heading to Alaska shortly with her daughter. Thanks to the Alaska Travel Industry Association for the pointers!

Read more about Katie Dillon here.

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