Should I take my toddler to Grand Canyon?
The mighty Grand Canyon. Perhaps one of nature’s finest attractions. And definitely one of the world’s top vacation spots. Situated in the northwestern corner of Arizona, the Grand Canyon offers a vacation experience like no other.
Would you happen to be in the planning stages of a Grand Canyon adventure? If so, you may be considering taking your toddler. Do what any good parent does. Plan well and question everything, be prepared for anything.
There is absolutely nothing stopping you from taking your toddler to the Grand Canyon. We have put together a guide to help you prepare for your family’s Grand Canyon vacation. Complete with a toddler!
Are you prepared?
Chances are you are not just going on your vacation at a moment’s notice. If you are, then good luck. You’ll need it.
Most families begin to plan vacations well in advance. Use this preparation time for you and your toddler’s advantage. Think of every possible situation you could find yourself in and plan for it.
Start by making a list addressing all of the toddler’s needs. Everything from multiple daily wardrobe changes to medications needed should any problems arise. Always hope for the best while planning for the worst.
It doesn’t mean you have regrets about taking the toddler; it simply means you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. Nothing allows you to prepare properly better than enough time.
How is your toddler getting to the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is more than likely a good day or two away. You will be in an automobile with your toddler for a very extended period of time. You can make your car time a pleasant experience.
If you haven’t been on a long car ride with your toddler, have a trial run. Take a few long Sunday drives. Maybe take your toddler on a few short length weekend trips. You will condition them not only for the long ride but staying in a strange place too.
It’s best to take a seasoned traveling toddler over a totally green one! They will be in their car seat for long periods. Plan accordingly. Pack the proper toddler drinks and snacks and let whoever is driving know you are not in a hurry. There may be several stops to please the little one. You will also enjoy a few legs stretches as well.
But the best way by far to prepare is starting with a short drive. Then gradually, over time, they will be at ease going on a real road trip.
Is your lodging toddler-friendly?
The Grand Canyon is divided into two sections. The North Rim and the South Rim. Most of the conventional lodges are at the South Rim. Prepare your reservations well in advance.
Contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts and let them know you are traveling with a toddler. They, in turn, can make recommendations as to which facilities are toddler friendly. They can also reserve your room(s) with this in mind.
Hopefully, you will be able to get a reservation at one of these hotels within the park gates. If not, again prepare accordingly. If you must stay outside the park entrance, which is only one, by the way, get to it early!
There are only two lanes into the park and two lanes out. The line for admission to the Grand Canyon is sometimes over a mile long by 11:00 a.m. The last time I checked, toddlers don’t like waiting. So get there early to avoid conflict with your little one.
How will you get around the Grand Canyon with a baby?
You will be spending a lot of time outdoors and a lot of time walking. There will be shuttle buses to take you from spot to spot, and strollers really don’t do very well.
Remember where you are. There are dangers at every turn. You will want to keep your toddler close to you at all times, and the best way is a proper carrier. You will also need to watch out very carefully for all the other people around. Sometimes other people forget where they are. They are not at a conventional amusement park.
If a stroller is your only alternative, use the umbrella type. They open and fold quickly and require minimal space on the buses.
Can you bike or hike the Grand Canyon with a baby?
Maybe your just super fit and want to get in a good scenic bike ride. Bike ride the Grand Canyon? With a toddler? Not exactly.
A bike ride will allow plenty of time for family bonding. There are multiple places to rent bikes along the trail around the canyon, and most of them rent bike trailers. These are excellent modes of transportation for carrying a toddler around.
These enclosed trailers attach easily to mom or dad’s bike. You might want to get in touch with these people in your planning stage as trailers need to be reserved.
Just remember not to forget your Super Man cape! These ‘bike legs’ of the trip can be tough if you are out of shape!
How will you feed your toddler at the Grand Canyon?
All of the restaurants in the Grand Canyon are super kid-friendly. Even the more expensive high-end ones. The best way to enjoy your Grand Canyon meals with a toddler is to be sure you dine before the crowd does.
Calling ahead to make reservations will make all the difference. Nothing is more frustrating to a weary canyon exploring toddler than having to wait for dinner. Avoid this by dining early via your reservation. No line, no wait!
See, there is no reason both you and your toddler can’t have an awesome Grand Canyon vacation. Together. And be sure you take plenty of pictures. You are about to take the little one on the trip of a lifetime!
When your toddler is an adult one day, they will be showing their toddler the pictures. And you will probably overhear them say their trip was awesome because you planned it so well!