27 Extraordinary Adventures to take your Family On
My girlfriend shared this "Mind-Blowing Adventures" list that Red Bull curated, and it had me thinking, "Why don't I make my own Family Friendly one? Now get ready for some serious family travel inspo. The coolest part? We have actually done each of these trips so we can 100% say they are kid approved.
Sharing the beauty of the world with our youth is one of the most rewarding experiences. Don't have kids? Not to worry, these are also adult approved ;).
1. Berg Lake. canada
This famous trail really needs no introduction. Set in BC, Canada it is 48 Km return of pure Canadian beauty. Pass lake after lake of intense blue water. Lay your eyes on the valley of 1000 falls. Feast upon the amazing Emperor Falls. Spend your evenings listening to the cracks and splashes of glacier falling into the waters nearby. Only a limited amount of people are able to camp on this trail, and registration opens up almost a year in advance. Booking as early as possible is highly recommended. Read more at Heli-drop to the top (hiking the berg lake trail) .
When: Campsites are reservable May-September.
Where: British Columbia, Canada
2. Kinney Lake, canada
Can't make it to Berg Lake? Campsites are full and 48 km return seems like a bit of a stretch for a day hike? No problem! You need not hike any further than 4 km (8 return) to see one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Walk alongside the picturesque Robson River until you come to Kinney Lake. Cross the bridge and enjoy a picnic lunch, or hike a couple more kilometers to a shelter and the flats.
When: While you can technically snowshoe to this lake in the winter, the most enjoyable time to visit is May-September.
Where: British Columbia, Canada
3. Ziplining and chocolate tasting in Arequipa
You got me- you can zipline almost anywhere in the world. That being said, there aren't many places where you can zipline into a beautiful valley overlooking 2 extinct volcanoes and one active volcano. Feel the exhilaration as you careen across the river with the sun beaming down on you. Head to Chaqchao afterwards for some house-made chocolates and Peruvian craft beer. Read more at Arequipa the land of Volcanoes .
When: Year round.
Where: Arequipa, Peru.
4. Swimming with turtles in akumal bay, mexico
As long as your child can fit a snorkel, this will be a clear winner with your family. There are snorkels and lifejackets for rent on the beach nearby, as well as guides for hire. Alternatively, you can bring your own gear. It is so special sharing the waters with these gentle animals. Another plus is that Yal-Ku lagoon is nearby, so if you've had enough of snorkelling with the turtles head on over to the lagoon for some cool features and more fish.
When: Make sure to go early in the morning before the sand gets kicked up and the tourists overtake the area.
Where: Akumal, Mexico
5. Kayak fjords in Norway
This is perhaps a little bit of a more adventurous undertaking. Aurland and Flam are two major kayaking hubs. Kayak providers often require you to have a licence before renting the boats out to visitors. Luckily, double kayaks can sometimes be rented without a licence, but experience is highly recommended. Big ferries and cruises also share these waters and it is a large open area. You will need at least a 1:1 adult to child ratio for the kayaks.
When: May- September is most comfortable
Where: Aurland & Flam Norway
6. Aurlandsfjellet road, norway
If you are already headed to Aurland, you cannot miss this mountain pass. Up, up and over you will go. It will feel like you are driving over the top of the world as you cruise past waterfalls, art installations, snow, creeks, and some of the nicest bathrooms you've ever seen. Just before Aurland you will reach "Stegastein"- a beautifully engineered viewpoint.
When: This road is open from June-October
Where: The road starts in Lærdalsøyri and continues on to Aurlandsvangen, Norway
7. Denali National Park, alaska
Denali National Park is the stuff that dreams are made of. Vast mountain ranges, deep river valleys, and the tallest mountain in North America: Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley.) The only way to enter the park is by bus (no private vehicles allowed) but then the world is your oyster! Hop off wherever you feel like exploring and when you've finished enjoying the amazing wilderness and are ready to go back to civilization, flag down the bus. For those with a larger budget, helicopter tours of the area are also available. Just remember to bring your eye mask! The land of the midnight sun. See The Wonders of Denali .
When to visit: May- September with July and August being the most desirable months.
Where: Denali, Alaska
8. North Pole, alaska
An Alaskan novelty, but how many kids can say that they've been to the North Pole? Equipped with it's own Mr. and Mrs. Clause, Reindeer, and enough souvenirs for the whole extended family, a trip to Alaska wouldn't be complete without a pitstop here.
When to Visit: May-September is ideal
Where: North Pole, Alaska just outside of Fairbanks.
9. Sign Post Forest, Yukon
Another novelty, but if you're driving this way, it's worth the stop. Weave in and out of the carefully placed signs, or bring your own to leave behind. It's also a great place to take a break as this section of the road is long and desolate.
When to visit: May-September
Where: Watson Lake, Yukon, Canada
10. Skiing on top of a Canadian mountain
There are a few different ways to achieve this.
a.) via one of the many amazing ski hills in this neck of the woods. Personally, we love Sun Peaks, Panorama, and Marmot for family friendly ski days.
b.) sled assisted skiing
c.) self propelled- by far the toughest of the 3
Having done all 3 as a family we recommend option a.) as your first choice. Please only attempt options b & c if you have completed avalanche safety training, know your terrain, and have absolute confidence that you are in a safe area.
Where: Almost anywhere in BC and Western Alberta
11. Hot Springs in Iceland
We've all seen photos of the Blue Lagoon. Definitely a bucket list item! But want to explore a littler further and skip to a less touristy destination? Laugarvatn Fontana is your place. Hungry? Try some of the traditional Icelandic rye bread baked naturally on the heat of the area, or maybe some locally caught and smoked trout.
When to visit: Year Round
Where: Laugarvatn, Iceland
12. Northern Lights in Fort McMurray, canada (aurora borealis)
These phenomenon can be seen almost all across Canada but you will have a lot more luck the further North you travel. There has to be some good that comes from shorter days and longer periods of darkness! No need to keep the kids up way past their bedtime, merely sit outside after dinner and watch the sky light up. The Northern Lights are certainly not always guaranteed but on a clear winter night there is often a chance to catch splashes of green or purple.
When: Year long, but they come out earlier October-April
Where: Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
13. Jasper Skytram, alberta canada
For those of you who always wished to to plant your flag on the top of a mountain but feared you could never trudge your way to the top. The skytram travels from the base of Whistlers mountain to a heck of a lot higher than you could make it by foot in approximately 12 minutes. At the top, embrace the spectacular views. Then choose between a nice relaxing coffee at the restaurant or hiking the last few kilometers to the summit. There is no wrong choice. See Jasper Family Friendly Activities .
When to Visit: The sky tram is open from early late March - late October
Where: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
14. Machu Picchu, peru
By now you're probably thinking, is there anywhere this family hasn't gone? The answer is yes, this world is a big beautiful place. Anyway, back to the list: Machu Picchu. This place will blow your expectations out of the water. Just the bus ride (though on the pricier side) to the site is spectacular. For older kids and more adventurous parents, the Inca trail is another good option. If you book early enough in advance, you can also book tickets to climb Wayna Picchu- the peak in the right hand side of this photo behind Machu Picchu. See Machu Picchu for more.
When to visit: April to October is the best. The Inca trail is closed in February due to heavy rain and maintenance.
Where: Machu Picchu, Peru
15. Sand boarding in Huacachina, Peru
Peru's attractions certainly aren't limited to Machu Picchu, and this desert Oasis is a prime example. Perhaps wander the streets of Huacachina or embark on a paddle over the Oasis waters while waiting for your tour. Then strap on your boots and prepare for the ups and downs of of dune buggy riding and sand boarding. This was probably the highlight of our daughter's time in this part of Peru. See Sandboarding in a Desert Oasis for more. There are also other dunes that are open to sand boarding around Peru.
When: Year-long (I believe)
Where: Huacachina Peru
16. Horseback Riding in the Andes, peru
Rainbow Mountain (also known as Vinicunca or Montaña de Colores) is on many a bucket list. Visitors are able to either hike or ride horse for a few kilometers until you reach the viewpoint. There are two viewpoints where one can revel in the magical display of colour before them. This mountain is at a very high elevation and visitors must acclimatize prior to visiting as well as pack layers for every different type of weather. Visit Rainbow Mountain for more information on our hike.
When: May-October is best
Where: Vinicunca, Montaña de colores, Peru (the base for this trip is Cusco)
17. Kluane National Park, yukon canada
Covering 22,000km of glaciers, forest, and tundra there is no shortage of sights to see or activities to partake in. Kluane is also home to the tallest mountain Canada- Mount Logan. Choose to have a picnic at Kluane Lake, take a boat out on Kathleen Lake, Raft on the Alsek River, horseback ride, hike, mountain bike, or fish. Whitehorse, though a few hours drive from the park is a good place to gather information. Don't forget to stop by Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse for a sample of craft beer.
When to visit: June-August is the warmest
Where: Kluane National Park. Closest towns: Haines Junction, Haines, Whitehorse
18. Helicopter Flight over the Canadian Rocky Mountains
Sometimes the best way to see the world is from above. Robson Heli-Magic offers world class heli-tours around Valemount, B.C. This company is also the only provider to do heli-drops to Berg Lake on Mount Robson (highest mountain in Canadian Rockies). Watch your little one's eyes light up as you take to the air and enjoy the valleys, lakes, pristine mountain tops, and miles and miles of forest. This is a great adventure for families who want to be able to see the area but are unable to hike it for whatever reason.
When: Year Round
Where: Valemount, B.C., Canada
19. Paddle boarding on JNP's pristine waters, canada
Oh Jasper. It's a mecca of beauty. One could write about this place all day. But let's start with a bit of a secret: Paddleboarding on the crystal blue waters. Jasper is surrounded by lakes of every different shade of blue and green. The clear water is a delight to look down on from a paddleboard or canoe.
Kid tip: These lakes are small and a great place for beginners. Bring along a "kid kayak" and allow your child some independence. For safety reasons always make sure they are within a safe distance of an adult and are wearing a lifejacket.
When: May- September is warmest
Where: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
20. visit the winter wonderland of Maligne Canyon, canada
Maligne Canyon is also a sight to see in the summer, but if you happen to find yourself in Jasper in the winter, you must visit this natural ice castle palace. Frozen waterfalls cascade off the sides of the smooth canyon walls. Tiptoe over the polished ice and observe the large formations of ice and snow. Rockaboo provide guided trips that ensure you will see all of the hidden gems. Safety is also a concern in this fragile environment so rest assured you are in capable hands.
When to Visit: The canyon is open year round, but winter is especially magical and the only time you can actually walk in the canyon.
Where: Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
21. Ancient Forest, canada
This is a great easy hike for people who want to see our giant beautiful trees in this part of British Columbia. They recently did some work to the trail and actually made the first part wheelchair accessible. It's really quite "in the middle of nowhere" but if you're already out this way, it's a great place to see some beautiful trees and enjoy a leg stretch.
Went to Visit: May to September
Where: Ancient Forest Trail, near Prince George British Columbia, Canada
22. Barkerville, bc canada
This historical town of the gold rush era comes complete with people in costume to enhance your experience. With over 125 historical buildings, restaurants, and shops, make sure to leave a whole day minimum for exploration. Campgrounds are available within a 3 km distance and there are also a couple of B&B's right in the town!
When to visit: May-September
Where: Barkerville, British Columbia, Canada. Nearest city: Quesnel
23. Cycle and climb coba ruins in mexico
There are very few ruins left in the world that you can still climb. Coba ruins are a short(ish) distance from Cancun and a great place to learn about Mayan history. Enhance your experience by biking between the ruins, or take a bike taxi from one to the next. Make sure to pack lots of water and sunscreen the heat of the day is excruciating here. Visit Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula is full of adventure for more.
When to Visit: Year long
Where: Coba, Mexico
24. Enjoy a soak at Liard Hot Springs, Canada
Escape the over-developed cement bottom hot springs and enjoy a true "natural" experience in the second largest hot spring in Canada. Watch for wildlife as you follow the boardwalk from the campground to the springs. Once there, use the bathhouse to change and then ease yourself into the healing warm waters. Allow your feet to walk along the muddy bottom and appreciate the rural beauty. Visit Liard Hotsprings Yukon Bound for more.
When to Visit: May- September for summer conditions, it is also open in the winter for the adventurous souls
Where: Liard River Hot Spring Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
25. Boating down the Amazon River in Puerto Maldonado Peru
Nothing says adventure like sending it down the Amazon river in a wooden boat over rapids and around massive logs. Keep your eyes trained on the river banks in search of jaguars, anacondas, cayman, and all sorts of other beautiful predatory animals. Once at your destination kick back and relax in a hammock with a cold tasty beverage. There are many different lodges that you can choose to stay with. Some of the activities offered are paddleboarding, ziplining, boating, hiking, and canopy walks. Make sure to take the time to view the macaws at the clay licks. Visit Puerto Maldonado for more.
When to Visit: August-April are the most common for Wildlife (including the macaws) November & April are the rainiest.
Where: Puerto Maldonado, Peru
26. Snorkeling or diving in Dos Ojos Cenote, mexico
The Yucatan Peninsula is littered with cenotes. These underground limestone caves filled with crystal clear water are prime places for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Dos Ojos, meaning two eyes in Spanish, draws thousands of visitors per year to its cool waters. Snorkeling around the formations and observing the fish below is an absolute must if you find yourself in Mexico. Bonus, if the family has their diving licences, go for a dive!
Where: Dos Ojos Cenote, Mexico Nearest city: Tulum, Mexico
27. Enjoying each other's company
When all else fails and your plans go awry, just embrace it. Cherish your time together whether you are climbing a mountain, sharing a dinner together, or enjoying a moment in your backyard.
Sharing is Caring!