There’s nothing quite like traveling to find family activities in Wyoming, and for obvious reasons.
Spotting constellations in a cloudless night sky, cheering on cowboys and cowgirls at an action-packed rodeo, catching the sight of a moose casually grazing on the banks of a glistening mountain lake — there are loads of ways for loved ones to unplug and reconnect.
However, family travel has far more benefits than you might think, and you can take advantage of all of them right here in the Cowboy State.
Why Is It Important to Travel with Family?
Traveling with family is more than just a good time, especially if you have little ones at home. Research shows why travel is important: Families who take trips together forge deeper bonds, establishing a greater ability to rely on each other and growing connections through the gift of shared experiences.
Additionally, family travel gets kids out of the bubble of their everyday lives, teaching them about new parts of the world and giving them a stronger sense of their place in it.
Benefits of Traveling with Family & Tips
Family travel is an excellent way to relax and have fun with those you love, but did you know that it also:
- Builds and strengthens inter-family connections? The bonds we create in the home are pivotal, but exciting new experiences and a change of scenery can easily enhance them. Travel is a beautiful way to achieve just that!
- Exposes children to other cultures? In addition to developing closer ties with their loved ones, travel is great for giving kids a sense of connectedness with people, cultures, and ways of life they may not otherwise have contact with.
- Introduces kids to new foods? Everyone’s favorite part of traveling is getting to experience a destination’s cuisine, and that’s especially important for picky-eaters who can quickly get stuck in food ruts at home.
- Encourages mental growth? While exploring new places with the family is fun, unfamiliar towns and new activities can scare young children. Travel allows them to embrace all things new safely while teaching them that sometimes, what feels scary at first turns out to be a blast.
6 Ways to Connect with Kids & Family in Wyoming
When it’s time to pack up the fam and hit the road, you can’t go wrong with a vacation in Wyoming. If you’re looking for how to travel with family, here are the 6 best ways to learn, connect, and grow while you’re here.
1. Embark on outdoor family activities
The human’s deep connection with nature has long been established, but nature can help us connect with one another too. A popular family travel trip: Research suggests that exposure to peaceful outdoor surroundings and green space can elevate your mood, reduce stress and make the ideal backdrop for family bonding.
Family Travel Tip: Camping Outdoors in the Winds
Slumbering in the outdoors is a back-to-basics joy that helps kiddos develop a lifetime love and respect for the wilderness and provides plenty of chances for screen-free togetherness. In the Wind River Mountain Range, plenty of tent camping is available, allowing your crew space to wander and explore before settling into sleeping bags around a crackling fire.
In addition to a night under the stars, The Winds provide ample hiking opportunities for energetic littles who want to be on the go, as well as tons of lush greenery and incredible native wildlife they may have never seen before. When the accommodations are simple, and the entertainment is natural, you only have to worry about enjoying each other’s company.
2. Learn new skills & have adventures
How you travel with your family matters! Some people say the family that plays together stays together, and there’s research to support that timeless family travel tip. There can be a correlation between family adventures that require working together to succeed and building trust and teamwork between parents and their children.
Family Travel Tip: Fossil Digging around Fossil Butte
Due to a now-dried basin and its ancient limestone bed, what was once Fossil Lake is now Fossil Butte National Monument, a rocky testament to prehistoric wildlife near Kemmerer, WY. When plants, animals and insects fell into the lake, they sank to the bottom and were preserved in salt water, then gradually covered by layers of sediment over millions of years.
If you bring your kiddos to Fossil Butte, you can check out their visitor’s center, where incredible fossils are already on display. Additionally, you will find various quarries and sites where you can dig for fossils, unearth your own treasures, and bring them home with you. Working in tandem, searching for incredible relics and getting your hands dirty? Sounds like an excellent day of family teamwork.
3. Share new & unique cultural experiences
Whether you’re traveling with family across the world or across the country, fascinating cultures abound and change from location to location. Wyoming, a state rich in heritage and history, is the same, allowing your family to explore all of the Western ways of life through traditions, experiences and delicious food.
Family Travel Tip: Rodeos
Rodeos across Wyoming encompass traditional competitive events like bull riding and steer wrestling and crowd-pleasing fun like carnivals, livestock displays and shows featuring local and national talent — making them perfect entertainment for families traveling with multiple generations. The open-air adventure and ability to get up close and personal with animals fosters a sense of connection to the natural world, similarly inviting families to connect with one another.
Find out why Cheyenne Frontier Days has dazzled audiences since 1897; witness bed races, street dances and powwows at the Sheridan WYO Rodeo; discover the state’s rich agricultural heritage at the Wyoming State Fair & Rodeo in Douglas or enjoy beer tasting and a barbecue contest at the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo in Casper (all events are in July).
4. Spend quality time together where it matters
Quantity isn’t always quality, and that is especially true for loved ones we see every day. It’s easy to get caught up in the non-stop pace of daily life, putting deeper conversations and memory-making family activities on the back burner in favor of immediate responsibilities. Traveling to Wyoming can let you and your family slow things down, giving you meaningful time to spend with them.
Family Travel Tip: Road Trips
When it comes to family road trips, Wyoming is a state that takes the cake, as it was ranked in the Top 10 Best Road-Trip Destinations for Summer by WalletHub. Open mountain roads and scenic loops provide the perfect backdrop for family bonding while you play games, seek out new adventures, and take in the scenery as you travel.
There’s no better way to make the most of Wyoming’s sights and family activities than to embark on a road trip. Take inspiration from our regional road trips and customize your route to include stops that will satisfy every member of your crew, from the hot-springs lover to the aspiring cowboy or cowgirl.
5. Develop and teach curiosity & independence
Growth takes place in situations that challenge us, and family travel is an important way to achieve that in a safe and loving environment. As new things are often confusing (and sometimes intimidating) at first, traveling in Wyoming provides ample opportunity to embrace the unknown, navigate difficulty and build problem-solving skills together.
Family Travel Tip: Hands-On Museums
Interactive museums encourage little ones and their parents to explore fascinating topics and tackle complex challenges simultaneously, and Wyoming has some great ones. Pint-size explorers can see what it’s like to forge a river in a covered wagon at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, learn how to think like a scientist at the Lander Children’s Museum and tour real dig sites and a fossil prep lab at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis.
6. Create new memories to cherish forever
There isn’t much that one takes through life other than memories, and family travel in Wyoming is the perfect getaway to make lasting ones. Another important family travel tip is getting out of the mundane everyday, experiencing family activities outside the ordinary, and connecting with the natural world come together to form a recipe for memories you and your kiddos won’t soon forget.
Family Travel Tip: Wildlife Watching
Observing an animal in its natural habitat is a truly unforgettable experience, and our state’s abundant wide-open spaces and varied landscapes support an impressive list of wildlife-watching opportunities. See below to learn about some of Wyoming’s wild residents and where to see them.
There is plenty that humans can learn from the animal kingdom, from teamwork and togetherness to the need for play and time to decompress. In watching Wyoming-native animals live in their homeland, you can reflect on how your family connects with one another and work to strengthen those bonds.
Making Family Travel Important to You
Approaching life with a childlike spirit is a gift — it allows you to take on each new adventure with a sense of wonder, approach problems with a can-do attitude, and understand that you’re never in it alone.
Traveling in Wyoming can help foster this gift in your littles from an early age, giving them a curiosity and openness to new cultures, people, and experiences that will last a lifetime.