"Winging it" worked for us...

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Posted by Art ( on 19:32:45 03/14/17

In Reply to: Yellowstone Trip posted by Melissa

In the last few years we've taken both our grandsons to the parks on 2 separate trips...both were 8, and one is autistic. We had no issues with boredom, but I will say both boys already are outdoor kids...they love to be outside, walk, and love animals, birds, etc.

In both cases we prepared them...we have a cd that is Yellowstone for Kids, and multiple childrens books about the area. Lots of time was spent watching and reading, and in the end the boys planned "their" itinerary, based on what they liked. We had a couple of Ranger activities lined up in case they ran out of ideas, but that never happened. We were really thrilled when our younger grandson (with autism) suddenly was saying "Can we look over there?", seeing things that we never noticed. I would say that the Jr. Ranger is more than worth it...even if they don't finish the project there are ideas and facts that kids respond to. And I will never forget the look on the Rangers face at Old Faithful when AJ responded to her question about swimming in the hot pools with a "look" and the words "Are you crazy?! Nooooo"...the day he got his Jr Ranger patch.

Everyone plans differently, but for us these trips were best with flexibility. If you want the stagecoach dinners at Roosevelt you need to reserve ahead..if you want to eat dinner at Roosevelt Lodge and go searching for wildlife later no reservations needed. Guided tours can be great...but if it's an "off" day the kids may not be happy. There are lots of free, no reservation needed ranger activites...they will be on the website closer to summer, and give you planned activities with no commitment or additional cost. The most important thing is to not stress, and enjoy!

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