Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Just For Kids

Starry Skies over Yosemite and Wawona: Spend a summer evening lying in a meadow looking up at a brilliant sky. This program is offered for a fee (summer only) in Wawona and Yosemite Valley. Space is limited to 70 people; check Yosemite Today for schedule.

Be a Junior Ranger: Kids 7 to 13 can earn a certificate and a patch as they learn about the mysteries and marvels of Yosemite. This self-guiding booklet is sold for $3.50 plus tax at visitor centers throughout the park and online at www.YosemiteStore.com. Aspiring Junior Rangers must complete the booklet, collect a bag of trash, and attend a guided program.

See Yosemite Today in the summer for a schedule of ranger-led Junior Ranger programs. Also visit Web-Rangers, the National Park Service's online Junior Ranger Program at www.nps.gov/webrangers.

Little Cubs Wanted: Are your kids between the ages of three and six? Little Cubs is a self-guiding booklet that encourages young visitors and their families to discover Yosemite's wonders and earn a Little Cubs button. The booklet (published by the Yosemite Association) is sold for $3 plus tax at visitor centers throughout the park. It is also available online at www.YosemiteStore.com.

Visit the Nature Center at Happy Isles: See wildlife exhibits and a display of Yosemite at night or play in the children's corner. Open daily from late spring to September. Take the shuttle to stop #16.

Go into the Field! Join the Yosemite Institute on their fun and challenging residential field science program, a five-day introduction to Yosemite's outdoor classroom. Other custom programs for all ages are available.

Old-Fashioned Campfires: Enjoy an evening around the campfire with a pair of naturalists. Sing silly songs, listen to some stories, learn about Yosemite and roast marshmallows over the campfire. This program is offered for a fee. During the summer, free ranger-led campfire programs are given outside Yosemite Valley. Check Yosemite Today for schedule.

Explore Yosemite Family Program: In summer, this program provides a morning full of hands-on activities. Cultural and natural history information is presented in a family-friendly way during a two to three-mile walk. Each session is limited to 20 people and is offered for a fee during the summer. See Yosemite Today for schedule or visit any Tour & Activity Desk.

Night Prowl: Yosemite is an amazing place to explore after dark, and you'll need to use all of your senses to do it. Join us for ninety minutes of fun on this nocturnal nature tour during our shoulder seasons. Each prowl is limited to 20 people and is offered for a fee. See Yosemite Today for schedule.

Discover Yosemite Books: Learn about the park with Two Bear Cubs, an American Indian legend about El Capitan or The World of Small, which comes with a magnifying glass. The Happy Camper Handbook tells kids (and adults) all they need to know about camping (includes a flashlight and rescue whistle). To order these and other titles, call the Yosemite Conservancy at 415.434.1782 or visit www.YosemiteStore.com. For additional selections, shop Yosemite online at www.YosemiteGifts.com.

Children's Programs

Yosemite offers a variety of walks, presentations, and storytimes in the park. Wee Wild Ones is a 45-minute program packed with stories, games, and fun surprises specifically for pre-schoolers. LeConte Memorial Lodge offers family programs and walks geared for kids. Children's Storytime includes a 30-minute tale for children 7 and under. See Yosemite Today for program schedule and locations.

Winter

Ski, Snowboard, Snowtube, or Snowshoe at Yosemite's Badger Pass: The whole family will have fun with these winter activities. Nine runs, a ski and snowboard and cross-country ski school, guided snowshoe walks, and equipment rentals are available, as are a cafeteria, sport shop and child care. Free shuttles go to Badger Pass from Valley lodging locations. See Yosemite Today for schedule.

Go Sledding, Tobogganing or Inner-Tubing: Head for Crane Flat Campground on the Big Oak Flat Road near the Tioga Road intersection.

Ice Skate at Curry Village: You can skate daily from November through March, conditions permitting, on a large outdoor rink. Rental skates, a warming hut with lockers, a fire pit and limited snacks are available on-site.

Yosemite Institute provides educational adventures in nature's classroom to inspire a personal connection with the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. For more information on how your child can participate in YI programs, please contact (209) 379-9511 or yi@yni.org.