A kid tackles a high ropes course, one of the great adventure at Moab. Image courtesy of Utah’s Moab Adventure Center
BY JAMIE PEARCE
MOAB, UT – As summer gets on the way, many families are planning family vacations. While there are many summer vacation deals, families are continually looking for summer vacation destinations that are close to home. Although experts in tourism business are attributing the new trend to the recent economic downturn, others are pointing to the fact that many summer vacations do not adequately accommodate children. Evidently, this is why s Moab Adventure Center is becoming a major attraction to families with children searching for adventure that will accommodate the whole family. s Moab Adventure Center, hub of a natural playground surrounded by snowcapped mountains, red rock canyons and two national parks.
Before embarking on an adventure, families have the opportunity to consult with experts and regional specialists at the center about their needs, including lodgings, restaurants, and gears and equipment. Most importantly, parents learn about where and how to engage their children during their visit. Jamie Pearce manages the Moab Adventure Center, conveniently located at downtown Moab explains that Moab continues to be a major tourist attraction because of the relentless effort to make it family friendly. “Every year, Moab seems to be getting more and more family friendly,” says Pearce about the wide range of tours and activities that are now geared for younger ages. “Visitors are pleasantly surprised by how many cool things there are now to do with kids and teens.” Below are her team’s Top Ten Things to Do with Kids in Moab.
1. Rock Climb (minimum age 5): Expert guides teach experienced climbers and novices how to climb and rappel down Moab sandstone.
2. Hike up a Creek: Looking for a cooler activity in the heat of day? Kids can blow off steam in the stream bed of a shadowed canyon on a five-mile out-and-back hike in Negro Bill Canyon off of Scenic Byway 128.
3. Discover Dinosaur Tracks and Petroglyphs on Potash Road: Head up Highway 279 (Potash Road) about 15 minutes from Moab for spectacular views of Native American Petroglyphs etched into rock. Go a little farther for Dinosaur Tracks! For more about dinosaurs, check out the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail.
4. Earn Junior Ranger Badges at National Parks: Both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks offer free Junior Ranger programs and booklets. Youngsters who complete five activities and exercises receive an official badge and certificate!
5. Glide on a Hummer Slickrock Safari (minimum age 3): This is a slow ride that can feel like being on a roller coaster on the sandstone hills on Moab’s popular Hell’s Revenge trail. This activity is safe enough for little ones and wild enough for the cool kids.
6. Raft the Colorado River (minimum age 5): Families take on playful class I and II rapids in a 16-foot paddle boat with the option to try a hand at paddling a two-person inflatable kayak.
7. Weave through Fisher Towers: Ever wanted to explore Mars? The scenic Fisher Towers hike off of Highway 128 lets kids weave in and out of red rock spires and castles with scenic views of the Colorado River in the distance.
8. Tackle a High Ropes Course: Ages 6 and up (minimum height 4 feet) can scramble up a uniquely crafted climbing wall, climb a giant cargo net, ride a skateboard zipline, walk a 25-foot balance beam, and tons more.
9. Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center: It’s not a vacation for the kids if there’s not a pool. This swimming pool has slides, short diving boards, and, best of all, an indoor pool out of the heat!
10. Making Music and More: Located five minutes from downtown Moab at 680 Millcreek Drive, the Music Park is a must for amateur musicians of all ages. Industrial materials have been shaped into eclectic musical instruments—a one-of-a-kind experience! And when it’s just time to sit down, Moab Backyard Theater offers magic shows, jazz and bluegrass music, and Western movie nights!