Yellowstone with 2 yr old toddler

May 21st, 2006, 10:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3
Yellowstone with 2 yr old toddler

We are traveling (1st time trip) to Yellowstone this fall with a 2 year old. What suggestions does anyone have for activities that a 2 year old could participate in? It looks like the rafting is too rough, and horseback doesn't sound doable. Any ideas?

Also, any suggestions on places to eat in Jackson Hole and inside Yellowstone?

Thanks for any suggestions!
dishy111 is offline  
May 21st, 2006, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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If you were more specific as to your itinerary you might be able to get a few more responses. We did Yellowstone and JH with our almost three year old last Sept.
odie1 is offline  
May 21st, 2006, 11:42 AM
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The wagon trip to the Roosevelt cookout would be fun for your family.
keymom is offline  
May 21st, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Take a stroller and walk around and see all the geyser areas, Mammoth Hot Spings, mud pots, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, etc. You 2 year old will enjoy just being with you and the geysers will be interesting. We took our youngest when he was 1 1/2 and he enjoyed it. JUST BE CAREFUL and don't let your 2 year old go dashing off without you! Geyser areas can be very dangerous!

utahtea is offline  
May 21st, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Castle Geyser is fairly predictable and the path from near Old Faithful Inn to the geyser is paved.

Also, I think there are places where you could hold on tight and let your 2 year old wade in the creek.

I am sure the bison would be interesting to see.

And perhaps some ice cream at the cafeteria near Old Faithful.

It has cookies, too.
bob_brown is offline  
May 21st, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for the ideas so far! Our itineray more specifically is 2 nights in Jackson Hole, 2 nights in Old Faithful Inn, 4 additional nights in the Yellowstone area (possibly Cody and possibly drive to Salt Lake City).
dishy111 is offline  
May 21st, 2006, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 272

My first thought, and I don't mean to be an alarmist, was you *absolutely* must not let a two year run away from you.

The geysers and thermal pools can be dangerous and even deadly. The ground away from the boardwalks can be unstable. I liken it to standing on a sidewalk next to an expressway: Nothing bad will happen to you if stay on the sidewalk. Walk into the traffic and youíre killed. And no one would let a two year old stand on such a sidewalk without holding their hand, right?

Again, I apologize for sounding over the top. Itís just that a two year old has no idea that the pretty blue water pool (Sapphire Pool, I think it is called) is near the boiling point.

Meanwhile, hereís a fun link.
CubFanAlways is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 12:04 AM
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The advantage of a park like Yellowstone with a 2-year old, is that it is possible to see a great number of things by driving the loop road with frequent stops and short walks into site. So assuming your child is going to be in a stroller, backpack or under close supervision, s/he will be able to enjoy the same water and steam squirting from the ground and pretty colors adults can. Also, animals close up to car are a thrill for anyone.

Do not try to sit your kid on a moose and take a photo like some pinheads we saw.

The drive to SLC, unless necessary for air travel, is probably too long to be pleansant with a 2 year old.

For the 4 days I would stay outside park (West Yellowstone and Gardiner towns are within 1/2 mile of entrance) and perhaps look for hotel with pool, playground, etc.

Bring snacks and drinks in the car - it is quite likely you will at some point get delayed by either an animal jam or things to see and a hungry 2 year old would not increase your enjoyment of these things.
gail is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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We went two years back to back. The first time our daughter was 1 month shy of two and the second year she was a month shy of three, both times she absolutely loved the park. She enjoyed seeing the animals and the geysers in the park. The bison are pretty much everywhere and the elk are definitely able to be spotted by Mammoth.

In JH, there is a great playground at the base of Snow King ske area. I do not know what month you'll be there but I took my daughter down the Alpine Slide and she had an absolute ball, however this is not for every child as you have to ride a chair lift up the mountain so you would have to judge for yourself based on your child's personality. There is also a great playground out at Teton Village at the bottom of the ski mountain. There is also a stable out there and when I was there last year I saw them giving rides to toddlers. You probably could not take them on a trail ride but you could at least have them "ride" with a wrangler holding the lead.

The float trip is not too rough but I don't know if there is an age minimum. It just might be a bit long but you know your child best and if he or she would enjoy it and stay put. There is a family style chuckwagon on the way to Teton Village that I have heard good things about.

As far as restaurants go the food in the park is pretty lousy. We had an amazing dinner in Gardiner one night and a pretty good dinner in Cooke City.
Jackson has some excellent restaurants, expensive as well, but I don't know what kind of food, atmosphere and price guide you are looking for.
odie1 is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 129
You have gotten some great advice. Another suggestion that I haven't seen mentioned is the Boiling Mud Pots.

Not to overdo the warnings, but please keep your two year old restrained in a stoller or in your grasp at ALL times. He/She will love the park but it can be dangerous for people of all ages. My 10 year old bought "Deaths in Yellowstone" on our trip last summer. The stories of children, pets and even adults wondering off the path are tragic.
mom2boys is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I'm not a huge fan of "leashes" for kids - but if I had a 2 year old at Yellowstone, he/she would have one on most of the time we got out of the car.

Saw the cutest ones at the Georgia Aquarium. They looked like furry stuffed animal backpacks - but the "tails" were the leashes held by the parent.

I complimented the little girl on her backpack and she was VERY proud of it.
starrsville is offline  
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