23 Exciting Things To Do In Moab With Kids

Need an unforgettable family adventure this year? Moab is the adventure capitol of Utah and there is no shortage of exciting things to do.

With endless natural wonders, Moab is a unique and perfect place to explore with kids where they can run wild and really feel free. From amazing hikes in breathtaking red rock canyons to swimming through desert rivers, you’ll find something new every day. Plus, with all the kid-friendly activities available in Moab, you’ll never run out of fun things to do.

What to do in Moab With Kids??

As Utah locals, we find ourselves in Moab several times a year. Whether it’s to take the kids on some epic mountain bike rides, explore a secluded canyon or adventure into the backcountry of Canyonlands and Arches, Moab has become our family’s playground. It’s the place we head to for both a quick weekend adventure and for a week to relax and reset. We started taking our kids to Moab when our older kids were just toddlers, and now that they’re teens, we’ve been to Moab more times than I can count. Our kids now range from 6-16 so we’ve experienced just about everything Moab has to offer!

Here, we’re sharing our top suggestions for the best things to do in Moab with kids. And since we know that not everyone has the luxury of having too much outdoor gear (we really do have a problem), you’ll find links to tours that you can take so that you can have the same adventure experiences that we have, without having to figure out all the logistics and gear.

Learn to Mountain Bike on Slickrock

Mountain biking in Moab is absolutely legendary! Even if you’re not a pro and doing extreme trails, there’s somewhere to bike in Moab for you. We’ve written all about our favorite Moab bike trails for kids, but if you really want to try something new, learn to mountain bike on Slickrock. While Slickrock is the name of a famous and very challenging bike trail, Slickrock also refers to the sandstone formations found in the area, which have a smooth and polished surface that offers excellent traction for mountain bikes. Learning to bike on it will take some practice, but once you figure it out, it feels incredible.

Check out all of our top recommendations for biking in Moab with kids. If you’re not quite sure where to get started or can’t bring your own bikes, consider this bike tour to one of our favorite areas to bike in Moab with kids.

biking moab with kids

Discover Dinosaur Tracks and Fossils at Mill Canyon

Best For: All Ages

The main attraction at Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite is, of course, the dinosaur tracks themselves. These tracks were made by a variety of dinosaurs, including both large carnivores as well as plant eating dinosaurs. The tracks are well-preserved and clearly visible on the rock surface. To get to the Mill Canyon dinosaur tracksite, you’ll go north of Moab about 16 miles to the start of the trail.

Make sure that while you’re there, you walk along the interpretive trail and read the signs. The interpretive trail that leads visitors through the site and provides information about the dinosaurs that once roamed the area. The trail is easy to follow and features interpretive signs that explain the significance of the tracks and the geology of the area.

While you’re there, consider a stop at the Moab Giants Musem on your way back into town.

Go Hiking in Arches National Park

Best For: All Ages

It would be impossible for me to say enough good things about hiking with kids in Arches National Park. In fact, I love it so much that I wrote all about our 13 favorite Arches National Park hikes for kids. Yes, the obsession is REAL! While hiking at Arches has become a bit more complicated in recent years, with the implementation of the timed entry reservations, it’s worth jumping through a few hoops or getting up before sunrise.

If you can’t get into arches, here are a few more of our favorite Moab hikes for kids that don’t require going into a national park.

Looking for more things to do in Moab? Check out our favorite Moab parks and playgrounds.

Go for A Rafting Float Trip Down The Colorado River

Best For: All Ages

Growing up rafting on the Colorado River, this trip has a special place in my heart. Known by locals as the Moab Daily, this Moab float trip is perfect for families. The section is rated a Class I-II which means that the water is fast moving and there are some rapids, but it’s nothing that should give you a heart attack. We love this Moab river trip for hot summer days where the only thing you can do during the middle of the day is to be in the water or be inside int he air conditioning (basically every day from June-August in Moab). Book your Moab float trip here.

Whitewater Rafting Down Westwater Canyon

Best For: Ages 8-older

Want to go on a river trip that’s FULL of action and adventure? You’ll want to spend the full day on rafting Westwater Canyon with kids. Our teens are OBSESSED with this rafting trip and always talk about the time they fell in (which made an incredible memory). Read our full guide to rafting Westwater Canyon here.

Rated a Class III-IV you’ll find huge rapids, churning water features, you’ll be soaked from head to toe (which feels great when it’s 100+ degrees outside). This river trip will get your adrenaline pumping and is one of the top Moab adventure experiences you can have. Book your Westwater rafting trip here.

If you want an even more extreme whitewater rafting trip, consider taking a 5-day-whitewater trip down Cataract Canyon! It’s so incredible it’s often compared to The Grand Canyon.

If you are looking for a more relaxed trip try a multi-day trip down Ruby Horsethief. It is the perfect trip for families and those that are new to rafting.

rafting westwater wtih kids

See the Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock

Best For: All Ages

Newspaper Rock is a fascinating historical site located near the entrance of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. It is a large rock panel covered with petroglyphs, or rock carvings, that were created by Native Americans over the course of several thousand years. The carvings depict a variety of animals, humans, and other figures, as well as geometric designs and abstract symbols. Some of the carvings are thought to be over 2,000 years old, providing a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the region’s indigenous peoples.

Learn to Rock Climb

Best For: Ages 6+

When you’re surrounded by giant rock walls everywhere you go, going rock climbing is one of the most fun things to do. While Lyons Park is a great introduction to rock climbing with kids in Moab, to really learn what to do, you’ll want to take a rock climbing course to safely learn the sport. This half day rock climbing class will teach you the basics and get you some practical experience out on the rock. If you already know how to climb, but aren’t bringing all your climbing gear, the guides will outfit you and help you improve your skills on your climbing trip.

Go On A Canyoneering Expedition

Best For: Ages 8+

My husband grew up doing so many of the canyoneering routes around Moab, and now it’s become one of our favorite things to do with kids in Moab. It’s part rock climbing, part rappelling, and a little bit of hiking. Best of all, our canyoneering trips always take us to some of the most beautiful and secluded places the desert has to offer, since most of them are through Moab area slot canyons.

If you want to have the same experience with your family, take this trip down to Morning Glory Arch.

Watch the Sunset at The Needles Overlook

Best For: All Ages

One of our favorite things about Moab are the viewpoints. While we always encourage getting out on the trail and EXPERIENCING the area, sometimes, slowing down with an incredible view is just as amazing. The Needles Overlook is one of our favorites and the kids all love hanging out there. It’s not inside of Canyonlands, but it does overlook Canyonlands Needles District. The view is so good, it’s hard to believe it’s actually real!

To get the kids to hold still and soak in the scenery, we almost always bring a picnic dinner along with some snacks that the kids can slowly munch on like grapes or popcorn as the sun starts to set. The sun does go down pretty late in the summer, so we usually have the kids change into their PJ’s before getting back into the car, since they almost always fall asleep on our drive back to Moab.

Watch the Sunrise from Mesa Arch in Canyonlands

Best For: All Ages

Can you tell that we’re obsessed with the sun hitting the different features in Canyonlands? While the Needles overlook is south of Moab, to watch the sunrise from Mesa Arch, you’ll head north to Island In The Sky (Canyonlands National Park is MASSIVE).

The Mesa Arch Trail is short and sweet at just 0.7 miles for the whole loop. It’s easy enough for kids of all ages, and the views from the arch are incredible. Sunrise from Mesa Arch is warm in the summer but for the rest of the year, you’ll want to bundle up that early in the morning. The short hike will warm you up a bit, but once you get to the arch, take some time to slow down and watch as the sun hits Canyonlands below. From Mesa Arch at Island in the Sky, you can look below to see more canyons than you can imagine as well as the incredible White Rim Trail.

We recommend hitting up the grocery store the night before for some fruit or pastries to eat, or brining along a Jetboil so you can make instant oatmeal cups on a cold day.

mesa arch canyonlands

Walk along the Edge Of a Cliff at Deadhorse Point

Best For: All Ages

Deadhorse point is one of the best local secrets around. Since it’s a Utah State Park and not a National Park, it’s often overlooked, but it’s absolutely amazing. The trails here don’t offer as much depth for older kids, but the scenery is incredible and it’s a great place to take younger kids.

One of our favorite things to do when we visit with kids is walk along the edge of the cliff at Deadhorse Point. The pictures will make it look like a scary dropoff of thousands of feet, but it’s not as extreme as the photos make it look.

Head to either the Dead Horse Point Overlook or Meander overlook and walk along the west edge of the cliffs facing the Schaffer trail to get these shots!

Explore Canyonlands by 4×4

Best For: All Ages

One of the best things that we ever did in Moab with kids was taking our kids on a 4×4 trip through Canyonlands. Most people are completely unaware of how big Canyonlands is and that a majority of it can only be accessed through some extreme 4×4 driving or with long backcountry hiking. Permits are required for most of the 4×4 routes (and extensive experience), or you can simply take a guided tour. There are several companies that offer 4×4 tours of Canyonlands, but the best go to the Needles District. It’s one of our favorite places on earth and the scenery is unlike anything else we’ve seen. This tour hits all the highlights of Elephant Hill Chesler Park, and Devils Kitchen and is our top recommended Canyonlands 4×4 tour.

Play On Moab’s Giant Sand Hill

Best For: All Ages

Directly west of the Arches entrance station, you’ll see a massive sand hill on the side of the road. It’s one of the best free things to do in Moab with kids. Park at the bottom and let the kids go absolutely CRAZY. They can run, jump and roll down the hills for hours. We often bring saucer sleds or sheets of cardboard for the kids to sled down on. During the summer the sand gets super hot, so avoid going in the middle of the day.

Pro Tip: before you let the kids get back in the car, make then take their shoes and socks off, shake their hair out, empty their pockets, and give them a GOOD PAT DOWN. You’ll still find sand in the car after, but this goes a long way to minimize the amount of sand you take home with you.

moab sand hill
Pictures don’t capture how truly steep this sand hill is

Take a Day Trip To Goblin Valley

Best For: All Ages

At about an hour away, Goblin Valley is the best day trip with kids from Moab. It’s seriously the most fun place to explore and it’s another place we try to visit every year. Here kids (and adults) can climb all over hoodoos, explore canyons, discover hidden caves, and really just let loose and have fun. Unlike the National Parks that are packed with regulations and restrictions on where you can go and what you’re allowed to do, Goblin Valley gives you so much freedom to explore and climb around. We took our kids canyoneering there and did a 70 foot rappel into the Goblins Lair a couple of years ago and they’re still talking about it. You can do the same thing with this Goblin Valley Canyoneering Trip.

canyoneering goblin valley
goblin valley with kids

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Learn to 4×4 Drive in Moab

Best For: Ages 5+

One of the most popular things to do in Moab (literally right outside of town), so to go for a 4×4 ride. Even if you’re not an experienced 4×4 driver, this guided tour will TEACH you how to drive on the areas famous slick rock. These tours will have you climbing over rocks and obstacles that you never would have imaged were possible by a vehicle. It’s a thrilling blast! Obviously, this is a family activity – you have to be at least 18 to drive, but the kids will have just as much fun in the backseat as mom and dad are having as the drivers! Book your Moab 4×4 Driving trip here.

Get A Shake At Moab Diner

Best For: All ages

The Moab Diner may just be the most popular place to eat in Moab. It’s so popular in fact that we’d avoid it from 5pm-7pm and skip it altogether on a Saturday night. Outside of that, it’s our favorite place to grab a shake in all of Moab. Actually, it’s our favorite spot to get a burger, shake, and fries as well!

Swim at the Moab Aquatic Center

Best For: All Ages

If you’re visiting Moab during the summer, the only place you should be between 10am and 4pm is inside or in the water. That makes the Moab Aquatic Center the perfect place to visit on a hot day. The indoor pool has 6 lap lanes, a giant slide, as well as a diving board and a high dive.

The outdoor pool has a 3 lane lap pool, a lazy river and a few other play areas. For Nonresidents, the pool costs $6 for kids under 18 and $12 for adults or $36 for a family of 6.

Rock Climb at Lyons Park

Best For: Ages 2+

If you’re raising little adventurers, this is the park to play at. Lyons park not only has a trailhead for the Colorado River paved bike trail (it’s easy and perfect for kids), but it has a fun little park at it too. You’ll find a huge covered picnic pavillion, nice restrooms and spigots to refill your water. The best part about it is the large rock climbing wall. It’s fantastic for teaching your kids how to climb or letting them improve their bouldering skills.

Make Music at Rotory Park

Best For: All Ages

Rotory Park in Moab not only has a large playground and plenty of shade, but it also has an incredibly fun music area. Here you’ll find oversized instruments of all shapes and sizes and the kids can just go wild. Whether they’re banging on the drums, playing the xylophone, or tapping on the chimes, your kids will be grooving in no time. If you’re looking for a park where the kids can just run wild for a bit and get some wiggles out, Rotary Park is our top pick.

Read: Best Moab Parks and Playgrounds

Cool Down In The Water at Mill Creek

Best For: All Ages

The Mill Creek Trail is a popular hike near Moab and it’s one of the only hikes that has water involved. It’s perfect for days that are warm, but not scorching hot!

From the parking lot, head east on the trail. Pass the waterfall dam, but KEEP GOING! This is not the spot to swim. You’ll head down some slickrock and then be into the canyon. Follow the trail through the Cottonwoods until you reach the junction where the 2 creeks combine. From here you’ll follow the North Fork. You can cross the river and keep going up the other side, or you can just walk in the water if the current isn’t too strong. We recommend kids wear adventure sandals on this hike so they can have fun hiking in the water.

From the parking lot, head east on the obvious trail. After passing the beautiful dam waterfall near the start, you’ll hike over a side-sloping slickrock that can be slippery, especially if wet. After this, you’ll be in the canyon proper.

Hike a little bit further through some trees and you’ll end up at a pool with a waterfall. This is the best Moab swimming hole with kids, and it can be very popular on hot days in Moab. s of trees you can either work your way to the pool below the waterfall, or head above the waterfall to continue on the trail (or jump into the lower pool from above). To do this, the trail heads left up a slickrock slab. Hike carefully here and you’ll find yourself atop the waterfall.

Read: Best hikes with kids in Moab

Visit the Moab Farmers Market

Best For: All Ages

The Moab Farmers Market is one of the best ways to soak up some local fare and takes place every Thursday between May and October from 5-8pm at Swanny Park. It’s a great place to pick up some local produce or some unique artwork. Our favorite thing about it is the food vendors and the music going on. You should plan on grabbing dinner here and staying for a while to let the kids play and the park and for you to take some time to meet the locals.

Stand Up Paddleboarding on the Colorado River

Best For: Ages 6+

Do you love Stand Up Paddleboarding? Give it a shot on the Colorado River. The Colorado River near Moab is generally very calm and is a great place to learn to paddleboard on moving water. In fact, it will probably be easier for the kids than for the adults. If you’re not up for bringing SUP’s for the whole family, take this Stand Up Paddleboard tour where they’ll teach you how to paddleboard on the river and guide you on where to go. This is a great alternative to a rafting float trip on the Colorado.

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