Of course you’ll hit Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks with the family on your vacation. Didn’t we all take that family vacation when we were kids? That was how I first came to Jackson, on a family road trip (from Maryland) to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Of course the kids will get sick of buffalo, bears, moose, elk, glaciers, craggy mountains, crystalline rivers, and hot water spouting from deep inside the earth. Of course you’ll want to have other activities ready. And of course you’ll want to suggest activities you’ll enjoy too, whether you’ll actually do them yourself (the alpine slide is tremendous fun) or enjoy watching the rest of the family get their downhill mountain biking on. FYI, at the bike park, there’s often a 13-year old Teton Village kid (who’s been riding the trails daily since they opened when he was nine) that shows up all the adults.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Bike Park
Chances are the kids will ride faster and catch more air than you—catching air isn’t a requirement though—on the six super-buffed, lift-accessed downhill trails at this bike park. Trails are rated like ski runs and rental gear—bikes, helmets, and body armor—to fit the entire family is available at the base.
JHMR Adventure Park
Opened in summer 2014, this massive, multi-level, multi-course ropes course at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has challenges as high as 32 feet above the ground. Its combinations of zip-lines, balance beams, and tight ropes are designed to challenge physically and mentally. The end requires a belay off one of two platforms.
Snow King Alpine Slide
More people ride Snow King’s alpine slide over three months in the summer than ski at the mountain all winter long. It’s not that the skiing sucks. The alpine slide—where you sit on a low cart set into a winding slide and control your speed with handbrakes—is just that fun. For all ages.
Jackson Hole Children’s Museum
Local and visiting parents love this downtown museum’s goal of inspiring creativity and innovation using the arts, sciences, design, local history, professions, discovery through play, and interactive exhibits. Kids love the ginormous indoor climber, interactive floor and ceiling gym, and the town market play area.
Elk Island Dinner (or Breakfast) Cruise
Have breakfast or dinner on a deserted island in the middle of Jackson Lake and under the shadow of Mt. Moran. Getting there requires a shortish motor boat ride from the protected Colter Bay Marina out into Jackson Lake, one of the deepest alpine lakes in the country.