Want to go whitewater rafting with little kids? Any sane person’s natural, knee-jerk response would be “NO!”. And of course it would be, it’s hard enough getting them to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, or even brush their teeth . . . so why on earth would you want to take them down the river in a boat full of people that is purposely seeking out the waviest route possible? We are here to let you know that not only will it be safe and engaging for your little ones, it’ll be fun and relaxing for you too! Here are five tips for whitewater rafting with little kids.

Select the trip that’s right for YOU!

When selecting your adventure with Whitewater Rafting LLC in Glenwood Springs, you’ll notice there are several different options. For a fun day in the sun with little guys, we recommend either the Short-and-Mild one and a half hour trip, or our three hour Half Day—depending on ages, experience, and what everyone is feeling up to that day. Both trips are a blast and will take you through the beautiful Glenwood Canyon, the difference is that that Short-and-Mild trip is specially designed for younger kids who want to check out rafting for the first time or who are maybe a little nervous. The Half Day is our most popular trip, and is perfectly suitable for a lot of kids who are interested in a longer excursion and some more moderate, wavy water.

Food and Water

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hangry. You’re in the boat, everyone’s having a good time, splish splash, and then suddenly—you see that look in your kid’s eye . . . you know what’s coming . . . they’re hungry. Que Jaws theme music. Luckily you came prepared, with Snickers and Cliff bars stuffed in the pockets of your life jacket, but did you remember water? With average summer temps in the 80s; physical exertion while you row; and clear, sunny skies, it’s paramount that you and your kiddos stay hydrated throughout your adventure. But you knew that, so you threw a few water bottles in the boat. Crisis averted.

Sunscreen/Sun Protection

“Too much sun is no fun!” We all love the sunshine, and that warm feeling of it on our skin, but we’ve all crossed that line between just enough and too much sun. Lather up with a high SPF before your trip, and give it some time to soak in. Along the same lines, if you want to take your sun protection game to the next level and earn 1,000 sun protection bonus points, throw on a sun shirt, sunglasses, and a hat. You’ll be thanking yourself when you and your kids wake up the next morning without achy sunburns and sticky, aloe vera skin.

Teamwork Attitude!

We all know it when we see it, on the court, on the field, it makes the dream work: teamwork. One of the best parts of rafting is that everyone on board is a valuable member of the team. And while we hire only the best, certified, experienced guides, they depend on their crew to be the motor of the boat. Before your trip launches, you will be given a comprehensive safety speech, in which everyone will be taught the paddling commands. By the time you sit in your boat, you will be totally prepared to power it down the river. As your guide calls out different commands, he or she will be expecting everyone in the boat—even the little guys—to execute that demand. A teamwork-driven attitude will keep everyone happy and engaged throughout the trip!

Be in the moment

And finally, ENJOY! You will be creating life-long memories with your kids, don’t forget to soak it all in! Part of the beauty of being on the river is completely unplugging and having fun, so feel free to leave your phones and cameras safely at the Whitewater headquarters. We have an on-staff photographer who will ride along your route and take tons of great photos of your trip from all of the best spots along the way. This allows you to be as present as possible throughout your adventure and not miss a single minute!

There you have it, now you’re a pro and ready to fearlessly hit the river with little kids in tow. Contact Whitewater LLC in Glenwood Springs to bring your adventure to life, and pack your snacks and sunscreen, we’ll see you soon!

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