Moab is one of those places that is always fun to visit. With a few National Parks nearby, fun outdoor history hikes, and in-town entertainment there are plenty of fun things to do in Moab with kids.
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While Moab only has a population of just over 5,000 people, it draws in nearly 2 million visitors a year. Moab has intense mountain biking and extreme Jeep-ing (is that a word?), but I’m going to stick to some of the lesser adrenaline-infused activities for family-friendly activities in Moab.
Best Time to Go To Moab
If you’re going for great weather: March, April, and May will give you decent temperatures. Same as September, October, and November. The summer months can get hot quickly and reach into the 100’s. While the winter months are colder, it still stays in the 40’s or above on average.
If you are going to avoid crowds: As Moab is very popular for their Jeep trails, it can get very crowded during events around the year. Two big events include the Easter Jeep Safari (around the week of Easter, of course) and the Jeep Jamboree, which happens in late October. Moab can get very crowded during these events and hotels will be harder to find (and more expensive.)
If avoiding crowds is your number 1 goal, consider grabbing a coat and gloves and heading to Moab anytime from November to February.
Where to Stay in Moab
There are plenty of places to stay in Moab, but be aware that they fill up quickly as busy season approaches. Try and book your accommodations early to make sure you have a nice selection.
We recently stayed at Comfort Suites in Moab. The location was on the main street Highway 191, and just a couple blocks from shops and restaurants. We were able to book one room for all 6 of us (including a pull-out sofa) and it included breakfast.
The coolest-looking hotel we drove by was the Fairfield Inn & Suites. It’s really close to the entrance of Arches National Park (a short drive away from downtown Moab) and it looks amazing. The kids and adults will all love multiple pools and hot tubs, plus a gorgeous splash area beautifully hardscaped.
If you are bringing an RV, you can book Sun Outdoors, previously named the Moab Valley RV Resort and Campground. There are cool amenities like a pool, tetherball, a playground, life-size chess game and more.
>>>Even if you don’t have an RV, you can book little cabins at Sun Outdoors.<<<
Expedition Lodge is right off Main Street. It caught our eye because there’s a small outdoor pool that has a waterslide. (That’s all it took for my kids to ask to stay there next time!) It has high ratings and you can book a room with multiple beds or bunk beds so up to 8 people can all have an actual bed to sleep on!
For something a little more posh, but still very kid-friendly (pool, hot tub, and a fountain/splash pad area), check out Hyatt Place.
Fun Things to do in Moab with Kids
We only spent 2 full days in Moab, but we were able to pack a lot in. If you have longer, there’s plenty more you can do. Here were a few of our favorite things to do in Moab with kids:
Sand Dune Arch
1. Arches National Park
We used the entire first day to explore in Arches National Park. Arches National Park is perfect when you are traveling with kids to Moab. While there are some longer hikes, there are so many arches you can do that are just short hikes.
We spent the morning seeing the arches at the bottom-most loop (The Windows, Garden of Eden) and then had a packed lunch at Panorama Point. We used the rest of the day to discover the arches north of here.
My kids favorite was Sand Dune arch, where you hike through canyon walls in the sand!
2. Check out Fossils and Dinosaur Tracks in Moab at Mill Canyon
To get to the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Sites: go north of Moab 15 miles on highway 191. Turn left at the sign for Mill Canyon and continue on for 2 miles. Here you’ll have access to the tracksite. Continue on for access to the Fossil Trail.
When we visited, the Dinosaur Track trail was closed for maintenance. But the Fossil Trail was open and it was pretty cool!
The Tracksite is one of the largest tracksites from the early Cretaceous period in North America. It is home to over 200 tracks!
The Mill Canyon Dinosaur (Fossil) Trail will give you great views of Determination Towers, sandstone structures in the distance that are remnants from the Jurassic Age.
It will also, of course, exhibit many dinosaur fossils that are still embedded in the rock on the trail. The trail has signs along the way to help you spot the bones and explain what you’re looking at.
It was fun when the kids started finding the fossils on their own.
This Fossil Trail is fairly easy for little legs, but it is not stroller-friendly.
3. Discover More Dinosaurs at Moab Giants
To Get to Moab Giants: About 11 miles north of Moab off highway 191
Moab Giants is a great things to do in Moab with kids. It offers both an indoor and outdoor experience to get up close with prehistoric creatures.
The 1/2 mile trail outside shows you the full-size giants in a desert setting. Indoors, you’ll find a 5D theater experience with sea turtles, a Megalodon, and other sea creatures.
Check online if you’d like to purchase tickets the Moab Giants before hand.
Tip: They are closed on Wednesdays.
4. Check out Potash Road Dinosaur Tracks and Petroglyphs
To get to Potash Road Dino Tracks and Petroglyphs from downtown Moab: head north on highway 191 and turn left on 279 South. Stay on 279 about 6 miles and pull into the Poison Spider trail parking lot.
- Bonus: you’ll probably see lots of rock climbers as you drive through the canyon to get here. It’s really cool to watch people scaling the straight steep mountain wall right along the road.
- This is probably the hardest trail I’m including in this post, but it’s doable for kids and there were plenty of kids there when we went.
- To see both the Dinosaur Tracks and Petroglyphs, you’ll need to ascend a rocky, sometimes steep mountainside. You can see the top from the parking lot, it’s just a matter of getting up there.
- Pro Tip: watch for the green footprints and follow those for the easiest route up. The sign says to go right for the tracks, but the footprints take you up toward the top, too. Follow them as far as you need, and then split off to get to the top. We noticed them on the way down and it led us down an easier path.
- This trail in NOT stroller-friendly. Not even a little bit. I also wouldn’t take a toddler. Our youngest was 5 and did just fine. I wouldn’t take much younger than that unless they are ok with a little rock scrambling.
Once you make the somewhat-tricky climb up to the top, the first thing you’ll probably see are the dinosaur tracks in a large, flat, slab of rock. This was first discovered in the 1960’s. That’s a little later than many other tracks in the area. Why?
Well, the rock slab was actually higher up and part of the mountain for millions of years until one day it fell off, exposing the tracks that were embedded in it.
Continue hiking beyond to the top where a flat wall runs across the whole mountainside and you are sure to find many petroglyphs. Make sure to walk all the way down and around (take extra caution with the kids as you near the end of the mountain).
5. Pick a Prize at the Moab Rock Shop
To get to the Moab Rock Shop: It’s located right off the main road in Moab, slightly north of downtown.
This was a fun little stop in Moab for the kids. We spoke with the guy who rang us up and learned a little about the shop.
The Rock Shop has been around since the 60’s and is family run. Lin (grandpa of the guy we spoke to) had made a few discoveries of dinosaur bones and fossils. Along with huge knowledge of rocks and minerals, the Moab Rock Shop was set up to let the public come in and learn about rocks as well.
There are many sections, including native Utah rocks, a colorful assortment of gemstones, fossils, and plenty of nicely formed and polished rock decor.
We gave our kids a $5 limit to choose whatever they wanted. My youngest got a smooth, heart shaped rock; my son went straight for Obsidian, and the others picked out an assortment of rocks from the huge selection.
6. Take an Easy Hike at Moonflower Canyon
Moonflower Canyon was a really cool hike and is a great hike for kids in Moab. It felt a little like we were in another world when we got to the end.
Moonflower Canyon hike is under a mile, so totally dobale for kids (I would not recommend strollers).
The surface is a lot of soft sand, but is more firm/rock in other areas.
When we went, we crossed the dried up creek a few times back and forth. There seemed to be multiple trails you could follow. We hiked in on the right side and came back mostly on the opposite side of the creek.
I would say the left side (looking in from the parking lot) was a little easier.
Once you are at the end, you’ll come to a small pond with a gorgeous, rock background. It’s a dead end as you have now come to the red rock wall in front of you, and it’s a really cool feeling. You feel as if you’ve entered a great, spacious room full of color and beauty!
My kids really enjoyed this hike in Moab and I would strongly recommend it.
Tip: there are also petroglyphs at Moonflower Canyon. They are listed as “along the rock cliff, behind the wooden fence.” We couldn’t find them, but would love to hear if you do.
Mill Creek Canyon- bring water shoes!
Another great hike in Moab is Mill Creek Canyon. I would reserve this for older kids, as there are a few points where you have to walk through water (bring water shoes). The end is a cool waterfall and you’re able to cool off in the water. You may see people cliff jumping, but the city really urges people not to as there have been many injuries and rescues from this.
Old City Park
7. Play at One Moab’s Parks
Moab is not short on parks. You can find the perfect one whether you’re looking for playgrounds, disc golf, ponds with ducks, or space to run. Here are a few to choose from:
Old City Park– Old City Park is a few miles out of the downtown area. It has plenty of horseshoe set ups (BYO Horseshoes), a disc golf area, a covered (shaded) playground, a cute (fenced) pond with plenty of ducks, and even a little landscaped waterfall and small pond.
Swanny City Park– Located in downtown Moab. Swanny City Park has a few fun playgrounds, rec center, skate park, cool scenery, and plenty of Moab events are held here.
Rotary Park– This cool park in Moab features lots of musical instruments to play on. It also has volleyball, basketball, and a playground.
8. Enjoy the Evening at Moab’s Backyard Theater
To get to Moab’s Backyard Theater: Take Main Street to 100 S and turn west.
At Moab’s Backyard Theater, you’ll find a nice, casual vibe, making it the perfect way to spend an evening in Moab with the family.
Different shows are scheduled into this outdoor stage. A small but fun audience dances, watches, and cheers on performers.
Plus, there was a Mexican food truck right at the entrance. We had already eaten, but splurged on a cream-filled churro for everyone.
The Backyard Theater is free, but they do provide a jar for donations.
9. Everyone Picks Dinner at the Food Truck Park in Moab
At the southwest corner of Main St and 100 N, you’ll find the Moab Food Truck Park. This is the perfect option of where to eat in Moab for families because there are so many options that each person can pick from.
This was actually the only time we ate out our entire trip, as I pack most of our food to help save money.
The food truck Park has a variety of cuisine, like Mexican, Chinese, Paninis, Hot Dogs, and many more.
It also has a covered area filled with tables, making it a convenient place for everyone to choose their dish and then all sit down together.
10. Explore Town and Search for Street Murals
Walking downtown in Moab is pretty fun. You’ll pass plenty of places to stop in and eat, bakeries, ice cream, entertainment, and shops.
Plus, there are so many murals in Moab. They are beautiful, colorful, and fun to find! If you’ve got time to just spend relaxing, walk around town and see how many you can find. This makes one of the great, easy things for kids to do in Moab.
Bonus: Fill up at Matrimony Spring
While this may not take lots of time, it’s still a really cool stop.
If you’ve heard of fresh spring water in the mountain in Moab that you can drink, here it is.
Grab your reusable water bottles, then head east on highway 129. You won’t be on it long until you see a little pullover spot on the road. Park here and walk to the front part of the pullover. Look at the underside of the mountain where you’ll see water flowing out of the mountian. (There is a metal pan helping the flow so you can fill up.)
Matrimony Springs is safe to drink (I’ve done it many times over the past decade+ ). It’s a really cool feeling to be drinking fresh, clean water straight from the source.
Extra Activities in Moab for Families
Those were our favorite things to do in Moab, but if you have more time, be sure to check out these too!
- Hole ‘n the Rock– a 5,000 square-foot home made in rock! You can tour the home, visit the gift shop, and walk through the zoo.
- Try the Ropes Challenge Course with the family. Open to anyone ages 7+.
- Take a day to go whitewater rafting. Kids 8 and up can join in on these smaller class rapids, perfect for anyone’s first time.
- Take this family-friendly Beast Tour through some of Moab’s most popular and exciting off road, slick rock experiences. It’s 2 hours geared toward families.
- Older kids will enjoy the hike to Bowtie and Corona Arch. Both are not in the National Park. It’s about 2.5 miles roundtrip and includes a small section where you have to physically climb a rope/ladder, but not too bad otherwise for the older kids! Trailhead located off highway 279
Things to do in Moab with Kids
While Moab is known for it’s extreme biking and off-roading, there are actually so many things to do in Moab with kids! These kid-friendly activities will keep you busy all weekend (and beyond, if needed). I’d love to hear how you plan to spend your weekend in Moab!
Road Tripping? Check out Mesa Verde National Park just a couple hours away!