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Best Trips For Families With Kids

Adventure traveling with children can be both a rewarding experience and a challenging endeavor. It is a great way for kids to see the world and dabble in new skills they may look back on as life defining moments. But uncertainty about their ability and worry for their safety can make for stressful decisions when contemplating what activities you should and should not allow your children to partake in.

We at Sunny Cove think paddling is a great experience for kids! I still remember my uncle teaching me to kayak in the waters of Lake Michigan as a kid and here I am today many years later working as a professional sea kayak guide in Alaska. For most trips, we welcome any children who are at least eight years old. All our kayaks are tandem boats and any child under 16 will sit in front while an adult will be seated in the stern seat steering the kayak. The following trips would be my top three most recommended trips for kids…

Tonsina Point Kayak & Exploration: Chill is the best way to describe this trip. Over six hours, you will cover approximately four miles of paddling with multiple stops along the shoreline to explore waterfalls, ghost forests, salmon streams and an old growth temperate rainforest. Kids can have a blast skipping rocks, picking blueberries and playing in mud. This trip includes a picnic lunch and is in a great area to spot bald eagles, harbor seals and sea otters along the shore. By far the most family friendly trip we offer.

A great lunch spot on Tonsina on a sunny day near some trees from a ghost forest

A great lunch spot on Tonsina on a sunny day near some trees from a ghost forest

Fox Island Morning Kayak & Afternoon Cruise Combo: This trip is great for kids because it keeps them engaged in different ways. After a short trip by boat to Fox Island, your family will embark on a three hour paddle along the shores of Fox Island. In addition to the wildlife you can see at Tonsina, Fox Island is the home to nesting puffins and the feeding grounds of humpback whales. Orcas occasionally swim up to the island and rub their bellies on the beach you launch your kayak from. After paddling, you are treated to a prime rib and salmon buffet on the island before boarding a vessel operated by Kenai Fjords Tours which will spend the next few hours traveling through Resurrection Bay looking for wildlife. It is a full day adventure that offers different ways to engage your children.

A beautiful waterfall in Halibut Cove of Fox  Island

A beautiful waterfall in Halibut Cove of Fox Island

Resurrection Bay Tour (8am): While the other two options can engage your kids for the better part of the day, our most basic beginner trip is our three hour Resurrection Bay Tour. This is a great option to introduce your child to the concept of kayaking. Mornings are typically the calmer part of the day in Seward and so our 8-11am trip is ideal not just for kids, but any novice or new kayakers looking to enjoy their experience without dealing with the winds and waves that occasionally pick up in the afternoon. Wildlife viewing is easier in calmer waters and this trip follows a similar paddle route as the Tonsina Point Kayak & Exploration trip. Stopping to see the salmon run up Tonsina Creek starting mid July is a great learning experience for kids to see the circle of life happening up close.

High tide paddle up Tonsina Creek

High tide paddle up Tonsina Creek

If you have kids and think they may enjoy one of these adventures, we hope you consider bringing them along for an experience that will be rewarding, educational, fun and maybe even life changing. I know it was for me. Our office staff will be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about bringing your child kayaking with you. We hope to see your family on the water!

~ Danny