7 Amazing Caves to Visit with Your Kids before They Grow up ...

I took my kids to a cave last summer and they loved it so much that now I’m on the hunt for more caves to visit with them. There’s something about going underground that appeals to kids of all ages and you can fascinate even the hardest to please child with a trip into the earth. A word of caution – I wouldn’t recommend just entering caves. Not all of them are safe. However, if you choose one that offers tours you can be sure your kids will not get hurt or trapped while they explore beneath the ground. Check out these caves to visit, but please add to the list if you know of others.

1. Cave of the Winds, Colorado

The Cave of the Winds is huge and is one of the most popular caves to visit! They offer several different tours at reasonable prices. The best one for kids is about an hour and is a walking tour. A guide will lead you through the main passages of the cave and point out different structures and growths inside. There are lights so your kids can see, but some parts of the tour are narrow. And even in the summer it’s cold, so don’t forget your sweatshirts. When you get done, check out the gift shop for a souvenir of your visit.

2. Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

This cave is actually made up of many rooms and passages. The most popular room in the cave is called the Icicle Room and is filled with rock formations hanging down from the ceiling. This cave also boasts a multitude of other rooms, some of which contain an underwater stream. Arrive at dusk in the summertime and you just might catch the bats flying around.

3. Ohio Caverns, Ohio

This cave offers two routes – one is a historical trail through the cave and the other is a more traditional trek. The cave is filled with awesome rock formations in many colors. This is a great cave for families because it caters to spelunkers of all skill levels. Above the ground is a huge park, where you can finish the day with a picnic and a walk through the trees.

4. Ape Caves, Washington

This cave was discovered by a local Boy Scout troop in the 1940s, so you know it has to be a good one. Because the cave is so close to Mount St. Helens, this cave features stalactites made from lava. The cave offers guided tours in the summertime, but is closed during poor weather conditions. Take your kids here so they can brag to their friends that they’ve been inside a lave tube!

5. Blanchard Springs Caverns, Arkansas

This cave is perfect for kids of all ages because all the paths are lighted. That means even the littlest guys can navigate through it safely. Keep your eyes open for wildlife and plants inside the cave. You might see things you won’t see anywhere else. In addition, there are plenty of natural rock formations that will take your breath away.

6. Jewel Cave, South Dakota

Jewel Cave is the second longest in the United States. There are lots of formations including draperies, frostwork, stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone. The cave is open year round, though it might get pretty uncomfortable during the winter. If you’re out to see some bats, this cave isn’t likely to disappoint. There are tons of unmapped areas of the cave, so you might be able to return again and again and see something new each time.

7. Meramec Caverns, Missouri

This cave gets its claim to fame as being a hideout for Jesse James. There is no need to make reservations and the caves are open most days of the year. This is the ideal cave for families because it’s easy to walk through and offers tons of cool things to see.

Do you like caves or do they make you nervous? Do you have one to add to the list?