7-Day Anchorage, Talketna & Denali for Families with Kids Under 5

7 Days


May - September



Why This Trip?

Embark on an Alaskan adventure designed for families with young children. This itinerary begins in Anchorage, offering enriching experiences like visiting the Alaska Zoo and the Imaginarium Discovery Center. Travel through the scenic landscapes of Palmer and Talkeetna, where interactive farm tours and nature walks await. Explore Denali National Park with its engaging visitor center and family-friendly hikes. Conclude your trip with more activities in Anchorage.


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Day 1


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Welcome to Anchorage! Start your Alaskan adventure with a visit to the Alaska Zoo. This zoo is home to a variety of animals native to Alaska and other parts of the world, making it a great place for young children to see animals up close and learn about wildlife. Afterward, head to the Imaginarium Discovery Center at the Anchorage Museum. This hands-on science center features interactive exhibits that allow kids to explore and learn about science in a fun and engaging way. End your day with a relaxing stroll through the Alaska Botanical Garden, where you can explore trails and a variety of plants, providing a peaceful and educational outing for your little ones.

Photo: Alaska Botanical Garden

Day 2

Anchorage to Palmer to Talkeetna

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Begin your day with a scenic drive to Palmer. Your first stop is the Musk Ox Farm, where you can take a 45-minute guided walking tour to see over 70 musk oxen and perhaps even some calves. The educational staff will provide fascinating information about these unique creatures. Or, visit the Reindeer Farm for a one-hour tour where you can get up close with reindeer, rub a reindeer, or even feed a moose. After your farm adventures, continue your journey with an hour and 40 minute drive to Talkeetna. Once you arrive, take a leisurely walk to Talkeetna Riverfront Park, where everyone can enjoy the scenic views of the river and of Mt. Denali on a clear day.

Photo: Reindeer Farm in Palmer

Day 3


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Spend the day exploring the charming town of Talkeetna. Start with a visit to the Talkeetna Wild Woods Park, an amazing playground full of Alaska-themed equipment like the Alaska Railroad and a bush plane. After some playtime, consider taking a family-friendly flightseeing tour. These shorter flights can be exciting for young children and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. In the afternoon, enjoy a nature walk at Talkeetna Lakes Park, where you can explore short, easy trails and let the kids discover the beauty of nature.

Photo: Talkeetna Air Taxi Flightseeing

Day 4

Talkeetna to Denali

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Today, embark on a 3-hour scenic drive to Denali National Park. Upon arrival, visit the Denali Visitor Center. This is a great starting point with exhibits that are engaging for children. Kids can participate in the Junior Ranger Program, which involves completing a series of activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge. In the afternoon, take a short hike on the McKinley Station Trail, a relatively easy trail that offers a chance to explore the natural surroundings without too much exertion.

Photo: Denali NPS Junior Ranger Program

Day 5


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Start your day with a visit to the Murie Science and Learning Center, which offers hands-on exhibits and activities that can captivate young minds. Later, enjoy a family-friendly hike on the Horseshoe Lake Trail. This 2-mile round trip hike offers beautiful views of the lake and potential wildlife sightings. In the afternoon, don't miss the free sled dog demonstrations offered by the park. Kids can see the dogs up close and learn about their important role in the park. Or rent a bike from Denali Bike Tours to explore local trails. Bike trailers are available for smaller kids.

Photo: Denali Horseshoe Lake Trail

Day 6

Denali to Anchorage

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After breakfast, begin your 5-hour drive back to Anchorage. Once you arrive, spend some time at the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. This scenic trail is great for a family walk or bike ride, offering beautiful views of the coastline and is stroller-friendly. You can rent bike trailers from local outfitters if needed. Or, unwind at one of Anchorage's many playgrounds and parks, such as the Valley of the Moon Park or the Polar Bear Playground in Russian Jack Springs Park.

Photo: Coastal Trail

Day 7


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On your final day in Anchorage, head to Potter Marsh, situated at the edge of town overlooking Turnagain Arm. It’s an easily accessible wildlife viewing spot with 1500 feet of family friendly boardwalk. Look for migrating birds, salmon swimming under the boardwalks, and the occasional moose out in the marsh. Then stop into one of the Anchorage Public Library locations for a storytime session, which many branches offer for young children. End your Alaskan adventure with a relaxing afternoon at one of Anchorage's beautiful parks or playgrounds, allowing the kids to play and explore before heading home.

Photo: Potter Marsh Boardwalk