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  1. Default moving kids from chicago to seattle- making fun roadtrip

    We are moving to Seattle from Chicago and my husband is already working. Want to drive out with our two kids (11 and 13) and our dog- (primary reason is we don't want to fly our dog). so I was hoping to make this an adventure and stop at fun places along the way. Hoping for some suggestions of where to stop and where to stay.

    Thanks in advance - any advice/thoughts is welcomed and appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Two Big Questions

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Two things anyone would need to know before they can offer you any meaningful assistance: How much time do you have for the drive? and What are your children interested in?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    One more big question in additions to Buck's: When will this trip take place.

  4. #4


    One thing I am most excited for on my trip is the Black Hills Badlands (South Dakota)! It is supposed to be absolutely b-e-a-utiful!!

  5. #5

    Default Black Hills and Badlands, a South Dakota two-fer

    Hello M&M,

    The Badlands are in the high plains to the east of the mountain range known as the Black Hills, so you have two distinct but neighboring areas to visit.

    The previous reply as to (generally) when this trip is to take place is asked due to the late arrival of Spring and Summer in the higher elevations. Some more specific recommendations as to route can be made if you can offer some info as to when you contemplate making this trip.


  6. Default

    We have unlimited time and they are not too keen on the idea of the drive- I keep telling them we will be making memories. I think they would love Yellow stone and Mount Rushmore and I would like to stop and take them white water rafting.

  7. Default

    In middle of June

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Trick Then

    You'll need to get your kids a bit motivated if they're to have the great adventure that you envision rather than the endless sitting that they're dreading. You can start by setting an understanding that you'll never be more than a couple of hours between fun stops, then ask them where they'd like to stop on the trip. Show them the general route you have in mind on a map and encourage them to do a little research on what's in the area you'll be driving through, and if something piques their interest and they're willing to do a little research (directions, hours, admission fees, things to do while there) then go there and have them be your guide for that attraction. Point them to the Junior Ranger Program for the National Parks, and if it looks like you're going to be stopping at four or more sign up for an annual parks pass.

    June is a great time to be on the road in the upper plains and northern Rockies. Nights may still be a bit nippy, but daytimes will be perfect for outdoor activities. Unfortunately, this is true for everyone and the major parks such as Yellowstone will be packed, so be sure to make use of the many, many other treasures in the National Parks System, including Monuments, Historic Sites, and Battlefields. There are also a host of other possibilities in every state. If your children have some particular interests, we could probably point out a few specific spots once you've worked out a general route with them.


  9. #9

    Default Well all righty, then.....mid-June it is.


    Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Glacier NPs are all within striking distance of the direct Chicago-Seattle route. AZ Buck is of course dead right about crowds, but there's nothing which can be done about it except to plan ahead. Here are some suggestions:

    After visiting Badlands, the Black Hills, and perhaps Devil's Tower, get back up to I-90 and travel to Red Lodge, MT, on US 212 west of Billings and just south of I-90. Red Lodge is a fun town for kids with much in the way of ice cream and candy shops and other attractions. Drive the Beartooth Highway (US 212) out of Red Lodge to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone NP. The Beartooth Highway is about as memorable of a drive as there is. Spend whatever time you'd like to in Yellowstone and be advised of the fact that West Yellowstone, MT has many nice motels and is also full of shops fun for the kids.

    After Yellowstone you can dip south to the Tetons, and there are lots of outfitters offering rafting trips on the Snake River near Jackson, WY on the south end of the Tetons.

    Leaving either Yellowstone or the Tetons, I'd work over to I-15 in ID and cross back into MT. At Dillon, I'd go northwest on MT 278 to Wisdom, thence MT 43 to Lost Trail Pass where you pick up US 93. At Wisdom is the Big Hole National Battlefield, an important history lesson for the kids. US 93 north takes you through the Bitterroot Valley to Missoula where you pick I-90 up again.

    Staying on US 93 north of Missoula takes you to Glacier NP, where Going To The Sun Road is the signature drive, and where the kids can play on the snowfield at Logan Pass. There may be several feet of snow still there in mid to late June. There are whitewater rafting outfitters in the Kalispell and Whitefish areas, too.


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