fun to do kids united states america usa family travel   Travel for Kids

United States

The United States spans six time zones and climates from Alaskan glaciers to warm shores in California and Florida, plus high mountains, ancient volcanoes, cactus-covered deserts, tropical beaches and panoramic wide open spaces. And this physical landscape also encompasses wonderful cultural diversity, in cities such as Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City.

On Travel for Kids there's many choices for a family vacation in the United States and tons of "fun things to do with kids," from toddlers to teens. Planning a kid-friendly itinerary, remember this is a big country. Rather than spend your holiday getting from place to place, pick fewer destinations and leave time for unplanned excursions and spontaneous adventure.

  Washington, D.C.
San Francisco
Los Angeles - Disneyland
San Diego
  Arizona - Grand Canyon
  Wyoming - Yellowstone
Orlando - Disney World
    New York
New York City
    Tip: Taking the train is a wonderful way for kids to travel across the United States. Find out about train routes, long-distance and excursion trains, planning your travel itinerary with kids in mind, what to bring, and how to have a relaxing, fun trip: See America by train: Tips for a great ride
kids books united states america (usa)
The Scrambled States of America childrens books  

Kansas is bored, sitting in the middle of the country, so all the states switch places. Minnesota lakes visit the Grand Canyon, Alabama peanuts go hiking in Rocky Mountains, but Alaska is crowded by other states and waves are ruining Arizona's hairdo. Wisecracking states and humorous illustrations! (Picture book)


Brian Floca

Ride the rails in 1869, after the Transcontinental Railroad changed America. Wait in the station for the mighty steam locomotive, clanging, hissing, huffing, smell the smoke and hot metal, full steam ahead day and night, "westward, westward, rolls the train." Gorgeous illustrations capture the adventure of train travel across the United States. (Picture book)


locomotive brian floca
Looking at Lincoln kids united states  
Looking at Lincoln
Maira Kalman

A fresh, fun look at Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, whose portrait is on a five-dollar bill. He loved apples and vanilla cake, hated slavery, and when you visit the Lincoln Memorial, you can look into his beautiful eyes. Fabulously illustrated, this is a gem! (Picture book)


Babar's USA
Laurent de Brunhoff

Babar, Celeste and the family take a grand tour of the United States – sightseeing in New York City, hiking in the West, riding the cable cars in San Francisco, visiting the Grand Canyon, kayaking in Florida, standing at the Cloud Gate in Chicago, and more. (Picture book)


childrens books Babar's USA
John, Paul, George & Ben kids american revolution united states  

Never a dull moment when the Founding Fathers were kids – bold John Hancock, noisy Paul Revere, honest George Washington, clever Ben Franklin, and independent Thomas Jefferson. They wanted a revolution, and the rest is history. (Picture book)


American Revolution (Eyewitness Books)
Stuart Murray

A visual guide to the American Revolution – battles and leaders, soldiers, spies and traitors, battlefields and the home front, peace and birth of a nation. Rich, historical illustrations. (Picture book)


american revolution
Sophie's War united states historical fiction american revolution

Action-adventure based on historical events, it's 1776 and the British control New York City. Sophie Calderwood is recruited as a spy, and goes to work as a servant in a British household. After finding incriminating letters, she must stop the plot by Major John Andre and Benedict Arnold to betray the Americans. (Chapter book)


Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A - Z
Alan Schroeder, John O'Brien

"I am a strong believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." Ben Franklin wasn't just a Founding Father, he was an inventor, printer, international diplomat, writer, newspaper publisher, chess player, genial host, genius, and a very useful citizen. Delightfully illustrated! (Picture book)


Ben Franklin: His Wit And Wisdom from A - Z biography kids united states
Fight for Freedom civil war kids graphic novel united states  
Fight for Freedom
Stan Mack and Susan Champlin

High adventures of the Civil War, in a cartoon-style format. Sam is a young slave on a plantation, Anabelle is the wealthy daughter. As the war progresses, Sam escapes to look for his father, starts a school for slaves, and fights against the Confederates. Anabelle runs the plantation with the help of freed slaves, provides a hospital for sick and wounded of both armies, and becomes a crack shot. (Illustrated chapter book)



Araminta Ross was born a slave, her family was split up and sold, but with two names and a star to follow, she escaped to the North. She became Harriet Tubman, and returned to the South to lead slaves to freedom. Gripping adventure, peril and danger, Harriet worked as a scout, nurse, spy in the Civil War, and lived to a ripe old age. (Graphic novel)


the underground abductor
The Civil War for Kids  

Pictorial history of the Civil War – battles east and west, camp life, soldiers and generals, war timeline, plus 21 activities, make a quilt, create a code, berry ink, coffee can drum, homemade hardtack, and more. Wonderful historical photographs. (Chapter book)

Also, for younger kids, a story of the Civil War: Civil War Drummer Boy


Nurse, Soldier, Spy
Marissa Moss, John Hendrix

Fascinating true story of Sarah Edmonds, a nineteen year old woman who enlisted and fought in the Civil War – and she was disguised as a man. She learned to be a solider, nursed the wounded, and spied behind enemy lines! Spectacular illustrations. (Picture book)


kids civil war united states Nurse, Soldier, Spy
united states native americans kids books The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses  

Spooked by a thunderstorm, a young girl rides with the village horses. In the hidden hills, she meets the wild horses, led by a magnificent stallion, who welcomes her to live with them. A vibrant, spirited tale with bold illustrations, like Native American art. (Picture book)


Which Way to the Wild West?
Steve Sheinkin, Tim Robinson

Wild and wonderful adventures of America’s westward expansion – Indians, mountain men, pioneers, miners, cowboys, immigrants, filled with amazing tales of boom and bust (no one ever said life would be easy out west). Super illustrations, fresh stories, thoughtful insights with a light touch, this is fun for kids and parents alike. (Chapter book)


which way to the wild west
The Misadventures of Maude March - kids books USA  

Disguised as boys, sisters Sallie and Maude March ride west to Missouri, looking for their long-lost uncle. Newspapers report that Maude leads a gang of bank robbers, but it's just the two sisters, trying to avoid mountain lions, treacherous snows, and real desperados. A fun, wild west read. (Chapter book)


The People Could Fly
Virginia Hamilton, Leo and Diane Dillon

Glorious telling of an old folktale that African people could fly. Long ago in Africa, they say that people could soar like shining blackbirds in the sky. Enslaved and sent from Africa, their wings are lost, but an old man calls the magic, and "Say they flew away to Free-dom." Spellbinding illustrations. (Picture book)


the people could fly
united states kids biography The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)  
The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)
Barbara Kerley, Edwin Fortheringham

Absolutely charming biography of Mark Twain, seen through the eyes of his daughter Susy. Here's Mark Twain at home, writing by day and reading pages to his family at night, riding a balky donkey, making jokes and discussing deep questions. (Picture book)

For a chapter book biography: Who Was Mark Twain?


A Horn for Louis
Eric A. Kimmel, James Bernardin

Louis Armstrong was too poor to have a real trumpet, but he had a tin horn. And music was everywhere in the streets of New Orleans, jazz, blues, ragtime. This is the story of how Louis got his first real horn, when he was just a boy with a dream. (Easy reader)


A Horn for Louis music kids biography united states
Through Georgia's Eyes united states kids artist georgia okeefe  
Through Georgia's Eyes
Rachel Rodriquez, Julie Paschkis

Discover the wideness and wonder of deserts and canyons through the eyes of painter Georgia O'Keefe. Deep-colored cut paper collages capture the artist's imagination and amazing landscapes that inspired her work. (Picture book)


Baseball Is ...
Louise Borden, Raul Colon

"Baseball is our game ... the sport of America. Its stories are stitched through our nation's history." The teams, leagues, curveballs and fastballs, grand slams, stealing the bases, World Series, ball parks, baseball heroes, luminious illustrations take us to the game. (Picture book)


baseball is louise borden
united states kids books baseball Babe & Me
Babe & Me
Dan Gutman

With a spooky baseball card, young Joe travels back in time to 1932, where he meets Babe Ruth. It's the Depression, but food is cheap, it's game three of the World Series, and Babe Ruth is the home run king of baseball. (Chapter book)

More baseball card adventures: Jackie & Me



Explore our national parks, monuments and landmarks in all fifty states, from highest peak in North America to awesome deep canyons, petrified forests, gushing geyers,and volcanoes, plus fun facts about each park. (Illustrated chapter book)



Antelope, Bison, Cougar - kids books United States  
Antelope, Bison, Cougar
Steven P. Medley, Daniel San Souci

Wonderful introduction to United States wildlife. Twenty six different mammals, birds, and reptiles from antelope, to bison, javelinas, moose, nene (Hawaiian goose), bighorn sheep, and more. Fabulously illustrated with paintings of each wild animal in its natural habitat. (Picture book)


The Camping Trip That Changed America
Barb Rosenstock, Mordicai Gerstein

Ride with President Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir ("Teedie" and "Johnnie") through Yosemite, from the redwood groves to high in the mountains. Hiking on their own and sleeping outdoors, they talked about preserving the wildness for everyone, for generations to come. (Picture book)


The Camping Trip That Changed America childrens books
childrens books music united states Passing the Music Down  
Passing the Music Down
Sarah Sullivan

A young boy travels to Appalachia to learn to play the songs of an old fidddle player. Together they play "tunes as old as the mist and twisty as the roads." And one day the boy is grown, and he's passing the music down. (Picture book)


(More children's books on other United States pages)
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