Kid jumping off a raft onto the river bank on the Green River through Gates of Lodore.

Family Adventures

Graphic: The Complete Guide to Planning a Multi-day Family Rafting trip

Ready to Plan an Unforgettable Family Rafting Vacation?

Download a free copy of our Family Rafting Guide, curated by OARS parents who know first-hand what it takes to make family vacation magic happen.

Family Rafting Guide Request

FAMILY-FRIENDLY VACATIONS

OARS has been perfecting family adventures since 1969. We understand you want your kids to have the time of their lives. You also want to be able to kick back, relax and soak in every smile, laugh and special moment the trip throws your way. After all, it won’t be long before your kids are all grown up and out on their own adventures.

On our family-friendly rafting vacations, not only will you be creating meaningful and joyful memories that will last a lifetime, you can count on rediscovering that adventurous, easy-going parent inside of you—the one who only comes out to play when somebody else is shouldering the work and sweating all the details. 

We promise a multi-day rafting trip with OARS is just the hassle-free family vacation you’ve been looking for. Now, you just have to decide which trip is right for your family. Maybe it’s rafting the Main Salmon River in Idaho, floating with the littles on Utah’s Flaming Gorge or exploring the Pacific Northwest on a Wild & Scenic Rogue River rafting trip. Whatever your family vacation interests are, we know you’ll find it here.

“We took our teenagers. 5 days. What a hugely positive experience. By the end of the trip, the 12-year-old was setting up and tearing down his own camp without being asked. If you’re a parent you can appreciate this. The guides were amazing–Educated, certified, prepared, and hilarious. There is simply no other trip like this.” —Scottydibe, Tripadvisor

Family RAFTING Vacations

Landscape view of the Yampa River in Utah.
Special

Yampa River Rafting

4 or 5 Days 4.92 (53)

Location: Colorado & Utah
Adventure Level: Moderately Challenging
Minimum Age: 7 (10 – 12 during high water)

INTERNATIONAL Family Adventure VACATIONs

Looking for an exciting, cultural experience beyond the Lower 48? Many of our international adventures, from zip-lining and rafting through Costa Rica’s rainforests to exploring Machu Picchu and the ancient land of the Incas, are kid-friendly, too!

A woman high up on a rocky mountainside overlooks the ocean below as cacti jut out of the rocks around her.

Baja Sampler

8 Days

Location: Baja, Mexico
Adventure Level: Easier to Moderate
Minimum Age: 8 (or younger based on abilities)

A woman in a Peruvian poncho stands on a vista overlooking forrested and snow-capped mountains.
Special

Inca Trail Trekking

5 Days 5 (3)

Location: Machu Picchu, Peru
Adventure Level: Challenging
Minimum Age: 12

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions?

Why choose OARS for a family adventure vacation?

Every year, more than 1,000 families trust OARS with their vacation. As family travel experts, we have more than 50 years of experience leading guests of all ages and abilities to some of the most naturally alluring and vibrant locations on the planet. 

With that level of expertise, we are proud to set industry standards for everything from training and safety protocols to environmental stewardship and sustainable travel. Yet, you’ll still get the kind of personal service from our team that can only come from a second generation, family-owned and -operated business with guides and staff who have been with us for decades

What can families expect on a multi-day river trip with OARS?

On any river trip with OARS, you can expect a high standard of customer service, top-notch equipment, delicious meals, and some of the best guides in the industry providing you with a trip of a lifetime. OARS family-friendly rafting trips include:

  • A diverse line-up of trips ideal for everyone from first-timers with children as young as age four to experienced whitewater veterans with teenagers and young adult children.
  • Savory feasts (and desserts too!). All our meals are healthy, locally-sourced whenever possible, and sure to delight your entire crew after an active and adventurous day.
  • A designated guide/”Fun Director” who helps keep the kids entertained.
  • “Fun bag” on each family-friendly vacation, stocked with games and toys for all ages.

Check out our Multi-day River Trip FAQs for more information about the multi-day rafting experience OARS.

Is whitewater rafting with kids safe?

Because our trips take place in wild environments, there are inherent risk factors for all participants that can’t be entirely avoided without compromising the unique character of the activity. Find out more about our safety equipment, guides’ qualifications and the possibility of boat flips on our Safety and Responsibility page.

What are the minimum age requirements for OARS trips?

OARS invites children as young as four on some of our family rafting trips, although seven is the more common minimum age for Class III rivers. We want your kids to have the time of their lives, and we want you to be relaxed and able to appreciate their enthusiasm and delight. We shoulder the work and sweat all the details as you watch your child gain confidence and thrive in the natural world. OARS offers more than 20 rafting itineraries designed especially for families.
Recommended minimum ages for our international adventures start as young as age 5, but the majority of these active itineraries are better suited for older children, 8 and up.

Discover your next OARS Adventure

Two kid sitting side by side on a raft on the river.

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