12 Things To Do With Family In Kingman, Arizona

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Kingman is a unique city located along historic Route 66 in northwestern Arizona. With its sunny weather, beautiful desert landscapes, and rich history, Kingman offers many fun and exciting things for families to experience together.

From exploring ancient Native American dwellings to riding the rails of a historic railroad, Kingman has something to delight family members of all ages and interests.

This article covers 12 of the top attractions and activities for families vacationing in Kingman, Arizona. With amazing outdoor sights, fun indoor attractions, and plenty of Old West history, Kingman is an ideal destination for families looking to bond and make lasting memories.

Explore the Ancient Native American Dwellings

Hualapai Mountain Park, located just 15 miles northwest of Kingman, allows families the unique opportunity to explore ancient Native American ruins and dwellings constructed along the rocky terrain over 900 years ago. Over 300 sites containing artifacts, agave roasting pits, stone tools, and wall remnants scatter throughout the park’s 640 acres of pinyon and juniper forest, offering a glimpse into what life was like for the early Hualapai tribe members and ancestors who once inhabited the area.

Families can embark on self-guided tours along the Ruins Trail to marvel at the well-preserved remains of these ancient dwellings carved right into the mountainside. As you observe the structures and remnants along the path, envision what day-to-day life was like centuries ago for the natives who lived, worked, and survived for generations on this harsh yet beautiful landscape.

Remember to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy amid the scenic vistas of Hualapai Peak, where spectacular views stretch over 100 miles on a clear day. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor’s center as well to check out artifacts found throughout the park.

Tour the Historic Hoover Dam

Located around 90 minutes from Kingman lies one of the greatest American engineering feats of the 20th century – the mighty Hoover Dam. As one of the highest concrete dams in the Western Hemisphere, Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark that continues providing essential hydroelectric power and water storage along the Colorado River 80 years after its completion.

Families can embark on guided tours showcasing the inner workings of this architectural wonder, including viewing its massive generators and learning about how the dam was built in the dangerous desert conditions. Make sure to visit the observation deck overlooking this graceful concrete arc spanning between Arizona’s Black Canyon and Nevada’s Lake Mead.

From this height, you can truly appreciate the grandeur and scope of this history-making dam. Don’t forget to snap that quintessential family photo with Hoover Dam in the background!

Afterward, head downstream and walk across the new Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which frames breathtaking views along Hoover Dam’s unique design. No family visit to the Kingman area is complete without beholding this feat of modern engineering and the beautiful landscape it helped create.

Ride the Rails at Grand Canyon Railway

The train whistle beckons your family for a special ride along what was once a booming route carrying mining ores, lumber, and stagecoach passengers to the frontier town of Williams, Arizona over a century ago. Grand Canyon Railway reopened in 1989 after lying dormant for decades, and now carries over 225,000 passengers annually on vintage railcars to the awe-inspiring South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Families can embark from either Williams or the Grand Canyon Depot in Flagstaff aboard these expertly restored cars pulled by classic diesel locomotives for the 65-mile journey featuring Old West entertainment, music, and storytelling. Friendly musicians get you singing folk songs as cowboy actors engage and delight everyone with tales from a bygone era.

The railway originally opened in 1901 and helped transform tourism to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim for over 60 years. Today, families can relive what it was like to arrive to the Canyon by train before highways and automobiles dominated the landscape.

From the train’s windows, view the stunning painted desert and glimpse wildlife during the 2-hour ride. Then explore one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders upon arrival in its full glory! With multiple classes of service, this unique rail experience offers families lasting memories without the hassles of driving themselves.

Go Skydiving Over the Desert Landscape

Does your family crave adventure and extreme thrills? Then schedule a skydiving excursion over Kingman with Skydive Arizona! Families can take the ultimate plunge together soaring over 13,000 feet above the beautiful desert and mountain landscape before landing gently with professional guides.

After a safety briefing, families will board the aircraft together and ascend high over the majestic Hualapai Mountains, gazing upon its craggy peaks blanketed in pinyon and juniper. Once reaching peak altitude, the adrenaline will start pumping as you prepare to jump out into the open desert air! You’ll be harnessed securely to a professional skydiving instructor and experience 60 seconds of exhilarating free fall at over 120 miles per hour before the instructor deploys the parachute to gracefully glide you back to solid ground.

Floating high over the open landscape with your family builds confidence and trust as you take in panoramic views of the hills dotted with Joshua trees, and grasslands stretching for miles to the horizon line. You may even spot the glimmering Colorado River snaking through the valley floor below! This thrilling experience creates priceless family memories and new skills to bond over for years to come.

Off-Road Through Old West Ghost Towns

Saddle up for a wild off-roading adventure to remote Old West mining towns accessible only by rugged four-wheel drive trails! Several guided ATV and off-road tours depart Kingman to explore storied remote ghost towns that once bustled during 19th century gold rushes.

Families can tour historic Golden Crown Mine overlooking the Cerbat mountain range and try panning for gold themselves at this once-booming gold and silver operation during its heyday. Or traverse 30 miles crossing canyon washes and dry lake beds to reach legendary Chloride, founded in the 1860s and rumored location where inventor of the Tommy gun John Taliaferro Thompsonstashashed $75,000 worth of gold somewhere in town.

As you bump along dirt roads to these well-preserved ghosts of Arizona’s Wild West past, learn theirboombust stories from old prospectors while snapping photos of weathered buildings in dramatic desert settings. Exploring these former mining hubs only reachable via 4×4 provides families a rugged adventure and glimpse of Arizona’s frontier history off the beaten path.

Hike and Explore Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Stretch your legs with scenic desert hikes amongst the rugged hills and canyons surrounding Lake Mead National Recreation Area, located under 90 minutes from Kingman. As America’s first national recreation area established in 1964, Lake Mead encompasses 1.5 million acres of sculpted desert landscape featuring sheer sandstone cliffs, winding canyons, and panoramic overlooks begging to be explored on foot.

Several family-friendly hiking trails cater to all ages and ability levels around Lake Mead. Choose from easy hikes like Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail or moderate treks to Arizona Hot Springs along deep limestone gorges carved by the Colorado River. Or take on a challenge tackling the steep climb up Bowl of Fire with payoff views inside bright red Aztec sandstone formations glowing like embers.

Pack a trailside picnic to enjoy breathtaking panoramas of sapphire waters dotted by sailboats and remote coves lined with beaches. Early risers may even witness bighorn sheep grazing lakeside or red tailed hawks circling shadows cast by towering canyon walls overhead. With endless opportunities for desert solitude and recreation, Lake Mead’s rich ecosystem tempts families to return again and again.

4-Wheel Down Teutonia Peak Trail

In search of stunning high altitude scenery without excessive effort? Then set out with the family aboard four wheel drive rentals to conquer the 8,300ft summit of Teutonia Peak just 45 minutes northwest of Kingman. This moderately graded gravel trail stretches 9.5 miles gaining 2,000 feet in elevation, making it achievable for novice off-road drivers.

Families will traverse diverse terrain from open grasslands blanketed in wildflowers to forests of ponderosa pines and finally culminating in awesome panoramic views from Teutonia’s rocky peak. Gaze out upon sweeping valleys, the distant Grand Wash Cliffs, and even glimpse Las Vegas skies. Early summer offers the most wildflower blooms like golden poppies and purple lupine accents to an already picturesque backdrop ideal for family photos.

Pack a lunch to enjoy atop scenic rock outcroppings along the route and make pit stops to let the kids run wild or dip toes into a pristine alpine lake. Tackling Teutonia’s lofty heights builds family camaraderie as you work together navigating an off-beaten path rewarding all ages with gorgeous scenery culminating in a true peak life experience!

Tour Route 66 Nostalgia in Downtown Kingman

No visit to Kingman is complete without a downtown walking tour reliving its glory days along the Mother Road – Historic Route 66. As one of the longest remaining stretches of the iconic highway still bearing original signage, downtown Kingman transports families back to 1950s Americana with its wealth of preserved neon-lit motels, vintage gas stations, and retro eateries.

Begin your nostalgic walk back in time inside Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, a wonderfully restored cultural landmark serving delicious homemade burgers, malts, and shakes within its original 1966 walls bearing colorful murals depicting Kingman’s place along the legendary Mother Road. Then visit the Route 66 Museum to glimpse fascinating exhibits of personal stories, artifacts, and photography documenting life through the decades on America’s Main Street.

Afterwards, pose the kids by the abundance of restored classic signs and motels like the Hill Top Motel still exhibiting its original neon cactus signage from the 1950s during Route 66’s heyday. Let their imagination run wild picturing carloads of families stopping here for the night during epic road trips west to California when full-service gas stations and diners defined the open highway stretching before them. With downtown Kingman’s dedication to preserving its place in history, families can vividly experience Route 66 nostalgia at its finest.

Tour Historic Locomotive #2926 at Kingman Station

All aboard for a family day trip back through the golden age of steam powered locomotives! At Locomotive Park in downtown Kingman, history buffs young and old can explore massive engine #2926, a Baldwin steam locomotive built in 1923 now permanently parked as an iconic city landmark. This fully intact engine stands as an enduring mechanical tribute to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway which shaped Kingman’s destiny as an essential hub moving passengers and freight vital to developing America’s West.

Children can let imaginations wander pretending to shovel coal into the roaring firebox powering #2926 across thousands of miles of open frontier. Marvel at the complex machinery of valves, pistons, drive rods and gears which revolutionized cross-country shipping and travel for decades before diesel assumed dominance. Peer into the caboose to envision vivid scenes of the hardworking crew navigating rough terrain through pitch dark nights guided only by engine firelight.

Drop by the neighboring museum filled with intriguing locomotive artifacts and photography to immerse the family in railroad history. When you hear that classic train whistle blow through town, it still conjures nostalgia for the mighty age of steam engines connecting vast frontiers from coast to coast!

Fly High at Kingman Airport Aviation Day

Buckle up junior pilots and prepare for takeoff at a fun-filled family Aviation Day held annually each October at Kingman Airport! Children can sit in the cockpit pretending to be pilots alongside actual student aviators or be co-pilots in small aircraft circling over stunning desert scenery. Peer into hangars housing vintage warbirds and restored private planes to admire their mechanical intricacies up close.

Watch tail-wheel planes execute skilled touch-and-go landings on the tarmac and get the inside scoop during pilots question and answer sessions. Also enjoy plenty of food trucks, bouncy castles, face painting, contests, and demonstrations from Search & Rescue crews. Budding aviators will be thrilled witnessing private stunt plane aerobatics spinning high overhead trailing colorful smoke from noon to dusk during this action-packed airfield event.

Families can even schedule trial intro flights with expert flight school instructors for high flying bucket list adventures soaring over dazzling landscape. Aviation Day allows families to safely engage with recreational aviation up close while igniting dreams of future high flyers. Let it inspire your teens toward potential aviation careers!

4-Wheel to Boondock Under the Stars

Trade crowded RV parks for wide open freedom boondocking off-grid on scenic Bureau of Land Management acres accessible only by rugged four wheel drive trails! Just minutes from Kingman lie thousands of BLM acres allowing dispersed camping anywhere providing isolation ideal for quality family bonding surrounded by natural beauty.

After stocking up on essentials in town, set out in capable 4×4 rentals with roof top tents onto faint dirt tracks scouted from provided BLM maps. Feel your inner explorer unleashed navigating around photos worthy Joshua tree forests and crossing sandy washes using navigation smarts enroute to your chosen scenic camp.

Upon discovering that perfect isolated vista, set up chairs to share trail stories as the golden hour casts a glow on rugged peaks where bighorn sheep roam undisturbed. Pass around smores under darkening desert skies awakening in a blanket of stars shooting brilliantly across the Milky Way galaxy. Wake with the sunrise to mountain views and join coyotes for coffee as the desert landscape’s natural beauty sinks into your soul.

Boondocking as a family creates cherished memories while teaching self reliance, teamwork and confidence conquering the challenges of desert backcountry travel and camping off the grid.

See the Stars at Chloride Stargazing Party

Gazing in wonder at the cosmos bridges generations through a shared fascination with the mysteries of the universe above us. Treat your family to views of celestial magic atop the old mining town of Chloride during their annual Night Sky Star Party each August. Located under 90 minutes from Kingman, this remote village founded in the 1860s has no light pollution offering ideal stargazing amid the natural beauty of Arizona’s high desert.

Amateur astronomers provide free peer through professional telescopes to glimpse Saturn’s rings, distant nebula, galaxies, star clusters and even the craters of our moon in crystalline detail. Knowledgeable guides will also point out famous constellations like Orion the Hunter or Scorpio glowing brilliantly across the expansive night sky canvas free from modern interference. Your kids will ooh and aah spotting shooting stars while elder family members reminisce on camping under these same familiar cosmic landmarks generations ago.

Don’t forget to take breaks from gazing overhead to appreciate the visible Milky Way galaxy streaking gloriously overhead. Lay together identifying shapes in the stars blanketing you as coyotes serenade in the distance. After this awe inspiring experience bonding your family under the stars, everyday troubles seem to drift away into the big cosmic perspective.

Experience Native American Culture at Hualapai Mountain Park

Enrich your family bonds learning about regional Native American traditions and culture just minutes from Kingman inside Hualapai Mountain Park. Managed by the Hualapai Tribe for decades, this 640 acre reservation parkland holds several sites covering over 900 years of aboriginal history along the Colorado River region’s mountains that families can explore via short hiking loops and trails.

Sign up for specialized cultural demonstrations and hands on activities like traditional basket weaving or trying ancestral games like Hopi hoop and dart hosted at the park’s visitor center on select weekends. Tribal member reenactors also perform intertribal dances in traditional regalia, explain uses for native plants, and highlight rock art interpreting how ancestral natives once thrived harmoniously on this landscape. Kids will enjoy hearing insightful native folklore stories revealing morals and lessons passed between generations.

By engaging with tribal members eager to share cherished heritage, families gain perspective on the ingenuity of cultures who prospered for centuries amid harsh desert environments before Europeans arrived. It inspires deep respect for those who came before while mirroring the importance of family traditions that bind our own generations together.

Pan for Gems and Gold on Mountain Camping Trip

Prospecting for real buried treasure creates high stakes outdoor fun your family won’t soon forget! Several established family friendly campgrounds around Kingman like Katherine Landing and Lake Mohave provide not just tentsites, but active gold panning and mineral sleuthing right from public shorelines once mined by fortune seeking frontiersmen.

After setting up camp, get everyone equipped with simple gold panning kits or mineral sluice boxes for sifting through the rocky soil. Peering closely at shiny flecks clinging to dark sands, amateur geologists may spot real gold among iron pyrite giving all a glimpse of fortune hunter fever from centuries past. Set good examples teaching leave no trace ethics so these unique places stay preserved for future families.

When not striking it rich, there’s still endless family diversions like kayaking crystalline waters watching for bighorn sheep grazing lakeside, playing group games at the campground, or cooking tasty grub over an open fire below endless starry skies. Building these rugged family memories experiencing scenic panoramas far from city smog forges bonds and stories retold for decades.

Conclusion


From ancient dwellings carved into mountainsides to locomotives steaming across open frontiers, Kingman’s diverse landscape offers no shortage of family friendly attractions. Its sunny climate and Old West charm make the perfect playground for multi-generational bonding and lively adventures together. Families can fly stunt planes over desert vistas, ride historic steam trains to the Grand Canyon’s rim, or gaze in awe at the Milky Way galaxy streaking over old ghost town ruins.

With so many unique activities, kids and parents alike will discover new passions exploring Kingman’s natural splendor and pioneer past. Meals cooked over campfires, adrenaline pumping through your veins as you freefall skydive together, or standing speechless beholding massive Hoover Dam pass down confidence, self-reliance and perseverance to young minds. Renew connections with elders retelling stories under familiar night skies.

When your family retreats from crowded cities to Kingman’s wide open spaces, lasting memories take root through shared wanderlust, challenges overcome, and new traditions begun together. Return home with tighter bonds, restored spirits, and revived perspectives. Let the whispers of coyotes, train whistles, and promises of the starlit unknown call

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