When I think of caves, I think of going to Cumberland Caverns on a Gypsy Trip with the Camp Marymount girls from “Tin Roof” cabin. I remember what a stalactite and stalagmite are from that trip—but that’s about it when it comes to the cave. Mainly, what I remember is the bus ride there singing camp songs.

So, when we began our walk into Mammoth Cave my only expectation was to see some stalactites that look like dripping mud hanging from the ceiling.

The Mammoth Cave Discovery Tour was self-guided through the world’s largest cave system. It was massive, hence, the name “mammoth”. There are 400+ miles of trails under the ground. We walked for about two hours inside. The 3.5-year-old said it was “fascinating” the whole way through. The 1.5-year-old said it was spooky and fell asleep.

There are rangers throughout the cave to ask questions. The 3.5-year-old asked great questions—then played in the dirt and ignored the answers. 

Wanna Go:

  • Take your bikes! Part of the former Mammoth Cave Railroad is now a 9-mile trail.
  • Take a jacket inside the cave. It’s nippy underground.
  • Don’t forget to get your National Park Passport stamped at the visitor’s center.
  • We camped at Houchin Ferry Campground next to the Green River. I wish I had known when booking that there weren’t any nearby trails. It’s about a 15-minute drive to the main park entrance.  We ended up enjoying the smallness of it, but if you’re wanting to be closer to the “action” I’d pick the Mammoth Cave campground right near the visitor’s center.
  • We ended up camping only one night, and felt like that was ample time to see the park highlights with the youngins.

Nearby Attraction:

Dinosaur World Kentucky– I was SO excited to take my older son here. He’s been dinosaur obsessed for a year. Truth be told, I planned the whole trip around this attraction. To my dismay, upon arrival, he declared it “let him down because the dinosaurs didn’t make noise.” Thankfully, the younger tot loved it (and the playground was a hit).

Our favorite book to read about caves is the National Geographic: Exploring Caves. We also love Stellaluna, a lovely book about a little bat.

We have lots of dinosaur books that we love to read–constantly. (Which is one reason I thought Dino World would be a hit)!

These are my 2-year-old’s favorites:

These are my 4-year-old’s favorites:

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