It can be challenging to find ways to keep the whole family entertained during a long drive. You need my list of the 21 best podcasts for family road trips!
When planning a long road trip with kids, it’s important to have a bag full of tricks! Music can be fun and audiobooks are great. But after a few hours, the kids will start to complain, and you’ll need something to keep you awake. This is where a good podcast saves the day.
And while it’s easy to think of podcasts as something only for adults, there are tons of great podcasts that the whole family can enjoy! Below, you’ll find some of my favorite podcasts for a road trip with kids.
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Table of Contents
The Best Podcasts for Family Road Trips
1. Wow in the World
One of the best podcasts for family road trip fun is Wow in the World. In this NPR podcast, hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz make science fun for everyone by teaching families about the world.
They look at science with humor and general goofiness, exploring everything from asteroids to spiders. Plus, they investigate the science behind it all in 20–30-minute episodes, making it easily digestible for all ages!
2. The Big Fib (Formerly Pants on Fire)
The podcast hit “Pants on Fire” is now called The Big Fib! Can you spot a liar? In every episode, a child and two grown-ups face off. One of the adults is an expert and one is not. Kids ask questions of each adult and then evaluate the evidence presented and try to spot the liar!
You can listen to all your favorite episodes of Pants on Fire AND the latest episodes of The Big Fib on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
3. Story Pirates
Now on their 6th season, Story Pirates is the best storytelling podcast for kids out there. For each episode, they collect stories written by children and turn them into comedic shows and music just for kids.
It’s amazing to see what they can create from a child’s imagination! We like “Quest for the Crystal Crown” and “The Bear That Wouldn’t Disco.”
4. Brains On!
If you have younger children, check out Brains On! It’s a science podcast that’s educational for both children and adults. Some unique episodes include one that makes sense of how your brain reads books and even one that tackles the topic of mermaids and Kraken!
Each podcast features a different kid co-host and has a question they attempt to answer to stimulate discussion among listeners.
5. Circle Round
Circle Round is one of the best podcasts for family road trips. It features fairy tales, myths, and legends from around the world.
And you’ll recognize lots of famous voices, from Nikesh Patel to Colin Hanks and even Ed Asner. Every story is engaging and helps time fly by!
6. Tumble – Science Podcast for Kids
Each podcast of Tumble uses science to find solutions. This podcast shares different discoveries and how science can change how we think about things forever.
Some fun episodes include “The Physics of Basketball” and “Decoding Dog DNA.”
7. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
In this serial mystery podcast for middle schoolers, performed by middle schoolers, listeners are introduced to Mars Patel and his friends. The group sets out to discover what happened to their missing friend Aurora. This sets forth an adventure of epic proportions told across 3 seasons.
It’s entertainment for all ages, making it one of the top podcasts for family road trips.
If you want a great podcast that shares stories of women in history and aims to empower young women, this is one of the best.
Rebel Girls is about rebel women who inspire us to make changes in the world. The stories of these amazing women across history will inspire everyone in your family. You can listen to all the latest episodes on their new Rebel Girls app.
9. Stuff You Missed in History Class
Stuff You Missed in History Class is different from other history podcasts. It takes a deep dive into historical events and shares facts and perspectives you didn’t learn in history books. Topics span anything and everything from the Boston Massacre to the invention of aspirin.
10. Who Would Win
If your kids love sci-fi and fantasy, Who Would Win is the podcast for them. The hosts debate who would win in a fictional battle between your favorite comic book and sci-fi characters.
It’s packed with funny commentary that will entertain everyone. Don’t be surprised if one of the battles starts a debate among your own family members!
11. Smash Boom Best
Smash Boom Best takes two things and asks listeners which one is best. Who or what will win? Contestants on the show have to argue why their person/thing is better than the other. For example, in the case of sugar vs. salt, which one is king?
There are different rounds in the Smash Boom Battle and the debaters have to share their arguments in different rounds. Kids and adults alike will enjoy listening and making their own decisions on who is the Smash Boom winner.
12. What If World
One of the most fun podcasts for summer road trips with young kids is What If World.
Each week the host, Mr. Eric, answers a “what if” question. Some crazy examples include: “What if cats could turn into vampires?” and “What if candy was good for you?” Curious minds will love hearing how these stories play out!
13. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
This Sci-Fi storytelling podcast follows the main character, Finn Caspian, his friends, and their robots. Every week is a new adventure! Follow along as they go through life onboard their spaceship, explore new planets, and even have alien encounters.
Geared towards kids between 5 and 10 years old, Finn Caspian is perfect when you’re looking for a 15–20-minute episode the whole family can enjoy. You can listen to the whole 7 seasons anywhere you listen to podcasts.
14. Welcome to Night Vale
Welcome to Night Vale is an addictive podcast that can lead to hours of binging on a long car ride! It centers around the interesting and crazy events that take place in the fictional desert town of Night Vale.
Episodes can usually stand on their own if you haven’t listened to all of the previous ones, so choose one and dive in! The hosts have been putting out new shows 2 times a month since 2012, so you’ll have plenty to listen to. It’s perfect if you’re looking for podcasts for a family road trip.
For families who love scary stories, you’ll love Lore (so probably tweens and teens). The podcast takes a look at different true stories and the mysteries that surround them. Think about mysterious noises in the woods, disappearances, and new discoveries!
This weekly podcast is one of our favorites to listen to while driving, as it makes time fly by! I think it’s definitely one of the best true crime podcasts for families.
16. Earth Rangers Podcast
For travel lovers like us, the Earth Rangers podcast will keep you entertained and teach you something new! Across 6 seasons, you’ll follow Earth Ranger Emma as she travels the world, learning about new animals and places.
Each season is different, so the 15-minute episodes will keep you entertained over long hours on the open road! For example, in season 5, Emma finds the journal of a missing conservationist. And in season 6, she explores the US National Parks. Plus, you can check out the Earth Rangers app for even more trivia fun!
17. Red School Bus
In its second season, Red School Bus has become one of the best comedy podcasts for kids and parents alike.
In each episode, kids of all ages share their funniest stories with the podcast hosts. There are silly jokes, great stories, and hilarious fun facts along the way!
18. Rabbit Hole
Rabbit Hole is an 8-part podcast series all about how the online space has evolved, how it influences us, and more. This one’s on the heavier side, so you may want to save it for older kids and teens!
But if you’re in for a long drive, this interview podcast is one of the best podcasts for family road trips. Each episode is 25-40 minutes long, so you can get through it in a single day if you want.
19. The Happiness Lab
Looking for a feel-good podcast for a family road trip that still teaches you something new? Check out Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos.
All of the podcast episodes feature a different aspect of happiness: what makes us happy, how science plays a role in happiness, and more. Dr. Laurie interviews some surprising celebrity guests, too! From Katie Couric to Elmo, there’s something for everyone here.
20. Radiolab for Kids
American Public Media and NPR are known for their top-notch radio shows. Radiolab with Jad Abumrad has been one of the best podcasts out there for two decades. And Radio Lab for Kids is the perfect radio podcast for a family road trip if you’re a fan of the original show.
It’s a curated collection of the best episodes from the investigative podcast that even younger kids will find entertaining. Listen while the hosts dig deep into everything unique about Planet Earth.
21. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
And no list of best family podcasts is complete without The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, the longest-running drama podcast for kids! It’s a great listen for all ages, with 10-minute adventures through American history.
There is a ton of wacky fun, as it’s an “old-time radio” production inspired by Rocky and Bullwinkle. You won’t be able to listen to just one episode!
Find the Perfect Podcast for Your Next Family Road Trip
If you’re looking for creative and fun ways to cut back on-screen time and video games, consider one of the many amazing kid-friendly podcasts out there. You can find them on every topic, including storytelling, celebrity interviews, science, history, and even musicals! The right podcasts for family road trips listening will engage not just the kids, but parents as well! Why not spend those long hours on the road learning and laughing together.
While you’re planning your next road trip, check out my other ideas for passing the time!