Best outdoor family activities
The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer, which only means one thing: sunny spring weather is right around the corner.
After spending the last few months cooped up at home, we’re all excited to spend more time outdoors. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy while you soak up the sun, whether it’s backyard games or an outdoor excursion.
If you’re ready to say good-bye to cold winter weather and hello to springtime sunshine, read our roundup of our 20 favorite outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy.
Family-friendly backyard games
Feeling competitive? Tag in the whole family to play a backyard game. Classic games like badminton, cornhole, and laser tag are considered all-ages friendly. The rules are easy to learn and the games can be completed quickly. For older kids and adults, Spikeball is a contemporary spin on volleyball that requires fast reflexes and a competitive spirit to win.
Family gardening tasks
Grow your family’s gardening skills by starting an herb, flower or vegetable garden. It’s exciting and rewarding enjoying a meal with some home-grown veggies.
Each member of the household can have their own plants to mind, or you can take turns caring for them. If your outdoor space is limited, a trellis or window planter works well for smaller gardens.
Geocaching is a fun outdoor treasure hunt where players seek hidden “caches” based on coordinates. Caches can include tchotchkes, souvenirs or letters. To begin your adventure, download the app here.
The whole family can get involved on geocaching expeditions. Besides trekking to different locations, you’ll navigate, search, explore and dig. Or, you can hide a new cache for other geocachers.
Plan a nature-watching trip to observe local flora and fauna together. Birdwatching is one of the most popular options. When you join the Audubon Society, you’ll stay informed about all things birding.
Plant identification is another engaging type of nature watching. Explore parks, trails and even your own backyard to discover native vegetation. Your family can keep a log book or photo journal detailing findings.
Now that the weather is sunny and pleasant, grab your cooler and round up the family for an old-fashioned picnic. Enjoy a meal in your backyard under a favorite tree, or head to a park or beach to dine out in a new location.
Consider signing up for a local volunteering project, like a beach sweep or Habitat for Humanity. Some towns even have volunteer landscaping programs to help older adults or individuals undergoing medical treatment.
The warm weather also presents the opportunity for kids in the Girl or Boy Scouts to work on their outdoor volunteering badges.
Outdoor exercise for the whole family
Temperate weather is ideal for outdoor group fitness classes. Many gyms and studios now offer socially distanced outdoor classes, such as boot camp, CrossFit and Zumba. Consider training for an extreme obstacle course together, like the Tough Mudder or Spartan Race.
The open water is inviting and exciting, so plan a kayaking, canoeing or paddle boating trip. Depending where you live, it might be fishing or crabbing season. If your water excursion is expected to last through breakfast or lunchtime, pack food to enjoy a meal on the water.
Plan a day trip to visit points of interest in your state, like parks or historical landmarks. Not only does it offer a change of scenery, most day trips are free or affordable. A day trip is also a great opportunity to take outdoor photos to add to the family album or digital photo frame.
Family arts and crafts
Now that the weather is sunny and pleasant, bring arts and crafts projects outside — especially the messy ones.
Every member of the family can get involved with laid-back projects like tie-dyeing, rock painting, or candle-making. Building bird houses or greenhouses are constructive projects that help kids grow fine motor and problem-solving skills.
Playing with your dog
Your dog likely wants to spend more time outdoors with the family, too. Instead of playing indoors, head to the backyard or a park. In addition to their favorite ball or frisbee, make sure you bring a bowl for fresh water so they stay hydrated.
Cycling with the kids
Break out the bicycles for a family ride around town. Cycle together to visit your favorite ice cream shop or food truck, or load your bikes in the car for a destination ride. If you live near a city, you may be able to rent bikes or sign up for a free bike tour.
If your family seeks a fast-paced activity, purchase rollerblades and start blading together. It’s also a kid-friendly activity that helps younger kids develop coordination and balance skills. If you’re ambitious, you can even take your dog for a speedy rollerblading walk.
Visit nature’s own AirBnB with a camping trip. Whether it’s in your backyard or somewhere in the woods, camping is a great bonding activity for families. A camping trip also means you can enjoy tasty fire-roasted treats, so make sure you have a portable bonfire and s’mores supplies in tow.
Take your family walks to the next level and hit up hiking trails in your area. Many trails let you bring the dog, too. In addition, hiking is a great opportunity to learn basic first aid and survival skills, which may come in handy during future excursions.
Start stargazing with your family and learn to identify stars, planets and constellations. Plan stargazing trips around major astronomical events. The only accessory you’ll need is a telescope or binoculars, both of which can also be used for nature watching or birding.
If you’re looking for a calming outdoor activity, consider partaking in an outdoor yoga, meditation or Tai Chi class. These activities will help you and your family destress and relax while you enjoy the breeze and sounds of nature.
An outdoor activity rapidly growing in popularity is beekeeping, in which you maintain and support man-made bee colonies. If you’re not able or allowed to set up a colony on your property, your family can volunteer with a local beekeeping organization.
Outdoor movie nights
Enjoy a star-studded film under the stars with an outdoor movie night. While you’ll need to buy a projector and an inflatable screen, it’s a household purchase that pays for itself over many years of family movie nights and outdoor screening parties.
If your kids are budding scientists, consider doing outdoor STEM experiments. Stomp rockets, for example, are a fun way to learn about physics. Kids can build a robot and set up an outdoor obstacle course to see how it fares on challenging terrain.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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