Between business emails, basketball practices, exercise, cooking, and cleaning, it can be difficult to find time for activities that the whole family enjoys together. However, it is so important to make time for family fun and bonding. There are endless fun activities to do with kids but here are 20 fun outdoor family activities that your entire family is sure to love. Some can even be done outside in your own backyard.
There’s no doubt about it, kids love being outdoors. Whether you’re out in the garden, at the park, or up a mountain somewhere, a little fresh air works wonders by allowing your kids to work off that excess energy. If sometimes it takes a little effort to pry your little ones (or slightly bigger ones) off the sofa, here are some simple suggestions to help you enjoy the great outdoors together as a family. The best way to make kids want to spend time outdoors is to do outdoor activities for family on a regular basis to help them develop the habit.
20 Outdoor Family Activities You Will Love:
Family Picnic Outdoors
Sometimes the simple things are the best things. When the weather is nice, grab a basket, a blanket, and a Frisbee and an open outdoor space or park. Enjoy some lovely sandwiches and treats with your kids. Then you can toss a Frisbee or football together or go on a nature scavenger hunt. You can also bring along some printable nature bingo cards for added fun. There is nothing like getting out of the house on a beautiful day.
Host a Family Olympics
The Olympics were created as a way to bring people together. So why not bring your family together with your own version of The Games? Tailor your Family Olympics to the interests and talents of your family members.
Are your kids big into sports? Do you enjoy playing card games or board games? Perhaps a Wii Dance showdown is the ticket? Whatever works for you and your brood, hype it up and have fun with it. Be sure to include medals and opening and closing ceremonies, for good measure. Your family will have so much fun preparing and participating in your family Olympics. You can do just your immediate family or meet at a local park for an extended family Olympics event.
Go to the Zoo
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the majesty of the animal kingdom. Parents and children alike can have fun exploring the different species on display at the local zoo. If your son likes reptiles and your daughter likes big cats, there is something for everyone.
Make a day of it together. Pack lunches, water, and your camera to capture all the fun experiences. Be sure to check out the various educational presentations and exhibits too. A trip to the zoo is always a favorite of our fun outdoor family activities. Who says you can’t have fun and learn at the same time?
Tailgate at a Football Game
Football has become an American pastime and it is a fun outdoor activity the whole family can enjoy. From peewee games to the big leagues, taking your family out to a game is a great way to get out of the house, up off the couch, and in the crisp fall air. If you are near a college or professional stadium, consider tailgating before the game. You can cook up some delicious burgers on the grill, paint your kids’ faces (and your own!) and all get in the spirit of the sport together.
Hike Local Trails
You don’t have to be a Thoreau to enjoy the beauty and pleasures of nature. But he was definitely on to something when he applauded simplicity and the quietude of the natural world. Tune in to that world by tuning out. Take your family away from their video games, Netflix shows, and YouTube videos and spend the day in nature hiking without any distractions from your family time.
Most areas have local trails and park routes. Go for a family hike along these trails together. Pack some water and a few snacks or lunches, and lace up those sneakers. There will probably be some grumbling, but the fresh air and exercise will be refreshing and you will strengthen your family bonds with that time spent together. And looking back, hiking new trails may just be the most memorable of fun outdoor family activities.
Even the smallest children can participate in activities off the beaten track. When your stroller can’t cope, a baby sling or carrier will allow you to carry on trekking.
This is a beautiful time of year to hit the trails! Pick a trail suited to your family’s age group and ability and get out there and enjoy an adventure together. You might run across a patch of wild flowers, a deer, or cool fungi- you never know! If this is your first time going for a family hike, you may want to check out these hiking tips. You can even add fun to the hike by doing a scavenger hunt or making nature bingo cards or creating a nature journal to fill out with items you spot along the hike.
Host A Family BBQ
Nothing brings a family together like food. Whether you are all so busy that everyone gathered around a meal that isn’t Chinese takeout is rare, or you have family dinner regularly, preparing a family cookout can be a fun activity for everyone.
Plan the meal out together. Keep it simple so that you can relax and enjoy the cookout but include a few family favorites and have everyone work together to provide a different element of the dinner or the dinner table setup. The kids will enjoy the treat and have fun making their favorite foods with you.
Draw Your Family Tree
Get outside with a big roll of paper or a few poster boards and some markers. Take time to go over a little family history together. Tell the stories of your grandparents and what you know about them as the kids draw out the connections. For children, drawing a big tree is a fun craft and they will be excited to make all the connections and learn more about their family ties and history and origins.
If you have older kids, encourage them to participate by telling stories about different family members. Show them pictures of you when you were a kid, a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and then take pictures of them to include on your tree. Family history doesn’t have to be dry. Get creative and have fun with it. Your kids will enjoy the activity and learn more about their family.
Trip To The Playground
My kids always love the playground whether it is in my backyard or the big huge neighborhood Red Caboose playground. We almost always play tag while we are there! One of their favorite family time activities is for me to be a “monster” and chase them around the playground. Go figure!
Trip to the Nature Center
Our Nature Center has a really cool inside area to explore as well as the outside surrounding park. They have educational games and puzzles as well as resources and challenges for kids to complete. We also love to go exploring together hiking the trails around the nature center. We have spent countless hours doing this. Futhermore, we like seeing what birds we can spot and finding unusual plants to look at. My kids also love playing in the dirt and mud.
Go Creek Exploring
If you have any creeks nearby, they are loaded with hours of fun! I used to spend the whole day catching minnows and crawfish with my little sister and when my dad joined in, well those are some of my most fun memories! Take the kids exploring and let them turn over the small rocks to look for crawfish and salamanders. Get a few nets and see if you can work on catching some minnows together (be sure to release them after you get a good look). Build a something with creek rocks. Splashing around in the water feels great and can be very educational as they see different bits of nature. My kids love checking out the ponds and creeks for critters!
Let’s go fly a kite
The ideal activity for windy days. If you’re feeling crafty, make simple kites from paper and string. Alternatively, show your competitive side with an impressive sports kite. You can fly a kite in any open space – from the field to the beach – just make sure you’re away from overhead electrical cables.
Plant some vegetables
You don’t always need to walk miles to get some fresh air into your kids’ lungs. Planting a modest vegetable garden will help your children learn, while encouraging healthy eating. There’s nothing like biting into a punnet of home-grown strawberries.
Walk the dog
If your kids are lucky enough to have a pet, make sure it’s not always you doing the walking. Older children and teenagers can take the dog out by themselves. Younger kids can tag along with you.
I hope you enjoy these ideas for fun outdoor family activities. Do you have favorite outdoor family activities to add to the list? Please share them in the comments!
Feed the ducks
Make a family trip to a nearby pond or lake to feed the ducks. This is a simple activity but so fun! Make sure you take suitable food such as duck pellets, oats, lettuces bits or grapes, as most bread is unsuitable for birds.
Bike Riding As A Family
Teaching your kids to ride a bike is a valuable life skill and biking is great exercise for kids. Younger children will enjoy joining in by traveling in a bike seat or trailer. Look for local bike trails.
Climb a tree
When was the last time you climbed a tree? It’ll exercise muscles you didn’t know existed and it’s so much fun. Then you can sit under the tree and relax together or read tree stories or tree poems while they climb. The Giving Tree is a great one.
Go to the beach
Pack your swimsuits, a towel and a picnic and head to the coast. Frolic in the sea, delve into rock pools and build sand castles. The seaside is nature’s playground.
Even pitching a tent in your back yard will seem like a wild adventure for little ones. Then, as you get to know your equipment, you can take more exciting camping trips further from home. If you don’t have a tent, you can always build a fort from cardboard boxes for an afternoon of outdoor fun!
Play A Sport
Badminton is a great backyard sport that is fairly easy to pick up and play with smaller numbers. My siblings and I used to take turns playing and my mom always wanted to get in on the fun! Other fun backyard or park sports are soccer, softball, basketball, you name it. Just purchasing a couple softball gloves can create a great game for the whole family. Even a great game of tag or freeze tag is fun! Being active together is a great way to engage in a positive activity that is fun for everyone.
Spring is here and the it is so nice to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and watch nature blossom. Here are fun family outdoor activities to enjoy together. These fun outdoor activities are the same ones I enjoyed as a child because some good stuff just doesn’t change. So put down the the smart phones, tablets, and computers, and get outside as a family to enjoy these “old school” outdoor activities for families. I think you will be surprised as how much fun the simple things in life are! Outdoor family activities are key to a healthy lifestyle and help you bond as a family. So go on, open the front door and take that first step – the world is waiting for you!