Fun Family Outdoor Activities Start With Camping
Families that play together have stronger relationships and share values more closely, and there are many fun family outdoor activities that family members of all ages can enjoy in all seasons. Camping is one of the most popular activities, whether it is at a campground or just in the backyard. Hikes, a campfire, and roasting marshmallows are all part of a family camping experience that everyone will remember for years to come.
A family hike, whether for an hour or a full day, is a fun activity and great exercise. Investigate different nature trails and parks for hiking routes. Learn where local and regional scenic spots such as waterfalls, overlooks, hidden groves, or colorful cliffs may be located so you can hike to them and enjoy your own corner of the planet.
Turn fun family outdoor activities into opportunities to give back to the community by planning a family litter pickup or similar activity. See which family member can find the most unusual piece of trash or award the person who fills their trash bag first. Other options include volunteering to help out with local events as a family or helping out a sick or elderly neighbor with lawn and garden care.
Birdwatching is an easy and entertaining activity that all family members can participate in. Pick up a field guide from a local bookstore or library and see how many bird species you can find in your neighborhood or even just in the backyard. Keep a running list of the birds that you have come across, adding to the master list whenever you go on a birdwatching adventure.
Take On Some Watersports
Renting a canoe or kayak is a fun activity for families to partake in. Use the canoe to explore a local lake or river, or make it part of a camping trip. Be sure to follow all safety precautions, however, and all family members should wear life jackets. Other great watersports for the whole family include river rafting, swimming, fishing, and boating, tubing, and water skiing.
Winter Outdoor Activities
A family can enjoy outdoor activities even in the winter. Look for winter sports parks where sledding, tubing, skiing, ice skating, and snowboarding are all available, or stay home and build a family of snowmen or a snow fort to enjoy together. Other great winter activities include snowshoeing and winter hikes. Cap off an afternoon outdoors with a mug of hot chocolate.
Get Your Bike On
Bike rides are economical, environmentally friendly, and great exercise for everyone. Be sure that the bikes are in good repair, have appropriate helmets for everyone, and choose a biking route that even the youngest or most inexperienced member can safely navigate. Biking can also lead to a fun picnic or other outdoor activities at the end of the ride.
Be Beachcombing Buddies
A day at the beach is great fun for every family member, and there are many outdoor activities that are perfect for the beach, such as searching for seashells, examining tide pools, swimming, surfing, or playing beach games such as Frisbee, volleyball, and flag football. Building sand castles, enjoying a picnic, and just taking long walks are other great options.
Gardening With Your Gang
Gardening is a fun and productive outdoor activity for the whole family. Whether it is planting flowers or tending vegetables, this can be educational for everyone, and children can learn the value of their hard work leading to tasty rewards when they enjoy what they've grown. The produce or flowers from a garden can also be shared with an extended family or neighbors, or even sold at a local farmers' market.
Colored chalk is inexpensive and can be hours of fun for the entire family. Children and their parents can draw game boards, murals, or meaningful pictures on the sidewalk or driveway. Working with chalk is a great means for practicing handwriting or alphabet lessons, making this activity as educational as it is fun.
Plan Playground Visits
While a local playground can become predictable and boring after just a few visits, it is possible to find new and exciting playgrounds to enjoy with just a bit of searching on a city's parks and recreation website. Many towns and cities offer educational playgrounds or playgrounds adjacent to ponds and nature trails, giving a family several varying outdoor activities to enjoy in one location.
Try Out an Outdoor Festival
Outdoor festivals can provide great family fun. Hot-air balloon festivals, state and county fairs, sandcastle building competitions, organized nature walks, fireworks shows, kite flying festivals, and more are all superb options for the family to enjoy. No matter where you live, there are bound to be a few events held during the year.
Spend the day outdoors capturing the beauty of nature through a lens. Visit a nature preserve, walk the streets of your city, or find farm life and capture images of what you see. Later, you can develop these pictures and turn them into a beautiful book of memories for all to enjoy.
Build a Family Fort
Hunt for the perfect tree, round up some boards, nails, and various supplies, and build a family tree fort. If tree forts feel too challenging, gather sticks, ropes, sheets, and other supplies and fashion an on-ground hut to hang out in. Building forts is a timeless outdoor activity that will provide families hours of fun during construction and afterward.
Have a Bonfire
Build a campfire, gather round, and enjoy s'mores and one another's company for an evening. Bonfires are an excellent outdoor family activity when done safely. Make sure to build your fire far away from any brush or structures, always have enough water nearby to put the fire out, and keep it to a manageable size.
Create a Family Picnic
Choose a warm, sunny day to hold a family picnic. Pack up a blanket and all of your family's favorite snacks and head outdoors for lunch. You can take your meal to a park, a riverbed, a nearby park, or simply set up a spot in your backyard to picnic. Spread out in the grass and dine al fresco.
Do a Christmas Light Tour
During the holiday months, load the family up in the car and drive around the town, gazing upon the Christmas lights displays. Bring along snacks and hot cocoa and put some classic holiday tunes on the radio. This favorite yearly activist might just become a family tradition over time and something that your children will remember and cherish for years to come.
Attend an Air Show
Air shows are a fun and exciting way to spend time outdoors. Do a simple internet search to discover when and where air shows will be performing near you. Warning: this activity can get loud, so prep your family, and bring noise-canceling headphones if you think that will help make the experience more enjoyable.
Pack up the fishing pools, bait, and some snacks, and scout out a local watering hole. Even if you don't catch anything, kids will have fun learning how to bait their pole and cast their lines. Should you get lucky and hook something, reel in the big one and capture the image on camera or video. It will make for a lasting memory for sure.
Stare at the Stars
During warmer weather, head into the clear night with your family and spend some time gazing up at the stars. Bring a blanket, a telescope, a flashlight, and a guidebook to the stars. Locate common constellations above and discuss the vast world outside of the one in which we live.
Host a Lemonade Stand
Set up a table and chairs, fashion a "Lemonade for Sale" sign, and whip up a batch of sweet and sour goodness for the neighborhood. Holding a lemonade stand will keep kids busy for hours while teaching them a bit of consumerism as well as customer service skills. This is a great activity to set up if you have ample yard work to tackle or a garage to clean out.
Hold a Garage Sale
Have a family garage sale and involve the entire family in the process. Children can gather up unwanted items of their own and help sort everything that is for sale. Ask older kids to put price tags on everything and request that younger kids put their design skills to the test, making signs to put all over the neighborhood. Consider using the money that you make to purchase something for the family or treat everyone to a fun night out.
Have A Carwash
Make signs advertising your car wash. Purchase soap and necessary cleaning supplies and head into the sunshine to get your clean on! Work as a family, or invite friends to aid in your cause and help run your carwash. Take the earnings that you make during the day and donate them to a good cause.
Partake in an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Find a list of items to scavenge for and set to your task. Work in teams to see who can complete the scavenger hunt first. Set aside a small prize for the team who makes it through the list first. Celebrate the hunt with a treat, like cocoa in colder months or popsicles in the warmer weather.
Spend the Day at a Farmers Market
Farmers markets are fun, seasonal activities. Browse the unique stalls and choose healthy, local ingredients. Then, head home and create a fun meal for everyone. Spend some time buying up soaps, clothing accessories, art, and other fun items that you can later give to family and friends as birthday or Christmas gifts. End the day with a locally crafted sweet treat.
Bubble Fun for Everyone
Kids love bubbles! Find an easy DIY bubble recipe and whip up your own solution. Take your mix outdoors and experiment with various bubble wands, making all sorts of shapes and sizes of bubbles. See who makes the largest one, the longest lasting one, or the most interesting one.
Make a Homemade Watering Can
Tending to plants is something that the whole family can help with. Kids learn the importance of caring for living things and recognize how their contributions to the family aid in the common good with simple chores. Make a homemade watering can together. Take your creation outside and water plants in warmer weather.
There is so much beauty and wonder in the world around you, and sometimes you simply have to stop and notice all that surrounds you every day. Go outside with a large blanket. Lie down with your loved ones and watch the clouds pass by. Discuss what they look like and what they remind you of. Many of the ideas that your kids come up with will have you giggling through the entire afternoon.
Stuffed Animal Parade
Little kids especially will have a blast creating their very own parade. Dress up an array of favorite stuffed animals or dolls and load them into wagons or other pull toys. Play some catchy, parade-inspired tunes on your phone and take everyone (toys included) for a spin around the block.
Build Fairy Houses
Fairy houses are fun and whimsical and can be made with just about anything found in nature. Collect leaves, moss, twigs, rocks, and sticks and create fairy houses in your backyard. With a bit of glue and paint, boring old stumps and plain-looking birdhouses can become places of magic and wonder for children.
Be Part of a Bug Hunt
Bugs are big hits with kids. They love to learn about the creepy crawlers in their world. Check a book on bugs out from the local library and read up on what can be found hiding under logs and rocks. Take a notebook, pencil, and your bug identification book outdoors and see what you can find. When it is time to come inside, follow this outdoor activity up with an extension art activity like bug origami.
Rock painting is a fun and inexpensive outdoor craft that just about anyone can do. All you need are the proper paints, a paintbrush, clean stones, and a fun and creative idea in mind. Rocks can be made into animals, contain inspirational messages, or be covered with funky designs. Anything goes in rock painting, and the only rules are to have fun and be creative.
Map Maps of Your World
Mapmaking and map reading are interesting hobbies that kids might find fascinating. Look at existing maps and think about how they are made. Take to your surroundings and together, have your family create a map of your neighborhood. Maps can be simplified and created to showcase your backyard or get extremely intricate, including identifying landmarks, streets, and buildings in your town.
Mud Pie Making
No childhood is truly complete without spending at least some time getting dirty in the backyard. Reserve an afternoon for making mud pies. Fashion pies in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Decorate them with berries, twigs, leaves, and small stones. Hold a Prize Pie contest and award a winner for the most creative or pretty pie.
Backyard Boat Races
If you live near a small stream, or know where to find one, try holding a Family Boat Race Day. Use household items to build small boats and then send them downstream. Watch them race for several yards, marking off a finish line. Celebrate the end of the race by splashing in the stream.
Get Into Geocaching
Geocaching is an especially entertaining activity for older children and teens. Geocaching is like a giant, local treasure hunt where GPS devices are used to track down a hidden geocache. To add an extra layer of challenge to the activity, give your family a set time limit and see if you can crack the codes before time runs out.
If you have a trampoline, hold an evening event where each family member showcases their very own trampoline routine. Throughout the day, every family member who is participating spends an allotted amount of time on the trampoline putting their jumps, flips, and bounces to song. After everyone has created and practiced their routine, hold a performance. Set up chairs and a means to play routine music and enjoy everyone's creativity.
Have Fun as a Family Outdoors
Fun outdoor family activities can bring a family together. So gather your littles and make some great family memories by spending time together in the great outdoors.