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.
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, or learn where local and regional scenic spots such as waterfalls, overlooks, hidden groves, or colored 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. Make picking up trash a game to see which family member can find the most unusual trash or fill 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 care.
Birdwatching is an easy and entertaining activity all family members can participate in. Pick up a field guide from a local bookstore or library, and see how many different birds you can find in your neighborhood or even just in the backyard. Other types of wildlife you can try to see and identify are butterflies or insects; these activities can be great on vacation or wherever your family may go.
Renting a canoe or kayak is a fun activity for all ages. 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.
Winter Outdoor Activities
A family can enjoy outdoor activities even in 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, and cap off an afternoon outdoors with hot chocolate to warm up together.
Bike rides are economical, environmentally friendly, and great exercise for the whole family. Be sure 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.
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 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 all ages. Children and their parents can draw game boards, murals, or meaningful pictures, and the sidewalk or driveway is also great for practicing handwriting or alphabet lessons to make drawing just as educational as it is fun.
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 many different outdoor activities to enjoy in one location.
Throughout the year, 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.
Looking for more family activities? Consider…
- Family Game Night
- Family Travel
- Party Games for Family Gatherings