As a father of four, I am always looking for new outdoor adventures for my family to enjoy. My kids spend so much time indoors either finishing up their schoolwork or on their screens that I’m afraid that they’ll forget they can have a good time outdoors as well.
So once in a while, I convince them to set aside their game controllers, their laptops and phones and we go in search of outdoor activities. This way, we are not only stockpiling on cool memories but also strengthening our relationship while helping my kids stay active.
Here are six of our favorite outdoor adventures:
1. Go on a bike ride.
Whenever we have some free time over the weekend and we’re looking for a simple way to have some family fun, we go on family bike rides. This is also usually our go-to adventure when we visit new cities or towns. We simply find kid-friendly bike trails suitable for our brood, and off we go pedaling away while taking in beautiful scenery and landscapes.
2. Pitch a tent.
My kids love any excuse to sleep outdoors so I give them plenty of opportunities to do so. Sometimes we camp out at nearby state parks or wilderness areas and other times we pitch a tent right in our backyard. Come nightfall, we sit around the campfire telling stories and eating s’mores. If the night sky is clear enough, we have a great time stargazing trying to identify as many constellations as we can.
3. Get out on the water.
When the weather allows, we like to go paddle boarding. We are lucky enough to live near a large reservoir so we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to paddling on the water. We have gone kayaking and canoeing lots of times but I have to say paddleboarding is by far our favorite activity. While it took some time to do research on stand up paddleboards and find the ones we wanted, it took even longer to learn how to balance and paddle on them! But now we comfortably race each other with no problem and have a blast paddling on the water all together.
4. Go geocaching.
My eldest son introduced us to geocaching and now we’re hooked. This is like a giant outdoor treasure hunt and searching for these prizes hidden in different locations near you is usually loads of fun. Additionally, it’s a great way to discover some really lovely places while teaching kids about navigation. Sometimes we take whatever prize we come across in a cache and replace it with something else and other times the victory of finding the prize is more than enough.
5. Tackle an obstacle course.
There’s something about tackling an obstacle course that brings out the child in everyone. We have been taking part in family obstacle races since we signed up for the first one about six years ago and had one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. These days, we make it a point to go for at least one race every year. In addition to becoming more active, I’ve noticed that my kids are now more courageous and persevering after they started participating in obstacle courses.
6. Go rock climbing.
Living in Utah means that we have plenty of opportunities to go rock climbing in one of the many canyons or mountains around. My family and I usually sign up for a guided rock climbing tour so that we can also learn something about the area as we climb. Safety is also important so we only choose areas suited to my kids’ activities and I insist they wear appropriate gear, including helmets.
It’s easy for families to get stuck in a rut and end up doing the same things over and over. Next time you’re looking for a way to bond and have fun with your family, why not go on an outdoor adventure?