Warm weather means getting outside to play! But it also means the opportunity for some fun and amazing outdoor events that you and the kids will love. Check out some great events, festivals, and activities for families.

1. Vehicle Shows

There are so many great types of vehicle shows from boats and cars to campers and even motorcycles. The International Auto Show in NYC showcases hundreds of cars from both domestic and foreign manufacturers. Your child will have the opportunity to sit in some amazing vehicles, participate in virtual reality experiences, and take photos beside some of the most expensive sports cars in the world. If you’re in the market for purchasing, this auto show is the perfect place to get a sneak peek of which makes and models are coming out in the New Year.

Boat and RV shows are also great for families, especially since kids are welcome to climb aboard a variety of vessels and check out the interior on countless motorhomes and camping trailers. Hersheypark in Hershey Pennsylvania hosts one of the countries largest RV shows in September. This is a great opportunity for the family to not only experience a great RV show but also visit Chocolate World!

2. Carnivals

Carnivals, boardwalks and fairs are all a playground for fun. Between the awesome rides, yummy snacks and numerous games and prizes to be won, carnivals are fun for the whole family. Some even showcase a firework display at the conclusion. Some things to know about attending carnivals are which rides your child can safely, how much tickets are in advance and the hours of operation. Games are always fun but can get a little pricey. Give each child a specific amount of money they can spend. This will help them choose wisely on which games they want to play and which prizes they want most.

If you’re trying to encourage healthy snacking in your kids, opt for less sugary carnival options like popcorn or nuts. It might even be a good idea to bring along some snacks or have a big, healthy dinner prior to arriving at the carnival. Just be sure to keep your children close, discuss safety, and point out important people like security guards to your children. Carnivals can get extremely crowded. Try wearing brightly colored clothing and using the “buddy system” to ensure no one is ever alone. Once all the health and safety measures are covered, all you’ll need to do is have fun!

3. Miniature Golf

Another family favorite, mini-golf offers hours of fun and most courses are designed with children in mind. They offer some pretty amazing features like waterfalls, bridges, cartoon characters, windmills, and even volcanoes. Mini-golf is an outdoor activity that offers some beneficial vitamin D plus cardiovascular exercise as you and your family walk from hole-to-hole. Let your child grab one of the tiny pencils and help calculate the score. This is a great way to use those evolving math skills!

Hand-eye-coordination is another must for mini-golf. Perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of this activity is problem-solving. Once your child learns how many strokes it takes to sink their ball, they need to calculate each move. If there are obstacles in their way, this can become even more challenging. It’s a great way for them to work through a challenge in their mind. But, at the end of the day, mini-golf is simply a fun and relatively inexpensive activity that kids of all ages enjoy.

4. Attend a Sporting Event

Take me out to the ballgame! Attending any type of sporting event can be extremely exciting for kids. There’s something special about the atmosphere at a live sporting event. Whether it’s baseball, football or another sport, there are some things to consider before purchasing those tickets.

Baseball games are great for a beautiful spring day. Crowds are relatively family friendly and the stadiums aren’t as loud as some other sporting arenas. But keep in mind that baseball games are somewhat long and can get a little boring for some kids, especially if they can’t see what’s going on. A great alternative is attending a game at your local, minor league stadium. This gives your child the taste of what a real game feels like, without the cost, travel time or overwhelming size of a major league stadium. The same holds true for football. Some football games can be pretty chilly, depending on where you live, as the season runs from September until February. Try attending a local high school or college game instead.

5. Firehouse Tours

There’s just something completely fascinating about emergency services vehicles and personnel. Fire trucks, police cars and ambulances captivate children with their flashing lights, large size and countless buttons, levers and equipment. If you live near a local firehouse you might actually be able to take a tour with your children. Some fire departments are made up of volunteers, while others are paid. Either way, most firemen are more than happy to entertain your child’ fascination and offer fire safety tips and education.

Your child can see the fire trucks in the bay and may even get the chance to sit in one! They can see and even try on the firemen’s equipment including their helmets, heavy jackets and boots. They may even get their own red fire hat to take home. This is a great way to quell any fears your child might have about fires and firemen while reinforcing fire safety.

Get Creative

There are so many fun and beneficial activities available to you and your children if you think outside the box. Plan a picnic, a scavenger hunt or start a garden. Rainy days are great for building forts, going to the movies and doing crafts. Your child will love simply spending time with you, no matter what it is you’re doing!

Featured Photo Courtesy: Scott Webb via Unsplash