Family trips are an excellent opportunity to create lasting memories and enjoy quality time together. They are also an excellent time to explore the myriad of outdoor activities kids will love. The time you spend with your loved ones is precious, and a vacation as a family is one of the best ways to have spectacular adventures together.
It is always a great idea to incorporate outdoor activities on a family trip. Whether you are on a cruise departing from Port Canaveral in Florida or hiking Poon Hill in Nepal with a baby, ensuring that your kids get plenty of time outside helps keep them healthy and lets them blow off steam.
In fact, travel can improve your mental health! Incorporating outdoor activities in your next adventure will entertain your little ones and foster their love for nature and the great outdoors.
So if you are planning to pack your pack for a family getaway this year and are looking for ways to add to the fun, here are five exciting outdoor activities that will keep your children engaged and entertained regardless of where you may be traveling.
Hiking and Biking
Of the many outdoor activities kids will love, hiking and biking are some of the best and simplest ways to explore the natural beauty of the world around you while keeping your kids active and engaged.
Before you head off to your destination, take a look at some family-friendly trails and bike paths in the area, and plan a few routes that you and the kids will love. Look out for trails that offer amazing views, curious and unusual landmarks, and the opportunity to spot local wildlife.
You should always ensure the trails are suitable for your children’s age and abilities, as there’s nothing worse than dealing with tired, unhappy kids halfway around a hike!
Make sure you pack plenty of the essentials – snacks, water, and sunscreen – and pop a few treats in the pack to give your kids something to look forward to. Encourage your kids to observe their surroundings, identify plants and animals, and take breaks to appreciate the beauty of nature along the way.
Canoeing or Kayaking
Getting out on the open water gives you a sense of the great outdoors that is hard to beat. This is why embarking on canoeing or kayaking is on this list of outdoor activities kids will love. A water-based excursion with the family is one of the best ways to get back to nature and spark their sense of adventure.
Vacation destinations all over the world offer boat rental services, so whether you want to paddle gently across a crystal-clear lake, take on white water rapids, or head out across the ocean waves, chances are there will be a kayaking or canoeing experience available.
If you don’t feel confident heading out into the wild on your own, then a guided kayaking tour might be the answer. Professional guides will help you paddle together as a team, providing the experience and know-how to overcome any minor challenges you might encounter and ensure a great time for everyone. You can even take lessons, which can help your children to learn basic paddling skills, practice teamwork, and develop an appreciation for water ecosystems.
Remember to prioritize safety by ensuring everyone wears life jackets and providing instructions on the proper techniques.
If you are looking for something simple, easy, and low-stress, then a scavenger hunt is the way to go, and in our experience, it is definitely one of the classic outdoor activities kids will love.
A delightful (and cheap!) addition to your vacation, it helps get your kids outdoors and is a great way to fill downtime that might otherwise result in boredom and frustration. A scavenger hunt is a great way to add an element of excitement and discovery to your outdoor adventure, as well as helping to connect your kids with their surroundings and help them learn more about their local environment.
Create a list of items, clues, or things to spot in nature, and send your kids off to find as many as they can within a certain timeframe. Tailor your hunt to the specific destination you are in, so find pinecones in a forest, shells on a beach, etc. Encourage your kids to use their observation skills, problem-solving abilities, and even a little teamwork to locate each item or solve each clue.
Do remember that there are lots of things that shouldn’t be removed from nature, so try to avoid encouraging your kids to pick flowers or take anything that might harm the ecosystem. Photographs of certain plants or animals should be more than enough for this entertaining, exciting, and educational adventure.
Unleash your family’s playful side by engaging in classic outdoor games such as Frisbee, tag, hide-and-seek, or catch. These are great games for a family vacation as they are easy to pick up, don’t need complicated equipment, and can be enjoyed everywhere you go. They are a great way to get your kids moving, encourage gentle but healthy competition, and promote physical coordination and social interaction.
If your family loves to stroll around in nature but doesn’t feel up to the full adventure of a formal hike, then a leisurely nature walk is another one of the many outdoor activities kids will love. It’s an excellent way to introduce your children to the wonders of the natural world and won’t be too intense.
Choose a scenic trail or park with diverse flora and fauna, and encourage your kids to look around them and ask questions. This is a lovely and interactive way for them to find out about plants, animals, and insects they encounter along the way, and it will help spark their curiosity and sense of wonder.
Bring along field guides or identification apps to help them learn about different species, and make sure you take sufficient breaks to listen to the sounds of nature, feel the textures of leaves or bark, and breathe in the fresh air. This gentle activity allows your children to appreciate the beauty of nature while fostering their curiosity and connection to the environment.
Bonus Activity: Campfire and S’mores
Finally, no outdoor adventure is complete without a campfire and s’mores! And, while this might not be one of the most physically beneficial outdoor activities kids will love, it certainly won’t hurt every once in a while. So, whether you’re camping or staying at a designated fire pit area, gather around the fire in the evening to roast marshmallows and create delicious s’mores. This classic outdoor treat is a lovely way to embrace the magic of the outdoors, with stories, songs, and a cozy, memorable experience.