Your family has been cooped up indoors for the past few months, waiting for cold weather to pass and for the sun to return. That moment is just around the corner — at least, according to our calendars — so it’s time to start planning ways to take full advantage of the warm weather. Here are 12 of the most fun outdoor activities for you and your family to try this spring and beyond.
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It’s the outdoor version of dinner in a restaurant: grab a blanket and pack a cooler with sandwiches, drinks and snacks for the whole family. You can make it a spring tradition by visiting different parks each week, exploring them, and finishing with a family picnic.
Another way to explore and appreciate nature is on a family hike. The sights might surprise you in your hometown: Even if you don’t live in the mountains, you can still find walking trails through local parks, woods and other natural areas. If you want to make a weekend out of it, load everyone into the car, and head to your nearest national park or trail.
Your driveway and backyard could become the backdrop for an intense family sports tournament this spring. You could go with a good old game of basketball, dividing your brood into teams and playing for an exciting prize, like choosing what’s for dessert later. You could buy and set up a badminton net in the backyard. Or, you could play classic playground games, like foursquare or kickball, if you have space.
You could probably drive to the local playground with your eyes closed because you’re there so often. Mark the start of spring by mixing things up and heading to one of the world’s largest playgrounds, most of which are in the United States. If the trek is too far — and if you’re up for making a pretty substantial investment — you could surprise your kiddos with a play-set in your backyard instead.
Your little ones might not have the strength to play grown-up golf just yet, so we propose taking the family for a round of miniature golf in the interim. Just like an at-home sports competition, you can up the ante for winning — ice cream or dinner on the way home, as chosen by the winner?
Warm weather means you can spend your days — and nights — outside. This could be the year your kids are old enough to try camping. Pack up all of the supplies you need and head out for a night or weekend to give it a shot.
If they’re a little too young for a full-on camping experience, there’s always your backyard. Set up a tent out there, make s’mores and tell stories, just as you would on a normal campsite.
Spring marks the start of baseball season, and your kids will love the experience of watching a game in real life. Not only will they learn about the sport and its rules, but they’ll also get to watch the wacky games and mascot appearances that take place between innings. Plus, what child doesn’t love stadium food? Hello, hot dogs, cotton candy, and popcorn.
Spring is, of course, the time of year when plants start growing post-winter chill. Take advantage of the perfect growing conditions by planting a family garden of your own.
It’s up to you to choose the type of garden you’ll cultivate. You might go for traditional flowers in pots or beds leading up to your front door. Or, you could go for a fruit and vegetable garden that’ll feed your family throughout the summer. The latter will also teach your kids a bit of responsibility if you enlist them to help you water your plants and pick the ripe produce once it’s grown. Plus, you’ll have the freshest ingredients for family meals, and everyone will appreciate that.
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Even though spring brings them plenty of food to eat, your kids will still love to make feeders for the birds, squirrels, and other wildlife living in your backyard. This is a fantastic indoor activity for you to save for a rainy spring day. Once the sun’s shining again, let your brood choose where they want to hang their creations — they’ll be so excited to see animals enjoying the snacks they’ve left behind.
April showers tend to force you indoors, but you could also use a warmer rainstorm as an excuse to play outside. You already know, because you’ve been a kid before: there’s nothing quite as fun as dancing, playing and splashing in the rain. We promise you’ll love to watch as your kids discover the joy of that experience.
Springtime breezes are not only refreshing, but they have the right amount of power to get a kite flying. So, grab a kite at your local toy store or make one with just four simple supplies. Then, find a nearby sports field or otherwise open stretch of land and teach your kids how to fly a kite. They’ll love it so much that you might just find yourself grabbing your kite every time you feel a spring — or summer, or fall — breeze roll into town.
Your kids are used to you supervising their bike rides. Now that they’ve mastered the art of cycling on four wheels or two, it’s time to try a family bike ride. Choose somewhere with plenty of protected, car-free pathways, like the local park. Strap everyone into their helmets and give it a go. And, if your little ones are still too little to keep up with their parents’ pedaling, you can always strap them into a seat on the back of your bike and whiz them around town.
With these 12 ideas, you can get outside and fill your family itinerary with memorable spring activities this year and beyond. Don’t be shy about your creativity, either: There are countless fun times to be had, and you could plan the most fun to-do of all. All you have to do is get out there and enjoy the season with the ones you love most.
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