The weather is warming up, and it’s the perfect time for some outdoor family fun! Sadly, it’s easy even on beautiful days to get stuck sitting on your phone. This summer, ditch the technology in favor of some fresh air and quality time.
Instead of just going on a walk around the neighborhood, think outside the box. Whether you only have the weekend or an entire vacation, here are five healthy activities the whole family can enjoy.
1. Take a Thrill Ride
Now is the perfect time to take your family to the carnival, fair, or theme park. Thrill-seekers can spend their day whizzing around on roller-coasters, while others can play games and try new foods. There’s something for everyone to bond over at the carnival, and you can guarantee your children will go home exhausted. If there aren’t any in your area, then try similar activities like mini-golf, laser tag, or even indoor skiing.
Naturally, your children will want to explore on their own and can get lost easily. But don’t worry too much; devices like a kids smartwatch can help you stay in touch. It’s a great way to keep track of everyone and ensure safety in such an energetic place. Watches in particular are better at staying put on your child’s wrist, while a phone can fall out of their pocket.
2. Take Off to New Places
When you’ve got time off, you naturally want to spend it with your family. But it’s likely you will just do the same things you do every weekend together. Instead, bring your family on a trip to find novel experiences in unfamiliar places. Take a drive to a nearby city, go on a road trip West, or fly everyone to a new country.
Being in a new place with family is exciting, inspiring, and an organic way to bond. You can take a themed tour of the district or try some classic local cuisine together. Few experiences are more educational than being immersed in new cultures, and it is incredibly beneficial for children in particular. And at the end of the trip, you’ll all have new experiences to remember together.
3. Check Out Exotic Animals
It’s hard not to get excited at the prospect of seeing animals no matter what age you are. That’s why zoos and aquariums are the perfect family activity. They are always thrilling as well as educational! Even lower-key experiences (e.g. petting zoos or farms) help to relieve stress and let your mind escape the day-to-day monotony. For children, they provide the foundation for a more profound relationship with the natural world.
This can also be a very healthy way to introduce to your children the importance of protecting the planet. You can include them in your search for destinations and teach them about the need for conservation and research. Find, learn about, and visit an ethical facility together to maximize the trip’s education quality and make it more memorable. You’ll better enjoy the trip knowing these animals are safe and also jump-start a compassion for them in your children.
4. Sleep Under the Stars
Similarly, venturing out into the wilderness is another way to foster this kind of mindset. It can also be great exercise. Sunny summer days are perfect for hiking and releasing energy, and at night you can settle down and make camp. Hiking and camping require survival skills, offering an opportunity to spend time with each other as you share these skills.
If your family isn’t into roughing it but still likes the outdoors, you can consider the modern practice of glamping. Essentially, glamping is renting a shelter with hotel-like amenities for the sake of comfort without giving up the setting. This can be a furnished cabin, yurt, wigwam, or even just a fancy tent. This way, everyone can explore the great outdoors and return to modern comforts at the end of the day.
5. Make a Splash
There’s nothing like a day out on the water to compensate for the summer heat. You can spend the day with your family at a community pool, lake, or beach and have plenty to do. Swimming is one of the easiest activities to find, but you can also take the family on fast-paced adventures. Different options include speed boating, waterskiing, rafting, and tubing along with so many others if you have the equipment handy.
For example, you can bring sports equipment and hold water-based volleyball, basketball, or other types of games. If you have access to an inflatable water trampoline, then time — and your kids’ energy — will fly by. The opportunities are endless. Just make sure there’s a lifeguard on duty; safety is paramount.
Even if you only have limited time off of work, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time with your family. Some of these options will take up a few hours, others can be done for weeks, but they’re all worthwhile. In fact, all of these activities and more can be done on any weekend if you truly want to. As long as your family is with you, you can take comfort knowing you’ll enjoy yourself.