24 Fun Outdoor Activities for the Whole Family
Whether you’re a parent planning a trip for your kids or you’re planning a surprise for your parents, we’ve got you covered. Here are 24 family-friendly outdoor activity ideas:
Getting out in nature for an overnight camping adventure is the ultimate family bonding experience. Fun outdoor activities while camping include fishing, telling campfire stories, and birdwatching. Whether you’re glamping, driving from national park to national park in an RV, or just going to a local spot for a weekend getaway, camping is something every family should try at least once.
Go with experienced campers for the first time, and be sure to stock up on all the camping equipment you will need in order to have a safe and fun trip.
Have a water balloon toss
When was the last time you had a good, old-fashioned water balloon toss? Fill up some water balloons, gather your cousins, and let the competition commence. See who can keep the water balloon intact the longest while taking one step backward with each successful throw.
Water balloon tosses inevitably turn into water balloon fights, so be prepared to clean up afterwards. While you’re at it, bring out the water guns and turn on the sprinkler. Running through the sprinkler is a hit with young kids and dogs, and it waters the lawn!
Backyard gardens, patio gardens, and community gardens are all excellent ways to connect with nature as a family. Grow your own fruit, vegetables, flowers – or a combination. Learn how soil quality, water frequency, and air temperature all combine to create beautiful blooms, blossoms, and food that we rely on. Plus, growing your own food can help save money long-term at the grocery store. And studies show that putting your hands in dirt can improve your health.
Go to a water park
Lather up the sunscreen and put on your water shoes: the water park beckons! Water parks have rides and attractions for all ages and levels of water comfort, from the lazy river, to the wave pool, to slides that will make your stomach drop. Ice cream and fried foods are typical at water parks, so it will be a day to indulge in fun food, too. Want to save some money? Bring sweet drinks from home cool in stainless steel tumblers. Being at a water park forces you to put away technology so you can relish the present moment – from the comfort of your inner tube.
Go to a historical reenactment
An outdoor historical reenactment is a unique way to spend an afternoon because it feels like traveling back in time. People dressed up in costumes, reenacting life decades ago or explaining a war, makes history truly come to life. It will make you appreciate the luxuries of the present, or maybe you’ll find yourself nostalgic for a time period long gone. Either way, you will learn something about the world, and kids will have a better context for history than what they learn from history books in school.
Go to an amusement park
Take the family to an amusement park! They are worth the drive, if they’re not in your area. A theme park — whether it’s set up as a Halloween maze, a holiday wonderland, or a traditional amusement park with roller coasters galore — is one of those family outdoor activities that’s sure to please everyone.
Amusement parks unleash the inner child of adults, and encourage kids to get out of their comfort zones – especially if they are scared of heights or not used to crowds. Be sure to stay hydrated and pack comfortable shoes!
No matter what you or your child’s special interest is, there is probably a local outdoor volunteer opportunity to nourish it. Whether it’s walking dogs at an animal shelter or cleaning up a local nature trail, showing kids that volunteering can be a part of their outdoor fun forms them into responsible citizens.
Volunteering as a family makes for an even greater positive impact on the community. It is a great way to meet people who share common interests. See what programs exist through your county, school, businesses, or other local organizations.
Go to the beach
Going to the beach is one of the best things to do outside with kids because of the sheer number of activities you can do there! Surf, windsurf, build sand castles, bury a sibling in sand, search for sand crabs, boogie board, skimboard… the list goes on. Ocean waves are powerfully humbling if you don’t catch the wave right, but empowering when you do!
Kids learn a healthy respect for oceans, lakes, and rivers wherever the beach destination is located. You’re never too old to enjoy the beach, and the sun and salt rejuvenates the mind and body. Bring a beach ball for the kids and a wide-billed hat to keep out the sun while you enjoy that book you haven’t had time to read.
Reading outside can be done on the deck, under a tree, on a tire swing, by the pool… the great thing about this activity is that it can be done anywhere for free. Not to mention, books are a great way to relax and unwind. Unlike modern entertainment, they don’t need to be charged! Nonfiction teaches about the outside world, while fiction transports to fantasy worlds that highlight truths in our reality.
Summer reading for school is often required for kids, so why not make it fun? Build an outdoor blanket fort in the backyard, complete with string lights inside, for a truly immersive experience. Reading outdoors is the best of both worlds because it gets introverted kids out and about. It’s also a fun way to pass the time for families at the beach or during a staycation.
Go to the pool
The pool is a family go-to during the summer (when the weather permits). Outdoor fun activities at the pool like playing Marco Polo, swimming laps, or doing flips off the diving board can keep families entertained all day. Order pizza to be delivered to keep the fun going! Whether you and your family like to play mermaids with flippers and goggles, or chill in individual inflatable inner tubes, the pool has something for everyone.
If kids have not taken swimming lessons, be sure to give them water wings and a life jacket. If there is not a lifeguard on duty, keep an eye on them in the kiddie pool.
Get creative with chalk or finger paint
There are so many possibilities with sidewalk chalk: draw a picture, write an uplifting message to your neighbors, or draw a hopscotch grid. There is no cleanup required: whatever kids draw, it will wash away with the rain. If your kids are prone to messes, bring the finger paint outside. There is nothing quite like painting en plein air! Most finger paints are washable, so it’s okay if it gets on clothes. But if you’re worried about stains, paint together in bathing suits!
Wash the dog
Speaking of getting messy, washing the dog is both productive and a little unpredictable! Washing the family dog outside is practical: you can save money this way instead of going to the groomer. And when the weather is nice, bathing your dog outside means the dog can air dry naturally, and you don’t have to worry about making a mess inside.
Get all hands on deck to help if you’ve got a big dog who is not a fan of baths. It teaches kids responsibility, but it can definitely get a little silly! Bring your sense of humor, a tub full of warm water, washcloths, gentle dog soap, a towel, a brush, and any other pet grooming supplies. Wash the dog bed while you’re at it, too. Sometimes, fun things to do outside with kids can double as checking chores off your to-do list.
Go to the park
So much can be done at the park, so pack a bag and go find a shady spot! They often come equipped with grills, picnic tables, and everyone’s favorite: a picturesque pond with ducks. Keep an eye on kids of course, but let them run free! Host birthday parties for your kids or surprise your parents with a romantic anniversary picnic. Watch your kids make friends on the playground. Treat them to a game of tag or hide and go seek.
Many of the activities in this list can be done at a park if you don’t have the space in your yard or neighborhood. Some parks host special events, like outdoor plays or community socials. See what your local park offers and get ready for some outdoor family fun!
Schedule an outdoor family photoshoot
Did you ever think an outdoor family photoshoot could be fun? The key to a fun outdoor family photoshoot is scheduling it in nice weather. Scheduling it in the morning or evening will have a better chance of cooler temperatures in the summer. Do the photoshoot outside in the shade, amongst the trees, at the beach, or any place that is special to your family. Schedule it with a photographer who has experience with kids if you’ve got younger children.
Photos from an outdoor family photoshoot can be sent as holiday cards or framed and hung in your home. If your kids are at a fussy age, bring toys or entertainment to keep them stimulated for a few hours. Family photos outside capture the natural light, and keep the experience fun and casual.
Running, walking, playing tennis, or baseball – whatever it is, get out there and do it! Some exercise can be done solo, but for team sports, families can exercise together. Low impact exercise counts, too: a stroll outside is one of life’s simple pleasures. These days, so much of our lives are centered around using technology indoors. Sometimes, we need conscious reminders to get off the devices, stretch our legs, and get air pumping through our lungs. Creating these habits as kids sets them up for healthy lives and creates an appreciation for the outdoors from an early age.
Set up a lemonade stand
Got some entrepreneurial kids on your hands? Encourage them to set up a lemonade stand! Kids selling homemade lemonade always brings smiles to people’s faces. Plus, it gets kids out into the community, shows the value of hard work, and is one of those outside activities that can be done any day or time of the week.
If you’re worried about getting enough passersby, call up some friends or neighbors and encourage them to stop by. Selling cookies or other treats along with homemade lemonade is a good idea. It’ll be a hit during the next neighborhood yard sale!
Go for a hike
A hike is a great way to burn off energy in all seasons: in the snow, the sun, amongst fall leaves, or even during a springtime rain shower. You don’t have to live in the mountains to go on a hike: a nature trail anywhere is a chance to see wildlife, learn plant identification, and use outdoor voices! Just be sure to brush up on trail safety and etiquette first, as well as stock up on outdoor apparel that’s comfortable and durable.
Attend an outdoor concert
Research if your local area is hosting an outdoor family concert anytime soon. Classical music, country classics, or even a musical performance are great for the whole family. Bring lawn chairs and a blanket, or take your seat in an outdoor amphitheater. There is nothing better than live music and the great outdoors. Bring sunscreen if it’s a daytime affair, and one of these cozy ponchos for when the sun goes down.
If nothing is playing nearby that’s of interest, why not create your own backyard concert? A low-key kids’ talent show is an opportunity for creative expression. Plus, it will be a priceless memory to capture on video.
Grill or barbeque with family or neighbors
You don’t need to have a huge outdoor space in order to have a fun barbeque or grill night. You can do it on a back patio or front porch, or go to a public park. The point is to gather the ones you love outside for a chill get-together over some hot dogs, hamburgers, or vegetarian favorites.
So often, we eat indoors at the dining room table – it’s become the norm. But eating outdoors (if you can avoid the mosquitoes and fruit flies) is a refreshing change of pace and a healthy habit to get into. Not to mention, the kids will love the change of pace. The yummy barbeque smells will waft throughout the neighborhood… so don’t be surprised if some hungry surprise guests show up!
Fly a kite
Go to a scenic spot, like the top of a hill, the beach, or any wide open space on a breezy day and go fly a kite! Make your own colorful kite, buy one in a funky shape, or get a kid-sized one. Flying a kite is like sending a message in the sky; let it loose, and test your strength as it catches the wind.
Outdoor kid activities like kite flying don’t have to just be for kids: flying a kite is a fun date activity, too. Do it at sunset for some beautiful photos. Take turns so you don’t wear your arms out!
Explore a different part of town
Take a walk or ride your bike in a part of town that you and your family don’t normally frequent. Or take it a step further, and explore a town you have never been to before. Walk the main drag, eat outside at a cafe, and strike up a conversation with the locals. You may pick up on some differences in lifestyle, but you will also see how people are perhaps more similar to you than anticipated.
Mini-adventures can teach a lot. When we treat our hometown like a vacation destination, we can see it in a new and interesting way.
Play a pickup basketball game
Playing a pickup basketball game, or spontaneously joining any outdoor sports game, is a great way to make new friends while getting some outdoor exercise. Especially if you’ve just moved to town, introducing yourself through sports is a fast way to skip the small talk and become a part of a team. If no one is outside, you can start up your own game of basketball, beach volleyball, soccer, or even catch and see who else shows up!
Go to the skate park
Learn to rollerblade, roller skate, skateboard, or longboard! The kids at the skate park may look intimidating with their gravity defying stunts, but they can be a resource for helpful tips, especially if you’re new to the scene. Going to the skate park will definitely be fun for kids, but there’s no rule against adults joining in the fun!
No matter what kind of wheels you choose to conquer, you will come away more balanced, focused, and confident for taking on the challenge. Don’t forget your helmet and pads!
Catch lightning bugs
Catching lightning bugs, or fireflies, is a classic summertime family activity. If you catch a few and put them in a jar, be sure to poke holes in the top to let the insects breathe. Then let them loose at the end of the evening. Set up a lantern in the yard to attract them and keep anyone from tripping in the dark.
If you don’t live in an area with those beautiful and harmless bugs, go on a scavenger hunt for other harmless insects. Perhaps a community garden nearby has an abundance of ladybugs, dragonflies, and butterflies. It’s a great way to encourage kids to learn about nature and get their curiosity going!
Prioritize Fun with Good Vibes
No matter what fun outdoor activities you choose, it’s essential that you cultivate good vibes and promote positivity within your family. When it’s time to go back inside, wearing Rastaclat’s bracelets are a great reminder to keep the good vibes going. Rastaclat’s bracelets, apparel, and accessories uplift, inspire, and unite with Sports Bracelets, Positivity Bracelets, and more. Our bracelets are tough enough to withstand sports, water, and any outdoor activity. Plus, 1% of all our sales go toward the Seek the Positive Foundation.
Get matching braided bracelets for the whole family or let everyone choose their own! Browse our collections and find one that speaks to your personal style today.