If you’re a family that loves to move, there’s only so much sitting around you can do before growing bored. For you, family vacation is more than just an opportunity to relax. They’re also a chance to explore fresh surroundings and try new things. Staying active isn’t a chore but a gateway to unlocking exciting adventures.
It can be challenging, however, to know what activities to attempt when traveling with kids. Keep reading to discover six outdoor activities to try on your next family vacation.
Learn How to Paddle Board
Are you visiting the ocean or camping by a mountain lake this summer? If the answer is yes, then stand-up paddle boarding should be on your list of activities. Inspired by surfing, stand-up paddle boarders move through the water with a paddle while standing on a large board. Done safely, it’s a fun activity that also helps children build confidence in the water.
When purchasing stand-up paddle boards to use with kids, it’s important that you select the right kind of board. While solid narrow paddle boards are designed for performance, wider inflatable paddle boards can accommodate multiple people. For families, it’s recommended that you choose a wider board. This makes it easy to put little ones in front of you while you’re paddling. They’re also more user-friendly, so older kids can learn to paddle solo quickly.
Take a Hike
Hiking is a family-friendly activity that you can do at almost any location. Even most cities have outdoor recreation areas with scenic hiking trails. The best part is that you don’t need any complicated gear to go on a family hike. Simply pack some comfortable hiking shoes, water, and a few snacks, and you’re ready to go.
Before hitting the trails, make sure you choose an age-appropriate hike. Younger kids can typically only hike a few miles, while some older children may be able to go all day. It’s also important that you take it slow. While adults may be able to book it up a mountain, children have smaller legs and shorter attention spans. Taking frequent breaks gives them a chance to explore at their own pace.
Go River Rafting
If you’re going somewhere with a scenic river, rafting could be an exciting family adventure. While you may be picturing white water rapids, plenty of rivers offer smooth rides for people with children. If you’re not used to navigating rivers, though, it’s a good idea to take a guided trip over braving the water solo.
Before booking a tour, check the age requirements. Most rafting companies offer multiple guided tour options, and each has its own minimum age. It’s also a good idea to check a river’s class rating before rafting it. Class III and beyond may be too dangerous for children, while Class I and class II rivers are relatively calm.
Visit a U-Pick Farm
Living an active lifestyle isn’t just about how you move. It’s also about what you eat. Visiting a U-pick farm is a great way to teach your kids about healthy eating while supporting local farmers. Better yet, you get to enjoy some delicious produce that you plucked yourself.
That said, U-pick farms can be somewhat tricky to find. A quick search on “strawberries near me” is unlikely to yield the best results. Instead, visit your state’s department of agriculture page to see what fruit is in season or check out a U-pick farm locator.
Check Out a Rock Climbing Gym
Sometimes bad weather happens on family vacation, but it doesn’t need to ruin your trip. Most outdoor-focused towns have a climbing gym, providing a great way to stay active if you can’t play outside.
Kids have a natural tendency to climb anything and everything. Indoor rock climbing allows them to channel that energy safely. Most gyms have gear you can rent. However, there are a couple of items you should invest in if your child shows a serious interest in climbing.
First, they’ll need climbing shoes. Kids’ climbing shoes are made with a sticky sole, preventing their feet from sliding off rocks. Next, you’ll want to get a comfortable child’s harness designed for their size and age. Finally, invest in a climbing helmet to protect their noggin from bumps and bruises.
Go for a Bike Ride
Biking is a fun way to explore local trails while traveling. If you’re going on a road trip, simply throw your bikes on a bike rack, and you’re good to go. But if you don’t own bikes or are flying to your destination, you can still participate in the fun. Many places offer guided bike tours, making it easy for your family members to get rolling on two wheels.
Like hiking, it’s important to cycle slowly with children since they often don’t have the stamina of adults. If your kiddos are too young to bike, you can still enjoy a scenic ride by using a bike trailer. It’s important to note that even if your child is in a bike trailer, they should still wear a helmet. Accidents happen, and you want your child’s head protected if they do!
Family vacation provides the perfect opportunity to have active adventures. Keep these activities on your radar as your plan for this summer’s family trip.