Outdoor Activities For The Adventurous And Their Children

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Not that I want to share too much information about my honeymoon, but my husband and I didn’t spend the entire thing indoors. We got married and honeymooned in the mountains.  So being an active couple, we spent some of our time whitewater rafting, hiking and kayaking. It was absolutely wonderful.

Then we came home to our beautiful daughter, who isn’t quite at our activity level yet. We still take long family walks and spend plenty of time at the park, but isn’t quite the same. So what’s an adventurous couple to do when their young children start cramping their style? Well hopefully, you’ll find ways to incorporate your kids and teach them to love the outdoors just as much as you do! Here are a couple ideas to get you started.

  • Hiking. Not every hike needs to take on the AP. Half days hikes can provide some stimulating exercise for parents without totalling draining your young kids. They’ll love getting to run along the trails, but you’ll also need to have a comfortable and easy way to carry them. Invest in a high quality child carrier that can comfortably hold a toddler, not just an infant. Deuter makes a great one! It definitely needs to have a waist strap, so you aren’t carrying all of the weight on your shoulders. Pack a picnic lunch and you’re set.
  • Camping. Take that hike one step further. To increase your outdoor enjoyment, avoid popular campgrounds with electricity. Find a primitive site in a more secluded area of your local state park. This way, amenities aren’t too far away, should there be an emergency. Remember, kids may come with a lot of stuff, but not all of it is essential. Try to pare it down to the bare minimum. And don’t pack a ton of toys! Children will find plenty to play with outside!
  • Caving. Ok, spelunking is not the safest activity out there.  But not every cave needs to be explored with ropes and pulleys. There are lots of wonderful caves that provide family-friendly tours. And your extensive prior knowledge will amaze your eager-to-learn pre-schoolers.
  • Canoeing. Your young one probably shouldn’t be taking on any rapids yet. However, canoeing provides the opportunity to paddle your way along a river in a more controlled way. As long as you have the proper safety equipment, there should be little danger for young ones. And hey, paddling is always a workout, no matter what vessel your taking.
  • Zoos. There’s not a lot of danger in koala-cage-viewing, but a trip to the zoo will educate your children about animals. It will give them a chance to see and study animals that they would never normally meet. Cultivating that interest will encourage children to get outside and study the animals in their own backyards. My daughter’s favorite part of a hiking trip is seeing the animals along the way. This is perfect until she starts scaring her father by picking up snakes with sticks.

Children don’t have to be the end of your outdoor adventures. It’ll be a whole new experience sharing the activities you love with your kids.

(Photo: Flickr)