Last Updated on December 26, 2020
Canoeing and kayaking is a great time for kids and adults. Check out your local rivers to see if there are any outfitters in your area, then grab a picnic basket and join in the fun! A quick Google Search on “Canoeing near me” is sure to get you a few options.
Getting out in nature and slowing the pace down to the speed of the river is a very relaxing way to get in tune with nature and consequently, regenerate your wholesome self.
11. Family Bike Ride
Taking your bikes out (or renting bikes) can be a great family adventure. From easy city trail riding to rugged mountain trails, you are sure to experience a fun day. Here are The 15 Best Road and Mountain Bike Trails in the U.S according to Daily Burn. Or, check out the TransAmericaTrail spanning the US.
And, of course, I would not be an Iowan if I didn’t mention RAGBRAI – The Register’s (Des Moines Register) Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. This is a 7-day bike ride across the state where over 10,000 bike riders gather and descend on rural communities in Iowa for part of a day and overnight in 7 towns/cities. The daily rides usually run between 45 to 70 miles with an optional century loop on one day.
My husband and I have ridden RAGBRAI with our two sons throughout the years. It is quite a bonding experience. Boy oh boy, did I mention the food? Only the best tenderloins, waffles, cakes, cookies, ribs and more! The rural communities who rarely have much tourism really roll out the red carpet and treat the visitors as their own family. So, not matter if you just want a leisurely day trip or are a serious biker, check it out!
However, make sure you wear helmets and obey traffic signs.
12. Backyard Camping
Sleeping outside in the backyard is always a favorite for kids. Plus, it is good for their health and well-being. Good planning will make it a hit and less stressful for the parents. Make sure you take some time to gather what you will need, rather than running back to the house to get supplies. However, it’s nice to know you have a backup plan if you forgot something.
There is a draw to be outside under the stars at night, especially for kids. Why not, foster their curiosity with stargazing. On a clear night, spread out a blanket, pillows and cozy up together. Grab a constellation chart and a flashlight so you can guide your kids to some of the more recognizable constellations like the Big Dipper. Then, let their creativity and imagination run wild and let them name their own constellations!
14. Go for a hike
Finding some time outdoors is easy when all you need to do is throw on a pair of sneakers and hit the trail. You can find hiking in county, state and federal parks. Here is a great flyer on the federal trails, including the impact hiking has on the economy. Check with your local parks to find a hiking trail near you.
Entertaining your family in the summer vacation is easy when you get outdoors. There are plenty of great activities that will leave them feeling happy (and tired) at the end of the day.
15. Bike Parks and Pump Tracks
When our boys were young, they had balance bikes, you know the ones with pegs on the frame of the front tire. The boys were convinced the balance bikes were the coolest thing. They would do a couple of cool tricks on it.
But, if we would have had a bike park or pump track (where you can test your skill on riding on ramps and bumpy tracks) nearby, I'm sure the boys would have wanted to visit them on a daily basis. We didn't even know they existed, and less about where to find one. Luckily, the folks over at Two Wheeling Tots have compiled a list of bike parks and pump tracks across the US.