A blog by runners. For runners.

7 day trips for the active family

family-hiking-trip

I feel like my family does the same thing every weekend — we take a walk around the neighborhood, run errands, and go to dinner. Our routine is becoming tired, though.

My husband and I like being active as a family, in hope that it will show our son that exercise is fun. It can be hard for fitness to compete with video games, social media, and other bright, flashing screens, but children need exercise.

The good news is you can help your children get moving – and you can do it as a family. Active family outings help children – and parents — burn calories and create lasting memories. And now that the weather is warmer, it’s the perfect time to get outside and be active. Try one of these activities this weekend:

  1. Hit the trails. You don’t have to be an Eagle Scout to get in touch with nature. Spend some quality time in the great outdoors by visiting a national park or nature path. Hike the trails with your family and enjoy the sights. See who can spot certain animals, insects, and plants. Have friendly races along the way – see who can reach the bridge or split in the trail first.
  2. Head for the shore. Grab your beach blankets and hit the beach to spend a fun day in the sun with your family. The beach offers endless activities for kids and adults. Splash in the waves, go boogie boarding, build a sandcastle, play whiffle ball, hunt for shells and sea glass, and take a long walk on the beach or boardwalk.
  3. Sightsee a nearby city on foot. Most cities and towns – even the small ones — are rich with history. An educational walking tour can help you learn more about your area, and get in some exercise. If there are no formal tours in your area, plan out your own. Check out museums, monuments, parks, and other points of interest.
  4. Pick some berries. Take your family to a local farm to pick berries, apples, or pumpkins, depending on what’s in season. Kids will get a kick out of picking their own fruit. They’ll also learn more about where their food comes from. When you get home, your children can help you make a dish using your freshly-picked produce.
  5. Go kayaking or canoeing. If you live near a lake, river, or other body of water, plan a kayaking or canoeing trip. You can usually rent gear at a local outdoors shop, where you may also be able to register for a guided tour. Paddling will give you a great upper body workout. When you need a break, stop along the shore and go for a swim.
  6. Spend the day at the park. Pack some sporting equipment and a picnic basket and head to a local park. Spend the day playing various games like soccer, tag, relay races, or Simon Says. Climb with your children on the playground and hike through the trails.
  7. Hop on your bike. All kids love biking – it’s fun and it’s a wonderful workout. Unleash your inner child, gather up the family and your bikes, and head for a local mountain biking or paved path. Bring your helmets too — the law requires them for children in many areas.

What active family day trips do you take with your kids?

Written by Jen Matz.

Related The WalkJogRun Active Family Guide