Everybody's heard of family game nights and family movie nights, because evenings of fun and family togetherness are, for understandable reasons, all the rage. But board games and movies, as much as we all love 'em, are generally enjoyed inside our homes, and there comes a time, especially when the weather's nice and the woods are calling, when you've just got to break free of those four familiar walls. For something a little different on your next family fun night, why not bust out the comfy shoes and your sense of outdoor adventure and head out into the natural world? Whether you're experienced outdoors people, with a keen appreciation for all things wild, or whether you're more of the chill-on-the-sofa types, you'll easily find a family outing—with emphasis on the out—to suit your needs, interests and levels of comfort.
Following are three suggestions to get your family out the door this Friday night.
Take a family foray into the forest
No matter where you live, chances are that there are trails and paths that lead through some spectacular woods. Set out early, so as to avoid getting lost among the trees after dark, and take advantage—before the weather turns too hot—of a wilderness that's close to home. Not exactly sure where the trails begin? Check your city, county and state park websites, many of which will direct you to some of the best hiking and biking places around.
Park your pack at the park
For high-quality outdoor family fun, it's hard to beat a visit to your favorite park. Pack a picnic dinner, as well as a soccer ball, kite, or Bocce ball set, and stake your claim on the best-looking benches and picnic tables. Enjoy all of the park's obvious kid-friendly amenities— including the slides and swings and ponds—and be sure to branch out a little bit, too, and hit the trails, historical sites and other points of interest that you might, on another day, walk right past.
Take a safari through the (urban) jungle
Who says that a great hike has to happen in the woods? Every city is full of beautiful, walkable places; choose an attraction or neighborhood that you've always wanted to explore, and spend a bit of time getting to know the area. Walk the streets, the alleys, the off-the-beaten-path parks, and try one of the region's tastiest-looking restaurants.
Eager to give the ol' TV and couch a rest before the weather turns to heat and blistering sun? Well, now's the time, so get outside for a night of fresh air, exercise, and bliss with your family.
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