Boi From Troy

The Great Outdoors: Get in Touch With Nature on Your Vacation

It really doesn’t take a whole lot of creativity to plan a fun family trip to an enormous theme park. While a visit to Disneyland is undoubtedly amusing, there are better ways to spend a family getaway. Try a nature-centric outing, instead. Get in touch with the beautiful outdoors, share bucolic experiences with your kids, and see how well it bonds you as a family.  

Birdwatching, anyone?

Introduce kids to birdwatching, and their love of nature will evolve organically, explains children’s book author, Jane Kirkland. Grab a field guide to local birds and head out to explore the sky, the ground, and everything in between. Binoculars will help you and your kids spot birds of many feathers in bushes, trees, grasslands, and the beach. Start a notebook in which your family can describe the various birds you encounter. Ask older kids to note where and when you saw each bird, and describe its size, color, and remarkable behavior. Add a bird feeder or birdbath your yard, and watch the number of feathered visitors increase exponentially, advise play experts at Parents magazine. 

Pick your pleasure

What of fruits to your kids like best? Pineapples? Peaches? How about crisp red apples? Do a bit of research to find a fruit farm within driving distance, and spend a morning picking fruit together. Visit an organic farm to enjoy fresh as can be fruits right off the tree. If you pick more fruit than you can eat in a day or two, ask Grandma for a recipe and make jam.

Start a garden patch or potted garden. You can tell your kids about gardening until you’re blue in the face, but getting them involved is even better. Invest in big clay pots and saucers, or till the soil in a special space in your yard. You may be surprised how much fun a family can have with a few simple gardening tools and a packet of seeds. For super fast results, opt for seeds that germinate quickly such as marigolds, tomatoes, or basil. Tending to a living garden teaches kids about caring for the Earth and may produce a bounty of produce, as well. 

Dude ranching

Did you ever want to be a cowboy? Visit a dude ranch with your kids, and whoop it up just like they did in the Wild West. Renew your appreciation for nature and show your kids how to have a great time away from social media and video games, suggests  Travel Mamas magazine. Discover the outdoor fascination of sleeping under Texas stars not far from your room at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort.

The natural world is full of fabulous things to see and do. Go ahead and spend a day at your favorite amusement park now and then, but be sure you don’t miss out on all the incredible natural attractions nearby. Rediscover your childhood wonderment when you spend time in the great outdoors with your whole family.

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