Are you often trying to find ideas for outdoor family fun?
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this all the time.
I check out community resources and think about some of our favorite locations and other family fun ideas we’ve done in the past… that is, IF I’m actually thinking of things ahead of time.
Normally, though, the weekend sneaks up on me. Almost every single week. I have nothing planned and we end up spending all weekend at home. Sound familiar?
Don’t get me wrong, it can be nice to have a relaxing weekend at home. But, sometimes, we just want to get out and do something fun. That’s when you need a few go-to, easy ideas in your pocket that you can do anytime.
One of those ideas that we’ve done on occasion is to discover a “new to us” park.
Disclosure: This post is written in support of the 7th Annual Kids to Parks Day from the National Park Trust. All ideas and opinions are my own. There are Amazon Affiliate and other affiliate links in this article which means, at no additional cost to you, we could receive compensation for our recommendations. You can read our full disclosure policy on our Disclosure Page for more details.
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What is a “new to us” park?
Basically, a “new to us” park is any park that we’ve never visited. Simple.
It could be a park in your hometown or one in a neighboring city. Just find one you’ve never visited, because part of the adventure is discovering someplace new.
Where can I find a “new to us” park for outdoor family fun?
Luckily, thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find a new park.
To start, you can simple search for “parks in [insert city and state]” and very often you’ll easily find some results. When we moved to a new city last summer, I did this soon after we unpacked. I easily found all of the parks in our new town and we had tons of fun checking them out.
Another way to find new parks is to just pay attention while you drive. Make a mental note or jot locations down on a piece of paper if you pass a fun park. I discovered one on our last road trip in a nearby small town that we’re going to have to check out soon.
You never know what you might discover!
We’ve found some absolute gems by just picking out a random park on a map. We’ve discovered farm theme playgrounds and petting zoos.
Some parks have gone above and beyond with unique playgrounds and open-ended toys. One such playground in a local nature center had a bin full of kid-sized shovels and an open invitation to dig. Awesome!
But, even if you discover a a very typical style playground, you’ll still have tons of outdoor family fun. Explore, play together, laugh, and enjoy your family adventure.
How can you make the most of your outdoor family fun at the park?
There are so many things you can do to make the day even more special.
Pack a picnic lunch and eat together before playing. Many parks have picnic tables you can use, but pack a blanket just in case they don’t. You’ll always find a grassy area to spread your blanket.
Have a scavenger hunt. There are tons of ideas online that you can print, or you can do something simple like this scavenger hunt we went on in our backyard that could be easily adapted for any park.
Explore the neighboring areas. If you’re visiting a park in a nearby town, see if there is anything else fun to do. Are there nearby nature trails for a walk? Or maybe there’s a fun ice cream shop for a treat? Explore and have fun.
And, most important of all, relax and realize that no matter how good or bad the park is, the most important thing is time together with the family. (If the park is truly terrible, just pack up and find another park. You can always go to a tried-and-true favorite.)
Have fun exploring a “new to you” park together? It’s great fun, inexpensive, and the best part is that you can go on this family adventure again and again any time you want some outdoor family fun.
You may also like one of these family fun ideas:
Fun Toys to Bring to the Park
If you want to add to the fun on your family adventure, you can bring a simple toy to play with while you’re there. Here are a few fun ideas:
Do you want to do more activities with your family?
Join our fun Facebook community, Creative Family Fun for Busy Families, for daily activities that are great for kids and families. We’ll chat, share, and have fun. It’s a safe and private place to share ideas for family and kids activities.
I’d love for you to join me! Just click the link below, request to join, and answer the questions (they’re easy, I promise). Come join the fun! Join the Creative Family Fun for Busy Families community here.