Are you often trying to find fun things to do with the family?
I am. I’m always searching for a fun family adventure.
I check out community resources and think about some of our favorite locations… 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.
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?
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 family fun. Explore, play together, laugh, and enjoy your family adventure.
How can you make the most of your family adventure 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.
Kids to Parks Day
Any day is perfect for a family adventure at the park, but mark your calendars for May 20, 2017 for the 7th Annual Kids to Parks Day from the National Park Trust. You can find more details here, or check this site to find out if there are any fun activities going on in your town. (Keep checking back closer to the date because not all events have been added.) Last year, we attended an event in our town and it was a blast. I hope to find something fun this year too! Get out and enjoy a park, get active, explore nature, and have lots of family fun.
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