In this age of iPhones, Netflix and Nintendo Switches, it is important to get outside, move our bodies and enjoy this beautiful world. It is equally important to spend time as a family, but you will need exciting activities planned to entertain every member of the family. Especially the young ones. So, to help you get your family outside, here are 50 Family Outdoor Activities.
Arts and Crafts
1. Rock painting
There has been a growing trend of people painting rocks with beautiful patterns and colours to leave in various places for others to find and enjoy. Not only it is an exciting and creative hobby for the makers, but also a fantastic little thing to brighten people’s day. So, get yourself some pebbles, paints and decorate some pebbles. Then go out into the world and leave them for people to find! For more information and a tutorial, click here
2. Make a fairy garden
Why not welcome some little magical friends into your garden? Fairy Gardens are such an imaginative creative activity that will spark imagination and creativity in kids. To make a fairy garden, you take a little area of your garden or get a flowerpot where you add little plants, structures and flowers to create a magical place. It acts as a safe spot for fairies to visit and bring good luck and blessings to your home. It would probably be better to place your fairy garden in a flowerpot so you can bring it inside during the cold and wet winters.
3. Make a beach/forest in a jar
Have you ever gone into the forest and wanted it home with you? Or have you ever been to the beach with the kids and at the end of the day, they have screamed ‘I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME?’ Well, with little craft/activity you can bring the outdoors home with you! All you need to buy some small jars (or reused any finished food jars from home), one for each member of the family. If you are at the beach, fill up the jar with sand, small pebbles and seashells. If you are in the forest, pick up with flowers, moss, grass and sticks. And there you go! You own mini outdoor world! You have a friendly competition to see whose is the best or whose is the prettiest. However, please be responsible with what you take from the outdoors, as it is important to maintain the environment. That’s why it’s recommended to only use small jars.
4. Wildflower Pressing
Flower pressing is a childhood classic crafts that you can have a go at! You can create beautiful pieces of art so simply and create mementos of your day. Once again, please be reasonable with the flower you pick for this activity. And don’t steal flowers from private property! To avoid any drooping or wilting, pick your flowers at the last moment. This means picking flowers on your way home from a walk or to have a notebook ready with you. You can then start pressing the flowers on your way back and then place the notebook under a heavy item at home.
5. Make and fly a kite
Let’s go fly a kite! And let’s go make one first! Flying a kite is such a joyful activity! It is so simple and exhilarating. All you need is some large sheets of paper (preferably colourful), some string/twine and any decorations materials such as ribbons, glitter and pens. You can gather your main materials first and go out as a family to find the best sticks for your kite. And then make them and decorate them! And go fly that kite!
6. Build A Den
We all have a memory of making our own little home out in nature. Maybe it was a castle or an exclusive kids club where no adults were allowed. There is an endless list of what a den can be but building one is super easy! You don’t need much more than a table, or a string running between two trees and a sheet to make a great den. That’s the basic materials but you can decorate your den with everything you want! The sky’s the limit! This activity will keep the children entertained for the whole day. Just please be responsible while making in nature.
Whether you just going out into the garden, going to the park, beach or into the forest, you can pack up some paints and brushes and get out and create some masterpieces! It is simple, easy and a lot of fun! Plus, painting outside gives the children more freedom to get messy! Painting outdoors lets kids paint big pictures on the ground. They can paint with their fingers and toes. They can splatter paint everywhere! If you are location, they paint the parks you visit or the houses or the fields and paint on the move with cars and trains (Be careful with that one!) You can keep them inspired with some paint and creativity while getting outdoors! Don’t forget to join in with your own masterpiece!
8. Make flowers crowns
This is a fun nature craft that gets kids outdoors collecting flowers and leaves, plus it’s great for creativity. Just make a headband that fits the person’s heads, get out the glue and go out in nature to gather your materials to make the prettiest crown ever! You can use whatever nature you have around you at any time of year (summer flowers, autumn leaves, winter twigs etc.) Alternatively, you can easily make a flower crown by making daisy chains.
9. Make leaf/ tree bark art
While having a walk in the forest, take some colouring pencils and paper/notebook with you. As you walk along, pick any interesting patterned leaves and trace them. Place the leaf underneath the paper and scribble over the top of it so you can achieve the patterns on the paper. You can do the same by placing your paper on a tree and scribble over it to get a rough-looking design. You can create colourful and textured art whilst you experience nature.
10. Rock Balancing
If you visit a pebble beach or in a place where there are a lot of pebbles, try making your own rock balancing sculptures. Rock Balancing is a celebration art form across the globe, and they are many magnificent artists who make mind-blowing sculptures, but you don’t have to make anything dramatic. Just start by making towers by placing bigger rocks at the bottom and reducing in size as you go up. You can have friendly family competitions and leave your masterpieces on the beach for others to find. If you have any pebbles at home, you can glue them together to make your rock tower at home as well!
11. Sand/ Seashell art
Sand and shells offer endless summer craft possibilities. You can buy coloured sand or dye your own. Kids can draw or write on paper with glue or glue sticks and pour the sand on the glue to create their own sandy signs and designs. You can combine this with beach in a jar and fill a jar with layers of sand in a rainbow of colours. Sand art can be messy which is why it’s the perfect outdoor activity!
You can collect shells from the beach or buy some from a seaside shop. Kids can glue shells to a drawing or painting, or use them to make decorative magnets, picture frames or jewellery.
12. Sand volcano
Excite the kids with this explosive craft idea. I would recommend do this at home with a sandpit, but you are responsible and clean up after yourself, maybe try it at the beach. To build a sand volcano mound around an empty plastic bottle keeping the top open. Combine dish liquid and food colouring in the bottle, add vinegar and pour water almost to the top. In a large spoon blend the baking soda with a touch of tap water to moisten, and then quickly pour into the bottle and BOOM!
13. Make a wind chime
Winds chimes are a beautiful craft to do with your family. You can do it together for fun or you can create a beautiful gift for a grandparent, teacher or friend together. The thing about this craft is they can be quite easy and inexpensive if you make them with recyclables or items from nature, or things you already have around the house. You simply need a base with hanging the ‘chimes from’. This can be anything from a flowerpot, to a bot or maybe an old hat. It can be anything you can hang things from. Then gather your decorations to hang. Seashells, CDs, beads, sticks. Literally anything! You can make them as elegant or as crazy as you like.
14. Make a Birdfeeder
Teach your children about kindness and recycling by making a recycled bird feeder. You will need some plastic bottles, some wire/string and bird seeds. Cut a big hole in the side of the bottle for the birds to get in and some tiny holes at the bottom to drain the rainwater. Then tie it up to a tree and watch the bird come to feast. The children will be excited to see the birds come and watch the food disappear quickly! You can also teach them responsibility by making it their job to fill the bird feeder back up again.
15. Make Windmills
If it is a particularly windy day, have some fun with this classic craft. You will need – colourful paper, straws, glue and push pins. First, cut two 14cm squares, of two different colours. Glue back to back and leave to dry. Next, draw diagonal lines from corner to corner and make a 5cm cut along each line. Then, fold every other point towards the centre and glue in place. Finally glue the windmill to a straw with a pin tack, gluing a bead over point. And you are done! Have fun spinning your windmills!
Who doesn’t enjoy a good treasure hunt? Pretending to be a pirate or a part of The Goonies? If only there was a way to have a real-life treasure hunt. Well there is! Geocaching! Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game. Geocachers hunt for hidden gems using by a GPS enabled device which uses coordinates, or ‘waypoints’ downloaded from the geocaching.com website or you can download a free geocaching app for Android or iPhone. So, what is your prize? A geocache or ‘cache’ is a small waterproof treasure box hidden outdoors. Anything can be inside! Most have a logbook for you to leave a message in and the satisfaction of finding the box is a reward in itself. However, you might find some trinkets that people have left to swap. If you take a treasure out of the box, you should leave another trinket in its place, so bring treasures for others to find!
17. Outdoor cinema
Fancy going to the cinema but don’t want to pay those silly prices? Want to watch a movie as a family but sitting in the living room is too boring? Get yourself outside and have yourself an outdoor movie night! You will need a projector (you can probably rent from your local library if you don’t have one!), a sheet, a frame or wall, a speakers (there are DIYS for making your phone a speaker with a cardboard box online), some blankets, comfy chairs, a good movie and ALL THE SNACKS! Position your projector to project onto the sheet that’s hangs from the frame or a wall in your garden. Set up your chairs around the sheet screen and enjoy the show!
18. Camp in your own back garden
Who doesn’t want to sleep under the stars? But the hassle of camping can be too much, so set up your tent in your back garden. Decorate it with fairy light, blunting and fill it with cushions and blankets. You can make it a real adventure for you and the children. You can tell stories by torch light, have roasted marshmallows and sing songs. Like proper campers! Also, here’s an idea if you have teenagers or pre-teens in the family. Over the summer, they will probably want sleepovers and some privacy from their annoying family! So why not set them up in the tent outside (if you trust them of course!)? They will be out your way, it would get them some needed fresh air and they will feel grown up, but you can still keep an eye on them.
Who does not love a barbecue? Get out your grill or get yourself an instant one. Invite over the family and friends and have yourself a cookout in the garden. You can have burgers hot dogs, steaks and ribs. And for the vegans and vegetarians – halloumi and watermelon skewers, vegan burgers and smoky grilled sweet potatoes.
20. Play nature bingo
Before heading out into the wildness, you can create a quick game to entertain every member of the family which gets them exploring as well having fun. Draw yourself (by pen or on your laptop if you can print in it out) a simple grid. I would recommend 3×3 or 4×4; don’t over complicate it. Fill out the boxes with things you will most likely see on your adventure outside. If you are going on a walk, put things like gate, bird, ladybug, bee etc. If you go to the beach, put seashell, seagull, ice cream man etc.
Make one each member and head them before you go out. Get yourself a prize for one line, two lines and a full house and go and play bingo!
21. Play city bingo
This is actually the same as number 20, but just in a city environment! Put things like lamppost, sweet shop, red bus, policemen etc. You get the idea 😀
22. Go on a bear hunt
If you have young children, you have probably come across the book – ‘We are going on a bear hunt’. It’s a magical tale of a family going on search for a bear, but you probably got that from the title! So, why not play on that magical imagination and take your kids on a bear hunt. Before embarking on your adventure, buy a new teddy bear and hid it in your bag. Then drive out to a forest and have fun walk together looking a bear. When the kids are distracted, pull out the bear and hide it in a brush or behind a tree. Then guide your children to the location and watch their excitement explore when they find the bear!
23. Go to a nature reserve
Nature reserves are key places for wildlife and natural features in England and are established to protect the most significant areas of habitats and geological formations. These are locations such as meadows, wetlands, ancient woodlands, moorland, heathlands, coast and mountains. Wildlife and nature thrive in these areas and it would be great to get your family exposed to the beauty of mother nature. Simply google nature reserves near me to see your local options. Please be respectful when visiting a nature reserve, they were built for a reason – protection of nature.
24. Go to a farm
Visiting a working farm can be a wonderful family activity, educational and entertaining for children and adults alike. There are many farms open to the public but if you are unsure if a particular one is, phone ahead. It would disrespectful to show up at a farm with family because farms are workplaces. Not all farmers want visitors while they are working. That being said, there are plenty of farms that do welcome victors so you can go see the farm animals and maybe feed them. You can sample their goods and spend some glorious time in the working outdoor world.
25. Build a sandcastle
If you are heading to the beach with your family, you MUST make a sandcastle! It’s basically the rules at this point. Take a bucket and space and make stunning architectural masterpieces fit for King Triton himself. You don’t need a bucket and spade though, however. You can just use your hands to make fantastic towers. Also, as a bonus activity, you can bury your arms and legs in the sand or maybe Mum’s entire body! Just don’t cover the face!
26. Swim in the sea
While at the beach, be brave and jump in the sea! Swimming in the sea is quite different from swimming in a pool. You’ll need to be very careful of currents and tides but it’s so much fun and can be so exhilarating!
27. Rock pooling
After playing in the sea, why not explore the treasures it leaves behind on the shore. It’s called rock pooling. On the beach, there’s usually large groups of rocks which the sea washes over when the tide comes in. When the tides go out, it leaves puddles and pools amongst the rocks filled with the wonders of the sea. It’s so much to climb about the rocks as a family to see what treasures you can find. Get yourself a small fishing net and a bucket to get a good look at your findings, but always return them! Do your part in preserving the beach. The best time to go rock pooling on a day when it’s dry and calm. This will keep the surface of a rock pool still, so it’s easier to see what’s below the water. Watch out for slipping surfaces and loose rocks, however. You don’t want anyone falling over!
28. Plant flowers
Gardening is a hobby that can last a lifetime and one that is the perfect experience to share as a family. You and your family can create floral masterpieces in your back garden and enjoy seeing what you’ve planted together grow into something beautiful. There is also sound much pleasure of caring for another living thing and helping it to thrive. So, get own your green thumbs and get your family outside to learn a fun, skilful and fulfilling past time.
29. Grow own fruit and veg
Following on from planting flowers, growing your own fruit and vegetables as a family is a great activity. You can work hard as a family to produce delicious food and come together to cook and eat your creations. This also promotes healthy eating in your children as well.
30. Sail a boat
Your boat can be anything, from a small rubber dinghy to a gigantic sailboat. Don’t worry if you don’t own your own boat, there are lots of places where you can hire one. If you live in the UK, the National Trust has plenty of our places which have canoes, kayaks and rowing boats available to hire. You can also find along on a river cruise in many places across Britain. Boat trips are exciting, refreshing and a great way to explore nature and sea life. You will definitely get a lot of fresh air on a boat!
31. Crazy/Mini Golf
Grab your putters and a friendly game of Mini Golf as a family. There are many places across the world where you and your family can compete in a fun atmosphere during their leisure time. Remember, the way to win is to do it the fewer tries. Not how hard you can hit the ball!
Orienteering is a great sport for families with a sense of adventure, who love to learn new skills have fun in the fresh air. Orienteering is about navigating between control points marked on a map. The challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time. Not only is it a great physical activity for your family but also it helps expand the mind with mental challenges. Google family-friendly orienteering events near you to get started.
Low/ No Cost
33. Sponge Bomb Fight
When the weather is hot and you need to cool down the kids as well as entertain the kids, why not have a sponge bomb fight? Now, you probably thinking – Why not a water balloon fight? Number one – water balloons can hurt. Number two – water balloons are not reusable and are gone within moments, after taking forever to fill them. Just take some normal household sponges and they are good as they are. You can craft them into a more colourful and fun design, using a tutorial from the internet, but you don’t have to. Just dunk the sponge in water, and you can use them again and again.
34. Play pooh sticks
Once upon a time, in the Hundred Acre Wood, lived a happy bear called Winnie the Pooh with all his friends and they created a fantastic but simple game that anyone can enjoy! The official rules of the game can found at this link but here is a quick summary. Find a bridge that a following river or stream going underneath. Then find yourself an opponent or two, and a nice-looking stick. Be sure you are able to recognise it again. Each opponent holds their stick over the side of the bridge where the water is flowing under. Count to three, down the stick and run to the over side of the bride. Whoever’s stick comes out first is the winner!
35. Make mud pies
If it has been raining or if it currently raining, put on your raincoats and wellies and get out there in that mud! Dig out your bucket and spades and make some mud pies. It’s simple but it’s messy, so bring the towels and wet wipes!
36. Have a picnic
On a sunny afternoon, a picnic is a perfect activity to do as a family. You can either make sandwiches and cakes together before you head out or pop to your local supermarkets to grab some delicious. Picnics don’t have to be over the top, and you don’t need to be Instagram worthy with a woven basket and perfectly cut sandwiches and finger foods. You can literally get a supermarket meal deal, couple of doughnuts and some fruit juices and you are ready to go!
37. Litter picking/competitions
We should play out part in making the world a cleaner and healthier place. It’s really depressing when you visit parks, beaches or even when you walked down the high street to see plastic, food containers and all sort of rubbish left about. So, why not play your part and teach your family a valuable lesson. Grab some gloves, bin bags and head on and pick up some rubbish for the good of the environment. Make it a fun activity by making it a competition: who can find the weirdest item? Who can collect the most? At the end of the activity, drop off your bags at your local recycling centre and feel good about doing your part make your community a cleaner place.
There is something so divinely magical about stargazing. Looking up into the sky and seeing a whole universe staring back down at you. It’s truly the perfect time to spend some quality time with your family outdoors. So, wrap up warm, head out to a safe location at and lie down. Top Tip – the longer you look up, the more stars you’ll discover. It will make you feel so wonderful. Try to spot constellations like ‘orion’ and ‘the bull’, but it can be just as much fun to find your own shapes. Also, watch out for a shooting star to make your wish on.
39. Cloud watching
This is just the daytime version of stargazing – cloud watching. On a bright sunny day (I wouldn’t recommend doing this when it’s raining!), lie back or sit outside and look up at the clouds. Discuss together as a family what the shapes of the clouds look like and have a laugh when your youngest suggests that big looks like grandma!
40. Go bird watching
Bird watching is a relaxing activity to sit in your back garden and do together, especially if you did activity 14 – Make a Birdfeeder. Or can go outside into the wildness and dedicated bird watching spots to look out for beautiful flying creatures. Across the internet, there are hundreds of bird spotting worksheets for children so print one out and have a good time.
41. Feed the ducks
Who doesn’t love going to their local park and feeding the ducks? Feeding the ducks is a timeless family activity that barely costs more a loaf of bread. See what I did there? However, there is the issue that recent studies show that too much bread isn’t good for the ducks. So why not change it up and serve your local ducks – oats, wheat, rice, bird seeds or your vegetable trimmings?
Who doesn’t love bubbles? You can entertain any member of your family of any age for hours with bubbles! You can pick bubble wands, small and giant, from most craft stores. Or you can buy a bubble making machine that make bubbles automatically for you. Or you can make your own bubble solution from dish soap and water. Head outside and have some bubble fun!
43. Have a sports day
Get the whole family together on your local sports field (or in your back garden) and have yourself a friendly competition! You can hold egg and spoon races, wheelbarrow races, Hula hoop challenges, space hopper races, a relay race, bean bag throwing competitions and maybe even a game of football! You can make prizes and certificates and hold an Olympic style ceremony at the end of the day to crowd all the winners. It’s a brilliant way to get your family outdoors and ding exercise together. I would recommend making sure there is an activity for anyone to win at. You don’t want any tears from sore losers. I am looking at you Dad.
44. Ride bikes
Biking is a fun, eco-friendly way for everyone to experience the outdoors. Whether your family lives in the countryside, the big city or somewhere in the middle, biking can be done anywhere. You can schedule in family bike rides on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It’s a great exercise to improve all ages health and it is a great way for kids to learn their way around your local area and about road safety. Remember to enforce the safety cautions like the main one – WEAR A HELMET!! Other safely clothing is a bonus but just don’t forget the helmet
45. Walk dogs
If you have a dog, make it a family activity once or twice (or maybe more) times a week to go out and walk the dog. It’s an activity that has to be done so why not double it up as quality time with the family whilst getting some fresh air.
46. Walk cats
If you have a cat, why not trying to walk your cat together? It does sense a little weird but there has be recent research into this and some studies prove that cats benefit from the exercise. Not all cats will enjoy it and most probably won’t being on a lead. However, you might actually have a cat who will enjoy some time outdoors, so why not try as a family to get your cat moving. If it doesn’t work, you probably will have a good laugh together anyway.
47. Go Gruffalo Hunting
If you live in the United Kingdom and your family is a fan of the Gruffalo stories, you can actually go Gruffalo Hunting! There is not just one, but lots of lovely locations around the UK where you can get outdoors and look for this mysterious creature. The Gruffalo Trail is headed up by the Forestry Commission with the sculptures & orienteering available at a number of fantastic forests. Click this link to find out more.
48. Easter Egg Hunting
If it’s around Easter, the classic family outdoor activity to do is Easter Egg hunting! If you don’t know what it is (where have you been?), it is game during which decorated eggs or Easter eggs are hidden to find. You can make your own Easter egg hunt in two different ways. You can use real hard-boiled eggs, which you can paint together first together as a family. Alternatively, you can artificial eggs made of plastic filled with chocolate and sweeties or foil-wrapped egg-shaped chocolates. Hide them around the garden and give everyone a cute little basket to collect their goodies. However, there are hundreds of Easter eggs hunts organised around the county so you can google search for your closed one.
49. Pumpkin carving
When the leaves turn golden and Halloween is just around the corner, Pumpkin carving is the perfect craft to do as a family. You can search for a local pumpkin picking facility first to have a good outside picking the perfect pumpkin as a family! However, you can’t find one, most local supermarkets sell pumpkins in the autumn. Now, this is an activity a child should do with an adult because you will have to use knives carve but that just makes it the perfect bonding experience. Get creative with your designs but you beat a good old-fashioned glowing jack-o’-lantern on your doorstep.
50. Ice Skating
Is it the colder months and you are looking for a festive activity for your family? Look no further than ice skating! Ice skating is a fun and exhilarating activity for everyone. Yes, it can be a little scary and shaky at times but mostly, it can be a right good laugh! Ice rinks pop all over the world during winter so just have an internet search for your local one. If you or all your family enjoy it immensely, there are plenty of permanent ice rinks across the country as well. It’s a great hobby to keep up and you never know, you might have a winter Olympian in the family.
So, I hope you enjoyed reading about these 50 Outdoor Activities you can do as a family and found one or two you would like to give a go yourself! The important thing is getting outside with your family in this beautiful world of ours! Have a wonderful day!