Fun Ideas for Active Family Outings in 2019, written by Family Days Out correspondent Cat Murphy.
Finding something to do that the whole family will love is easy this year! There are plenty of new attractions and activities for an entire year of fun with the kids. Check out these top family activities of 2019 before planning your next vacation.
This interactive sports experience is at the Indiana Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. The newly built Sports Legends Experience is connected to the museum and has its own set of hours that extend beyond the normal Children’s museum during the summer.
You’ll find plenty to do, including tennis, basketball, football, and baseball. The outdoor area is covered with different options to choose from and mixes physical education with opportunities to work up a sweat. If you prefer a slower pace, check out the two-pedal car racing tracks or the miniature golf course. The best time to visit the Sports Legends Experience is during the summer when the outdoor area is open. Be sure to wear your sneakers and athletic gear.
If you’re looking for an afternoon out with the family, along with a side of history, check out the many different baseball fields located all across the country. Snag a cozy seat at the infamous Wrigley Field in Chicago. You'll experience a rich history from the size of the stadium to the team breaking the drought spell when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016.
Other popular fields include Fenway Park which is home to the Boston Red Sox along with Yankee Stadium in New York City. For those West Coast families, check out the beautiful AT&T Park which is home to the San Francisco Giants and sits right on the San Francisco Bay. You’ll be sure to find a fun game of baseball near you during the spring and summer. Are you looking for a challenge? Try visiting all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in one season!
These trending businesses can quickly turn a rainy afternoon into an exciting family fun day. Trampoline parks are popping up all over the country with more than one in major metro areas. These indoor arenas feature trampolines on every wall and surface along with foam pits and plenty of bouncing that will keep everyone interested. So take off your shoes and jump along with your kids for an afternoon of fun (you may even get in a surprising workout).
If you want to explore nature in the Northwest region of the country, go for a stroll through the Seattle Japanese Garden. This three and a half acre site is one of the top Japanese >
Then head over to the Bloedel Reserve, just across Puget Sound. The reserve’s natural woodlands and gardens feature many hiking trails. USA Today ranks the botanical gardens at the reserve as one of the top ten in North America.
A trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without stopping at Mt. Rainier National Park. If you’ve got teenagers, we suggest hiking to Summerland. This hike offers you a view of Mt Ranier’s southern slopes and a beautiful view of wildflowers. The trail is about 8 and a half miles roundtrip, so we don’t recommend the climb for families with young children. Summerland has some great family camping spots, but you need to reserve a campsite months in advance.
If you’ll be exploring nature in the Southwest region of the country, the Valley of Fire State Park offers a fun family activity that could take the entire day. Located east of Las Vegas, the park features 40,000 acres of bright red sandstone that has been carved by the wind and water into beautiful and unique structures.
The Valley of Fire State Park is very family friendly as you drive from spot to spot. Each featured stop has a restroom as well as hiking trails for the family to enjoy. Many visitors also enjoy exploring the rocks and kids will have a blast climbing on the rocks as well. Hiking is available at every stop if you want to explore.
A 90-minute drive north from the Big Apple will get you to Bear Mountain State Park with the Bear Mountain Loop Trail perfect for family hiking. Nestled along the Hudson River, you’ll be sure to get some beautiful views, great for a quick family photo or two along the way! The trail features steps and rock scrambling towards the end of it for a more explorative afternoon. Make sure to wear your hiking boots and bring along those adults who can handle climbing to get to the top.
A geocache is a hidden item placed by another outdoor adventurer. Geocaching is an enjoyable family activity that involves nature, a GPS, and some careful detective work. Use the geocaching app to find those hidden treasures in your area or along a route while traveling. You’ll find some fascinating items often hidden in plain sight or deep in the woods.
Children love this family activity because it gives them a chance to find hidden treasures and to place their own little trinkets in a geocache for others to seek out. Geocaching is a year-round activity, but you may prefer to limit it to the warmer months.
Not to imply that rock collecting is a new activity, but the recent trend with painted rocks has gotten even the littlest ones excited about finding the perfect rock. Consider gathering a collection of rocks and decorating them with fun messages. Then go out into your community to place them where other young explorers can find them. Venture onto a painted rock hunt and check out different areas where there are other rock varieties.
For older kids, make sure to print out a rock guide and help them decipher what type of rock they've discovered. Use this as an educational discussion point in land and rock formation.
You may think that bird watching is a thing of the past, but it can be a great family activity that will get your kids interested in nature. Pick up a book in your area about common bird species and head out with a few sets of binoculars in tow. You’ll be amazed at the many different kinds of birds that you can spot on a walk around the neighborhood or at a local park. Head into the wooded areas around your home for even more variations of birds to spot with a keen eye. Create a game with your kids on who can find the most variety of birds the fastest.
These are just a few suggestions to get your family off the couch and outdoors. If we included all the beautiful beaches in the country or all the rodeos and other special events each city offers, the list would be endless. If you’re searching for something different, these are the top family activities of 2019.
Cat Murphy is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. She enjoys cooking for family and friends and going on long hikes anywhere and everywhere in nature.