I’ve compiled a list of some fun things to do with your family or loved ones outside to improve your health and happiness. You can find the first 15 outdoor activities here and there are even more reasons to enjoy the summertime below. These activities don’t cost much and the benefits are well worth your time and effort.
16. Squirrel/Rabbit Hunting. This is a fun way to get kids outside and get some walking in. It’s also a good opportunity to teach firearm safety and the correct ways to walk and hold a gun. Always check with your local regulations to get the correct hunting dates, permits and locations.
17. Grilling. Learning to cook is truly priceless. I try to let my kids help as much as possible when it comes to grilling and cooking food. After you put the meat or vegetables on the grill, stay outside and play. Once the food is ready, enjoy it outdoors on a picnic table or on a blanket to finish out the fun.
18. Pick Fruit. Farms where you can pay to pick your own fruit are becoming more and more popular. Find an apple orchard or strawberry patch and take an afternoon to do some picking. As a kid I picked raspberries in my great grandpa’s garden and the joke was always that I ate more raspberries than I ever picked, but it was all part of the fun. Cut up your fresh picked strawberries and serve with strawberry cream cheese for an extra delicious snack!
19. Pistol Range. An outdoor pistol range is a great way to keep your home defense skills up while having fun with family and friends. Many ranges also have instructors to help you to improve your skills. Don’t forget hearing protection, eye protection and sunscreen!
20. Paint Rocks. When you’re out on a hike look for the perfect rocks to paint and add them to your garden or front step. These make great gifts and are a fun way to keep you outside and get the creativity going.
21. Trail Cameras. Many people think of trail cameras as something they only put out in the fall but its actually a really fun year-round activity. We love watching the deer grow their antlers throughout the summer.
22. Plant Wildflowers. Planting anything and watching it grow is fun, but I especially love wildflowers. If you have an area of the yard or tall grass that’s not especially beautiful, a little wildflower mix can add a splash of color to any area. We get our seed from LaCrosse seed and use it in our ditches, weedy areas and even on our shooting range. When they grow up its also a great location to get some pretty photos!
23. Frozen Surprise. Place toys in a small bucket of water and let them freeze. Once frozen, take them outside and let the kids crack the ice to find the frozen surprises.
25. Water Balloon Toss. Water balloon toss competitions have been around for a long time, and it’s always a lot of fun. The good news is there are now companies that have made creating water balloons much easier. We buy them as a big spindle and it only takes seconds to make 35 balloons with a lot less mess and no tying. It’s my favorite inventions for summer! You can also throw a bunch on a trampoline and let the kids have a water balloon fight and bounce around with them.
26. Put Up Bird Feeders. This is a fun way to get birds up close and to keep you entertained. If you have cats in your family, make sure to place the feeders where the cats can’t pounce on the birds. Keep the feeders high and away from other things so you’re not baiting in birds for an easy meal for your cats.
27. Set Up a sprinkler. A simple sprinkler on a hot summer day can provide hours of fun. Sometimes we add a tarp to the mix and the kids make their own slip n slide. We also put it underneath the trampoline to cool them off while getting exercise and having fun.
24. Shooting Long Distance Steel Targets. Shooting long distance isn’t for everyone but it sure is fun when you hear that steel hit after a perfect shot. This is fun for kids to watch and really does improve your shooting and your understanding of your gun and loads. It doesn’t mean you have to take 700-yard shots while hunting, its just fun to fine tune your abilities making you a better shot at close distances.
28. Chalk Drawings. A cheap bucket of chalk can provide hours of entertainment and artistic fun. Bring along tape, or even chalk stencils, to take the artwork to another level. The best part is as soon as it rains or you bring by the water hose, you can have a fresh area to draw all over again.
29. Pack a picnic. Something as easy as a picnic can bring the whole family together. Grab a blanket, some of their favorite foods and head to a nearby park, lake or scenic area for a fun meal. Let the kids help pack and teach them the importance of gathering up any trash or wrappers to keep the area clean for the future.
30. Trapping Gophers. As kids, my siblings and I trapped gophers for award money from our county. They gave us 50 cents a foot and we saved the money to buy our first bikes. This is some of the easiest trapping to do, is a great learning experience and eliminates pests.