Savor the Last Days of Sun: 6 Outdoor Sports the Whole Family Will Love

family-outdoor-activities-collage

One of the dilemmas I hear from other moms is finding fun things to do with kids that will promote being outdoors and exercising. Finding activities that capture the interest of the whole family, which is made up of people in a wide age range and varying personalities can be challenging.

…a family that plays together, stays together – and there are only a few more weeks of good weather left to get some great play time in!

I recently found several sports that our whole family enjoyed, and they are all great ways to get outdoors and enjoy the last remaining warmth and sunshine that early fall has to offer.

ropes course
Image via Flickr/michaelcardus

 Aerial Adventure Park (Ropes Course)

A new trend in outdoor adventure is popping up across the country, outdoor adventure parks. Part ropes course, part canopy zipline- this park is one of the most challenging and fun activities we’ve done as a family. Most parks will have a beginner, intermediate and advanced course. It’s amazing to see how quickly kids will learn the basics and then move onto the tough courses that grown men have a hard time completing. A great way to challenge yourself physically and mentally.

family ziplining
Image via Flickr/tourismnewbrunswick

Canopy Tour (Zip Line)

Often people think zip lining is only offered in exotic places when you are on vacation. Luckily, many canopy tours are offered across the U.S.A., and children as young as 5 years old can participate. No video game or modern technology can compare to the rush of wind in your hair as you jump off the platform and swing high above the trees. It’s quite an adventure.

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white water rafting
Image via Shannon Watt

White Water Rafting

One of my personal favorites is rafting. You get to be on the water and it’s a moderate workout – but still has a shot of adrenaline now and again. Plus, there’s a guide to help us make it down the river without capsizing. Some rafting rides allow for you to jump over the edge and float around for a bit, and then get back in the boat, which kids usually love. Learning how to row in sync with the group is a great team building exercise.

tubing
Image via Flickr/Guillame Capron

Tubing

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to cool off and enjoy a river, go tubing. There’s minimal exertion involved, but you get to enjoy the same scenery as a rafting trip, and you can bring your own snacks.  If you enjoy a slower paced adventure, tubing would be a great fit.

family canoeing
Image via Flickr/Dark Dwarf

Canoe/Kayak

One of the hottest trends I’ve seen in our nationwide travels is kayaking and/or canoeing. Whether I’m in big cities like New York or Austin, or small towns sprinkled through Michigan to Vermont, I haven’t run across a body of water that doesn’t have a kayaker on it. There are kayaking classes and clubs springing up everywhere as more and more families are joining the kayaking craze. Check your local area for information on how you can try it out for a day and see if kayaking is a fit for your family.

paddleboarding kid
Image via Flickr/LakeMartinVoice

Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP for short)

Paddleboarding is a newer sport, wherein you stand on a board similar to a surfboard and use an oar to propel and steer yourself. I first saw paddle boarders navigating the Pacific Ocean when I lived in Southern California. I thought it was a surfing alternative for old people. Flash forward a few years and I see it everywhere, done by all age ranges. It’s a great way for families to explore calm waters and enjoy the natural wildlife, flora, and fauna of the region.

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Most of these activities can be found in your local area, but we were lucky to find them all “under one roof” during our recent visit to Washington DC.

River Riders is based in Harpers Ferry, WV, about an hour outside of downtown DC, and they are the premiere adventure providers in the tri-state area. We thoroughly enjoyed our guides during each part of our adventure, and felt completely safe and well taken care of. If you are in the area, I highly recommend using them for your next outdoor adventure.

No matter where you reside, I urge you to check out the outdoor adventure options available in your area. As they say, a family that plays together, stays together – and there are only a few more weeks of good weather left to get some great play time in!

Disclaimer: RiverRiders.com was gracious enough to host us during our visit, but all opinions are my own.

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Savor the Last Days of Sun: 6 Outdoor Sports the Whole Family Will Love

Shannon is a mother of 3 teens, who hit 40 and decided that instead of a "mid-life crisis", she wanted an adventure of a lifetime. She convinced her wonderfully open-minded husband to pack up their house, sell most of their possessions, and travel the USA in an RV for a year or two. Besides homeschooling her kids, running their online program, Watts in the World, Shannon loves to explore new places. Nothing is more exciting than waking up in a new city everyday, and discovering what's great abou ... More

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