Has your family been looking for an environmental friendly way to spend the day or weekend without breaking the bank? There are many opportunities to explore and immerse yourself in the world around us in a quick day or two. Spending time together as a family in nature is as beneficial to your family bond as it is in bonding your family to nature. Here are some of my favorite day trips that will envelope your family in natural beauty and will you leave you with a greater appreciation for our Earth.
You and your family can explore the natural world at more than 60 National Parks around the United States. National Parks are an excellent way to introduce your family to nature, history and culture. National Parks are usually centered around a specific topic. These topics include environmental topics such as; caves, coral reefs, endangered species, fossils and dinosaurs, hot springs, glaciers or volcanoes. Also, historical topics such as; American Presidents, Civil War, early explorers, human rights, invention and industry, Westward Expansion and Revolutionary War.
My favorite National Parks that my family has visited include; Mesa Verde National Park -Colorado, Dry Tortugas National Park - Florida, Yellowstone National Park -Montana, Wyoming and Oregon and Rocky Mountain National Park -Colorado. You can find state parks by name, location, topic or activity here. There are many ways to view a National Park, my favorites include; hiking, biking, rock climbing, swimming, snowshoeing, camping or on horseback. You can also view a National Park by guided tour, which is an fantastic way to learn about the park while viewing it.
State Parks are similar to National Parks as far as the activities, however the focus of the park is usually directed at being outdoors and celebrating nature at its finest. The fantastic part of State Parks is it doesn't matter which state you live in, there will be a state park for your family to visit and enjoy.
My family's favorite state park activities include hiking, wildlife and bird watching and camping. Our favorite state parks have been Tallulah Gorge State Park -Georgia, Dinosaur National Monument -Colorado and Mount Princeton Hot Springs - Colorado. Your state park may have natural area programs that are dedicated to protecting the best natural beauty within your state. These programs usual offer volunteering or learning opportunities for the entire family. Whether you are interested in beavers, wildflowers or preserving our lakes and rivers, chances are your local state park will have a program that your family can participate in. You can find your local state parks here.
A Nature Preserve is an area that has been legally protected for educational and scientific purposes because of its natural importance. These protected areas are usually accessible by walking or hiking. A nature preserve will give your family the opportunity to view wildlife, flora, animals or other geological features in their natural surroundings. Nature preserves also have amazing volunteer opportunities where your family can help maintain and restore a part of your local nature preserve. You can find nature preserves in your local area here.
There are many types of museums to enchant your family for the day. Some of my family's favorites include art, nature and science, and historical museums. Museums are an excellent way to learn something new and engage your child's mind at the same time. Art museums are fantastic because children love to see pieces that are large, colorful and that include animals and nature. Nature and Science museums will give your family insight on how our environment works, as well as give you a hands on experience. Historical museums are a fantastic way to see the past in a new light. You can find your local museums here.
A day at the Botanical Gardens is the perfect family day trip. A large part of the botanical gardens will be outside, giving your child the change to flit from flower to flower, like a buzzing bumble bee. Botanical gardens will have a vast array of collections that house plants from all over the world. You will also find an assortment of birds and bugs, that the children will delight in finding. Botanical gardens have amazing classes for adults and kids alike and some even have summer concert series. Spending an afternoon on the grass at a botanical garden listening to beautiful music, surrounded by nature, is a lovely way to spend the day.
Once you have decided on and planned your family day trip, remember to pack for a day of fun and sun. Make sure that your backpacks are complete with; binoculars, drinking water, sunscreen, camera, writing journal, and waste bags for the dogs. Don't forget to pack a fantastic healthy lunch to enjoy while you on your day adventure.
What are your family's favorite day trips?
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