Keeping children busy is an art in itself, because they love and need variety all the time and you should offer it to them. These ideas for outdoor activities for families are suitable for the whole year and any weather.
Children are curious by nature and often they are so full of energy that mum or dad (or in my case godfather) are very busy keeping them occupied. Parking the children in front of the TV, PC or game console should only be the exception and is neither imaginative nor conducive to the child’s development as a permanent solution. So what are some good alternatives?
There is an extensive list of ideas for kids’ activities in the rain on Abenteuer Freundschaft. From the playground around the corner, to collecting pine cones on a walk in the woods, to a visit to the circus, these ideas provide inspiration for a variety of outdoor activities for families.
75 Ideas for Fun Outdoor Activities for Families
Most of these 75 ideas for outdoor activities don’t cost anything, but some require extra toys or equipment. The list is roughly divided by season, although some things can of course be done all year round. There is also a small extra list for activities that cost admission.
Outdoor Activities for Families in Spring
Outdoor bouncy game
- Go to a special playground (adventure playground / water playground / forest playground)
- Picking meadow flowers for a bouquet
- Weave a necklace or hair ornament from daisies
- Visit a game preserve or zoo and feed the animals with food provided
- Watching ducks and native animals in the park (and painting afterwards)
- Take a trip to a farm
- Strolling through the pedestrian zone and playing I see something you don’t
- Taking part in a scavenger hunt with other children
- Frolicking in the ball pool at Ikea
- Making a dandelion soup (split the stems and put them in water, then they curl)
- Exploring the treasures of the forest on a walk (What is already in flower? What animals will I discover?)
- Watching beetles, butterflies, snails
- Make a forest nature trail together
- Sowing vegetables, flowers or herbs
- Picking wild garlic (beware of the risk of confusing it with lily of the valley!)
- Paint and play heaven and hell with sidewalk chalk
- Play hula hoop and rubber twist
- Go on a picnic
- Print out tulip, daffodil and primrose counting cards and let the child count and draw in the garden
- Playing rubber mitts
Outdoor Activities for Families in Summer
Children playing by a pond
- Harvesting and snacking on fruit
- Build a cave from branches
- Build a course in the garden and play jury
- Play football with natural objects
- Build a tree house (with the help of adults)
- Create and make your own barefoot path
- Make giant soap bubbles
- Playing with marbles using plastic flowerpots as obstacles and goals
- Throw long distances, e.g. with balloons filled with rice
- Playing hide and seek
- Playing catch
- Playing with a ball and practising catching at the same time
- A treasure hunt in your own garden, a park or forest
- Building a big castle in the sandpit
- Draw lines with sidewalk chalk and have the child do a skill slalom
- Spread a blanket on the lawn, lie down and look at the clouds and interpret them
- Take a night hike
- Sleep under the open sky and camp in the garden
- Watching the sunrise from a beautiful vantage point
- Collecting flat stones and skipping them on the water
Outdoor Activities for Families in Autumn
Children love to play with autumn leaves
- Participate in a street parade or street fair
- Jumping through puddles with wellies
- Collecting pine cones, acorns, chestnuts and colourful leaves
- Flying a kite
- Taking part in a lantern procession (e.g. for St. Martin’s Day)
- Ride on a soapbox
- Practising somersault, flik-flak and other “acrobatics” on the lawn or a blanket outside
- Make a campfire (in a designated, permitted spot), roast marshmallows and stick bread and tell the children stories
- Have a forest rally
- Hang birdhouses (build from natural materials and) so that the birds can find food in winter
Outdoor Activities for Families in Winter
Winter fun sledding in fresh snow
- Visit a children’s and youth library
- Go sledging
- Build a snowman
- Build an igloo (if you live where the snow stays longer)
- Making your breath visible in winter and playing dragon spitting smoke
- Have a snowball fight
- Take part in a torchlight hike
- Go to a nice indoor swimming pool
- Go ice skating
- Go skiing or snowboarding
Ideas for Outdoor Activities That Are Not for Free
- Visit a zoo
- Visit an aquarium
- Visit a children’s theatre, e.g. a puppet theatre
- Go to the circus
- Going on a carousel at a funfair
- Taking a trip to a theme park
- Visit a bouncy castle or trampoline hall
- Visit a castle
- Go to an ice cream parlour
- Go to the cinema to see a children’s film
- Visit a museum for children (many museums also offer special children’s tours)
- Visit a tropical house
- Visit a bird show at a falconry
- Nature in your city tour (In Berlin, for example, the Freilandlabor Britz e.V. offers a great, monthly changing programme with guided tours for children to observe and get to know animals, e.g. amphibians or bats, and great workshops, e.g. on edible flowers and leaves, wild herbs in the city, and much more).
You are looking for more insipriation for children’s activities outside or at home? Take a look at our other ideas for a family outing or our overview of family games. You can also find general tips on our website for activities with children, with friends or as a couple with your partner.
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