50 Fun Things to Do Outside as a Family

Free (or nearly free) activities for families when the weather is nice

fun things to do outside
When a beautiful day happens along, you don't want to waste it! Here are 50 fun things to do outside as a family! Fly a kite is number 3!. Cavan Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Whenever we get a warm weather day in our area (or even a warm-ish weather day!), we can't wait to head outside for some fun outdoor family activities. But what to do? With five of us in our family in varying ages, all with very different interests, it is very often hard to come up with things to do outside we all want to (willingly) participate in.

This list of 50 fun things to do outside as a family is sure to please everyone (or at least give you a great jumping off point for family fun).

And if some of these things sound like chores to you - garden or water the plants for example -- remember, these are things you are doing with your preschooler. They are supposed to be fun, learning experiences! Have fun with it!

  1. Go for a walk. Set a timer. How far can you go in 5 minutes? 10? 20? 30? (Don't forget that you have to come back!)
  2. Ride bikes.
  3. Fly kites.
  4. Blow bubbles.
  5. Play classic outdoor games -- Red Rover, Red Light Green Light, Steal the Bacon, etc. 
  6. Host a scavenger hunt. Look for things like pine cones, acorns and other common outdoor items. Who can find the most things? 
  7. Hula hoop!
  8. Roller skate.
  9. Play "Follow the Leader" through your yard or neighborhood.
  10. Draw a hopscotch board with chalk.
  11. Make play dough and bring it outside. (Clean up is a breeze!)
  12. Drive to a neighboring town and check out their playgrounds. Maybe you'll find a new favorite!
  13. Set up a canvas and let your little ones paint (again, less mess to clean up!).
  1. Find a shady tree and read.
  2. Have a picnic at a local park, beach or your own backyard.
  3. Do things you'd normally do inside out. Like play board games or have a pillow fight or watch a movie (bring out your computer or portable DVD player).
  4. Make smores.
  5. Garden. Teach your little one to weed.
  6. Make a movie.
  7. Eat homemade popsicles.
  1. Have a water balloon fight.
  2. Wash the car.
  3. Go for a jog.
  4. Play wiffleball or kickball.
  5. Take a ton of pictures.
  6. Make mud pies. Who can make the fanciest creation?
  7. Sing as loud as you can.
  8. Is it getting dark outside? Play hide and seek with flashlights (and partners if you have a lot of little kids).
  9. Water the plants. Give your preschooler some basic experiments to consider -- does the hose make water come out faster or the watering can? Which is easier to control?
  10. Build paper airplanes. Who can make theirs fly the furthest?
  11. Search for bugs.
  12. Set up a lemonade stand.
  13. Run through the sprinkler. Yes, you too mom and dad!
  14. Make homemade, simple bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter and bird seed.
  15. Drive to another neighborhood and go for a walk there. Pretend to be observational scientists. What's different? What is the same?
  16. Gather up a wagon, all your child's stuffed animals and some pots and pans. Instant parade!
  17. Look for things like pine cones, sticks, shells and rocks. Make a mobile. Who can find the most interesting item?
  1. Play on the swing set in the dark.
  2. Pick flowers (from your own yard!).
  3. Find shapes in the clouds.
  4. Take a nap, either in a hammock or just on a blanket you lie on the grass.
  5. Go "fishing" -- set up a wading pool with objects and let your little one try to catch them.
  6. Color eggs (not just for Easter!) and then make egg salad. (Another great activity to do outside with less mess!)
  7. Pitch a tent.
  8. Paint rocks.
  9. Host a dance party.
  10. Water gun fight!
  11. Learn to do cartwheels.
  12. Build a fort using lawn furniture.
  13. Walk barefoot in the grass. Then try the cement (make sure it isn't too hot first!) Ask your preschooler to compare what they feel like. What other surfaces can you make your feet touch?

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