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2020 Jun

Get Outside Guide

Find a world of fun outside your front door.

We’re all going a bit stir-crazy staring at the same four walls of our living rooms. The kids are surrounded by countless toys, and yet they still complain they’re bored. You cannot fathom watching Frozen one more time. You are at your wit’s end.

Perhaps all you and your kids need is a fresh change of scenery. Head outdoors and find a world of fun. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Here are some ideas to get you out and moving.

Fun in the Sun

Why not let the kids cool off with some water play? You can purchase a simple kiddie pool from Target for only $10. Or, invest in a water table and some play sand for hours of creative fun. Give the kids some toys or plastic balls to play with in the water. Add some bubbles in the mix, and your backyard has now transformed into an unofficial waterpark.

Go Fish

Pack up a picnic lunch and head to the piers for an afternoon of family fishing. Saltwater options include Pleasure House Point Natural Area, Sandbridge, and Croatan Beach Park in Virginia Beach. Some freshwater options include Northwest River Park in Chesapeake, Portsmouth City Park, Bennett’s Creek Park in Suffolk, and more. Visit your city’s Parks & Recreation website to find a list of fishing piers in your area.

Hike & Find

Design your own hiking scavenger hunt to keep the little ones entertained while you get some much-needed exercise. Visit cityofchesapeake.net to download a checklist of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals that can be found at the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail and help your kids to identify as many as you can. Bring a disposable camera and let the kids take pictures of what they find. They’ll be so excited to get the film developed and see the snaps they took!

Discover Buried Treasure

Have you ever heard of geocaching? People all over the world participate in this adventurous game by using a GPS to find hidden public treasures. Once found, you can sign the log book and replace the item, while others might even have trinkets for you to take home. There are plenty of gems to find throughout Hampton Roads, too. Download the app at www.geocaching.com/play to join in the virtual adventure. Difficulties vary.

Enjoy the Ride

Build memories with your kids with a daily bike ride. It makes a great new addition to any morning routine or a peaceful way to wind down the evening with the sunset. The Cape Henry Trail offers multiple terrains. Or, try the Newport News Park Bikeway for a 5-mile loop. There are plenty of trails to choose from, or you could even take a simple route through your neighborhood. Just get out and enjoy the ride!

Drive-By Celebrations

Trying to find a creative way to celebrate a birthday or graduation? Organize a drive-by celebration! Encourage friends and family to decorate their cars with balloons and ribbons and honk as they slowly pass by your home at the designated time to celebrate with you or your child. Then, pick up any gifts at the curb and enjoy watching your personal parade pass on by. Make sure to return the favor, too!

Into the Water

Grab a kayak or canoe (and your family) and head to the nearest lake. Kayaking is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the peace of the water. Local launches include Constant’s Wharf & Marina in Suffolk, Pungo Ferry Landing Park in Virginia Beach, Ocean View Beach Park in Norfolk, and more. The best part? Out on the water you won’t have to worry about social distancing too much. Get splashin’!

Moon and Stars

Take the family on a camping adventure! Many campsites are now open (following state guidelines) and accepting reservations. Visit Isle of Wight Family Campground for wooded trails, a fishing pond, and a pool! The Virginia Beach KOA offers many fun amenities including a game arcade, bike rentals, and more. Whether in a tent, cabin, or an RV, there’s nothing quite like sleeping under the moon and stars together!

Stephanie Allen is the publisher’s assistant for Tidewater Women & Tidewater Family. She is also a success coach helping creatives learn effective strategies for putting their work in front of others while making quality connections. Follow her on Facebook & Twitter for free tips and resources!

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