Hit the Trail

Five year old in blue camouflage rain jacket with binoculars hanging around neck standing on grass

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Getting Out With Kids Without Risking Anyone’s Health

Five year old in blue camouflage rain jacket with binoculars hanging around neck standing on grass

  • What: Finding A Space Outdoors
  • When: Options are limited for exploring
  • Why: Stay sane, fresh air, exercise
  • Where: Anywhere you can find

If you and your kids can’t stand the sight of each other after more than six weeks stuck at home, consider getting out of the house. Even in these dire circumstances, officials encourage people of all ages to get outside and enjoy exercise. If your kids have gotten tired of the local parks, sidewalks, and nearby jaunts, consider going a little further afield.

Kids playing in tall grass of wetlands on partly cloudy day
A breath of fresh air helps everyone feel less stressed.

A car ride keeps everyone safely contained until you reach your destination. Aim for less popular trails tucked more out of the way (rather than the big parks or beaches everyone tends to flock to), with wide paths that allow everyone to stay six feet away even when passing each other. Add a natural feature, like water, an estuary, a forest, or tidal flats, and a pair of binoculars and let your kids get out of the house without feeling like you put anyone at risk. 

Whether the trail goes a quarter mile in and back or makes a multi-mile loop, if you bike, take a stroller, or walk, it can help pass the time and give everyone a much-needed change of scenery. Pack some water bottles and snacks to keep everyone content for a longer time, and take your time. You can use up half a day or more on a single outing without pushing yourself or your kids to the breaking point.

Partly sunken ship on riverbank
You never know what you might spot on an outing, like this partly sunken boat.

Check your local resources to find out what’s open, what’s recommended, and get ideas for places to visit. If you want to avoid other people, pick a less popular time (very early, very late, or a weekday), and make sure to check the weather for your destination before heading out.

Want more buy-in from your kids? Let them have a say in picking the spot. You can research some options and let them pick from several safe choices, or go wild and give them free rein and see what comes up. Either way, here’s to hoping you and your family get some fresh air and much needed exposure to nature.

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