We made it, everyone! It’s finally spring, and it actually feels like it here on the west coast. While we’re big fans of getting outside year-round, there’s something energizing about those first few days of sunshine and warm temperatures that can’t be beat. If you’ve got kids at home this spring break, now’s the perfect time to get some fresh air and go adventure as a family. Here are seven easy (and cheap) activities to get you started:
1. Plant a Seed
If you have a yard or garden, spring break is a great opportunity to get the whole family involved in some gardening. Kids love picking out seeds, flowers, and small plants, and many gardening stores sell gloves in children’s sizes so they can jump right in with you. If you don’t have a yard, trying buying some small pots and soil, and plant seeds together. You can keep them inside as they sprout, and then move them to a deck later if you have one.
2. Go Geocaching
What kid doesn’t like a good treasure hunt? Geocaching is a super easy and fun way to turn your walks and hikes into mission-based adventures. Unlike the treasures of a scavenger hunt, ‘geocaches’ are already out there in parks and urban areas, ready for you to find, using online clues and a GPS (or a phone app!). Caches are all different sizes. Some have little trinket treasures to swap out, others have only a logbook for those who find the cache to record their names. To get started, visit https://www.geocaching.com/play.
3. Stay Cozy with a BBQ Lunch
It doesn’t have to be blazing hot outside to enjoy a picnic. Cooler temperatures are perfect for cooking up a hot lunch on a portable camping BBQ. Turn a regular park or beach visit into a memorable day with veggie burgers or kabobs, roasted while the kids play. Invite a few friends while you’re at it, but be prepared for jealous looks from those who walk by. Everyone knows - food tastes better outdoors!
4. Walk and Learn in Nature
Fit a little education in with the fun by finding a guided nature walk near you. Many parks and conservation areas host guided walks on weekends and during school breaks (see Victoria’s CRD event schedule here). Guided walks are an awesome way to meet other families, see new corners of familiar parks, and learn something new about your natural environment. Most walks are specifically designed for families, so you can be sure your kids won’t be bored as they find slugs or discover the inner workings of tidal pools.
5. Have Fun with Photography
If you have older kids, grab a real camera or two and visit a nearby scenic spot for an adventurous photoshoot. Let the kids take photos of their surroundings and each other. Encourage them to try close-up shots of flowers, plants, or whatever else they can find. They can try the different camera settings, like black and white or macro. Let their creativity go wild! At the end of the day, you’ll have great photos and memories.
6. Hunt for Heritage
Many historic sites are outdoors, whether old forts, towns, garden estates, or battle fields. They’re great places to learn a bit of Canadian history while letting young kids run free. Our local favourite for exploring is Fort Rodd Hill, but you can find the full list of national historic sites here.
7. Hike and Celebrate
Sometimes, you just can’t beat the classic family hike. Pick a hike with a natural resting point half-way (we love small mountain hikes, where you can take a break at the summit!). Get the whole family excited by packing special treats to be enjoyed when you reach the top (like hot chocolate, or Dutch Cocoa Rumble!). Make it a mini-celebration of what you’ve accomplished as a family - having fun, outdoors, together.