Fun Activities and Things to Do Outside

By Miriam B. Weiner May 13, 2020
(Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

The best cure for quarantine cabin fever is fresh air, and with the weather growing warmer by the day, the call of the wild is getting harder to resist. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things to do outside that you can try even while social distancing.

Below is a list of fun and creative outdoor activities to help you feel a little less cooped up.

Fun things to do outside for individuals and couples: Go stargazing (Credit: Ylenia Cancelli/Shutterstock)

Fun Outdoor Activities for Individuals and Couples

It can be easy to let adulthood cramp your imagination when it comes to thinking of fun ways to enjoy the outdoors by yourself or with your significant other. And let’s face it: you can only go for so many walks around the block. Here is a list of creative outdoor activities for adults.

Take a hike

Nothing cures that climbing-the-walls feeling quite like a few hours on the trails. Not only is hiking a great way to clear your mind, it can also help increase bone density, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And thankfully, you don’t need to live next to Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon to find a path worth taking. Services like AllTrails can help you find hiking trails near you, and you can filter by length and difficulty. Prepare for your day on the trails with our list of hiking essentials.

Plant a garden

Planting and tending to a garden isn’t just a fulfilling way to enjoy some fresh air. Research shows that gardening can help minimize stress, which can ultimately improve your sleep quality. What’s more, caring for plants has been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness.

Before you say you don’t have the space for a garden, consider creative alternatives. Many towns and cities have community gardens where you can lease a plot. Or consider window boxes, which work perfectly for apartment living.

Take your workout outside

Gyms around the country may be closed, but that shouldn’t keep you from getting your sweat on. There are plenty of ways to raise your heart rate outside.

One of the most popular ways to exercise outside is to go for a walk or  a run. But we get it: pounding the pavement isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a low-impact workout, try bike-riding or rollerblading. You can also grab your yoga mat and take your Downward Dog (or your pilates, or even your sit-ups) outside.

Have date night under the stars

All you need for a true evening out is your special someone, and maybe a blanket or two, as nothing says romance quite like stargazing. Thanks to the many free stargazing apps available to download, you can enjoy quality time together while learning to identify the constellations dotting the night’s sky.

What’s more, because you can see different constellations throughout the year, this is an activity that will never feel repetitive.

Go fish

If you need some peace and quiet, it’s time to try your hand at fishing. Grab some snacks, head to the lake, river or ocean, and enjoy a few hours immersed in the sounds of nature. Fishing is also a great way to learn new skills like knot-making.

Before you invest in your own equipment, you should check to see if any outdoors outfitters or marinas offer equipment rentals.

More Ideas

  • Watch a sunset or sunrise
  • Go for a walk
  • Practice outdoor photography

See our full list of ideas below.

Fun things to do outside: Make s’mores (Credit: Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock)

Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids and Families

With a little imagination, nature can provide endless fun things to do for families. If you’re wanting for ideas, here is a list of outdoor activities the kids are sure to love.

Conduct science experiments

Now’s the perfect time to shut off the electronics and spark a love of science in your kids. From building homemade rockets to bug hunts to the good old Diet Coke and Mentos explosion, there are plenty of fun experiments that are best done outside, most of them requiring little to know special equipment. Check out for inspiration.

The best part? You won’t make a mess of your house.

Bring dinner outdoors

You don’t need to go camping to practice your outdoor culinary skills. Instead, all you need is an outdoor fire pit or grill, some camping chairs and curious taste buds.

Cookouts can go far beyond burgers and hot dogs. Expand your menu and get your kids involved in helping you prepare tin foil dinners with their favorite meals. They’ll love seeing how delicious a little ingenuity can taste.

And for dessert, no kid can say no to s’mores!

Do a family scavenger hunt

If you’re looking for an educational outdoor activity that will keep the kids engaged for hours, a scavenger hunt may be just the thing. Design your clues to challenge your kids’ knowledge of nature and the environment, and let them get searching.

To up the ante, try breaking the family into teams, winners take all.

Tie-dye your old clothes

Stuck with a bunch of old T-shirts or mismatched socks? Time for a tie-dye day. Grab some water, a couple buckets, and non-toxic dye and let the kiddos build a whole new wardrobe.

It may not seem like it at first, but tie-dying can be an educational activity. While they’re splashing about, your kids will be learning about the color wheel. You can also use this opportunity to practice language skills: try labeling the buckets with the color names in different languages.

Start a water balloon fight

Sometimes, you need to forget about teachable moments and have a good, old-fashioned water balloon fight. As the weather gets warmer, don your swimsuit and surprise your kids with a watery ambush. It will be an outdoor activity the kids will never forget. And if creating family memories isn’t enough, you’re sure to help them burn off all their energy.

Fun things to do outside: Go fishing (Credit: MANSILIYA YURI/Shutterstock)

Our list of 60 Fun Things To Do Outside:

  1. Go for a Walk
  2. Practice outdoor photography
  3. Have a campfire with s’mores if you can
  4. Roller skate
  5. Fly a drone
  6. Film a home movie
  7. Make bird feeders and watch them come
  8. Plant a butterfly garden
  9. Catch fireflies
  10. Search for bugs
  11. Draw with sidewalk chalk
  12. Build paper airplanes and have a contest
  13. Weave using twigs, yarn, grass, flowers, leaves and other natural materials
  14. Run through the sprinkler
  15. Camp out in your yard
  16. Conduct science experiments outdoors
  17. Learn to use a compass
  18. Make mud pies
  19. Setup a canvas for kids to paint outside
  20. Paint rocks
  21. Tie-dye clothes
  22. Make homemade playdough or silly putty
  23. Checkout nearby playgrounds
  24. Eat homemade popsicles
  25. Jump rope
  26. Play outdoor games such as kickball, hide & seek or red rover
  27. Go for a jog
  28. Practice yoga outdoors
  29. Visit an amusement park
  30. Go horseback riding
  31. Hold a garage sale
  32. Go miniature golfing
  33. Play board games outside
  34. Have a scavenger hunt
  35. Have a water balloon fight
  36. Fly kites
  37. Blow bubbles
  38. Hula hoop
  39. Play follow the leader
  40. Learn to do cartwheels
  41. Throw a Frisbee
  42. Play with marbles
  43. Take a hike
  44. Go fishing
  45. Watch a sunset or sunrise
  46. Stargaze
  47. Visit the nearest state park
  48. Have a picnic
  49. Set up a hammock
  50. Plant a vegetable or flower garden
  51. Paint garden pots
  52. Build a rock garden
  53. Make a compost bin
  54. Check out your local farmers’ market
  55. Do a landscaping project
  56. Play tourist in your own town
  57. Volunteer
  58. Wash your car
  59. Build a treehouse
  60. Play hopscotch
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