As summer closes out, I look back and appreciate everything it brought. Movie nights filled with laughter, countless books read, and many beach days filled with friends and family. As many people know, summertime in Florida is brutally hot. The only days I spent outside this summer were when I could cool off in the water. With autumn approaching, making new memories should be a breeze.
This fall, make time to get outside and make meaningful memories with your family. Spending family time outdoors has never been easier. It can be as simple as making a picnic lunch, sitting together, and going to a local park. One of my childhood memories was having a picnic at a local park and exploring its trails. Tallahassee has many great parks for you and your family to spend time together.
One of the best parks in Tallahassee is Tom Brown Park. The park is home to locations where kids can play soccer, baseball, or sand volleyball. After all the fun and games, you can relax at picnic tables in the park. Before heading out, make some healthy snacks to enjoy at the park. A creative and healthy treat to try with your kids is Fruit and Veggie Caterpillars. Want something healthy and on the sweeter side? Try Molly of Denali’s Spiced Oatmeal Muffins from her adventures in Alaska!
Another one of my favorite parks to visit is Lake Ella Park. The park is home to lots of ducks and geese, a beautiful pavilion, and a café with great outdoor seating. The most scenic views come from the pavilion and café, where you can watch the ducks. There are many ways to get your kids excited about going outside and taking a break from screens.
One idea is to create a scavenger hunt for your kids. They can try to find different animals, bugs, leaves, rocks, or anything you can find outside. When they locate one of the items on the list, they can record it in a nature journal. To create a nature journal, paper and some coloring utensils are required. This journal can contain your child’s observations, drawings, and maps, about the place they are exploring.
My favorite park to visit in Tallahassee is Dorothy B. Oven Park. It has beautiful flowers, bridges, and trees that overlook the water. While this park is not as large as Tom Brown Park or Lake Ella Park, it has some hidden gems. This park feels like you have walked into a Secret Garden filled with stepping stones, fountains, and archways. One activity you can do with your kids at Dorothy B. Oven is to make art from nature. Have your child find some leaves, fallen flowers, rocks, or acorns to collect and make some art.
Being outside was what most of us used to be able to visit with our friends and family during COVID-19. People are beginning to return to what life was like before the pandemic. Going outside and enjoying what the community has to offer is something we should continue to do and make a part of our routine. Exploring the outdoors with your kids is not the only benefit to keeping kids active: it encourages their scientific inquiry and learning about the world around them.