Outdoor Activities To Do in Town

Outdoor Activities You Can Do Without Leaving the City

in Serious Detecting Blog

There are countless benefits to spending time outdoors. One study of nearly 20,000 participants found that spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week can significantly improve your health and well-being. Going outside can help everything from your sleep cycle to your immune system.

There is good news if you want to spend time outside but live in an urban or suburban area: you don’t have to go far. There are opportunities to spend time in nature without ever leaving city limits – or even your backyard. Here are a few ideas to get outside and appreciate everything Mother Nature has to offer.

Attend Local Outdoor Events and Festivals

Getting outside can be as simple as attending local events and activities. You can walk around, enjoy the sunshine and enjoy entertaining or educational presentations. There are multiple ways to find events that you are interested in:

  • Check the events page for your local newspaper or TV station.
  • Follow local businesses on social media that usually host or attend events.
  • Join meetup groups online to see which events are happening around town.
  • Make a note of your favorite annual festivals and see when they are happening each year.

If you are a music lover, you can also follow local bands to see if they are touring in your area. A concert under the stars is a great way to spend a summer night.

Camp in Your Backyard

Camping in your backyard is a great way to practice for the wilderness. You can teach your kids how to set up a tent and use various tools to create a comfortable campsite. Once you’re ready to camp in a nearby state park, your kids will feel confident with the set-up and take-down process.

Backyard camping is also a great way to hone your gear pack essentials before the real thing. For example, make sure you bring a shovel that isn’t too heavy to weigh you down, otherwise, your hike to the campsite will wear you out.

Do Water-Based Activities

You don’t need to live next to a vast ocean or one of the Great Lakes to enjoy watersports. In fact, many outdoor, water-based activities can be done in urban areas. Here are a few ideas:

  • Stand-up paddle board in a nearby river.
  • Go fishing in a nearby pond or lake.
  • Host a water balloon fight for kids in your neighborhood.
  • Swim laps in the community pool.
  • Set up a sprinkler in the front yard.

Even if you live in the desert, you can still cool down with different water sports in your area.

Explore Local Parks and Playgrounds

You don’t have to wait for the weekend to spend time in nature. You can get outdoors during your lunch break or after work. Look up city and state parks that are within a short driving distance of where you live. Many of these parks have playgrounds for kids and walking trails for adults. Some even have exercise equipment built in. Even spending 30 minutes in nature can have a big impact on your health.

If you decide to spend a day at the park, pack a picnic and some activities for the family. This could include games, plant and animal identification guides, and even treasure detectors. Your kids might love the thrill of metal detecting and working as junior archaeologists to identify the items they find.

Go on a Walk

You don’t need to be physically fit to enjoy nature. Simply taking a walk at your own pace can give you some time outside while you move your body. More cities are developing accessible walking paths and green belts through urban areas. You can also look for any rails-to-trails projects in your area.

Even if you are going for a short walk, make sure you have a supply pack with you. A few key items include:

You can decide whether you want to bring your smartphone on your walk or leave it at home. Some people like to disconnect from the online world while others bring their phones to take pictures and use in case of an emergency.

Look for Local Sports Courts

You might be surprised by how many free amenities are available in your area! Visit your local parks and recreation website (or head to a nearby rec center in person) to see if there are any courts and fields that are available. You can also ask about joining local recreation leagues or renting these courts for your personal use.

A few common types of courts and fields that are offered by cities include basketball courts, soccer and football fields, tennis courts, frisbee golf courses, and baseball fields. You might have different field options near you.

Plant a Garden

You don’t need a green thumb and a large yard to enjoy a garden. You can look up easy plants that are hard to kill or urban gardening for patios and porches. The best part is that you can choose the type of garden that speaks to you. You can plant flowers that bloom throughout the warm months or grow herbs that you add to various dishes and meals. You can even grow carnivorous plants full of venus flytraps if that’s your style!

Gardening is a great way to connect with plants and get your hands dirty with soil. Almost anyone, from the overworked finance intern to the retiree in their Golden Years can enjoy growing a few plants in their living space.

Scout for Birds, Animals, and Insects

Nature is all around you and your world might be more colorful than you realize. Butterflies can float around your yard while bright birds sing and hope from branch to branch. There are multiple ways to connect with nearby wildlife, depending on your preferences:

  • Download apps like iNaturalist to identify critters.
  • Participate in citizen science programs to count native species.
  • Join birdwatching and hiking meetup groups.
  • Develop your own recording system to track the animals you see.

Every animal has a place in nature, from the spider that helps control the mosquito population to the squirrel that spreads seeds from one area to another. Try to be respectful of your local creatures by observing them but not disrupting them.

You don’t have to save the outdoors for weekend getaways and vacations. You can connect with nature for a few minutes each day when you take your lunch break at work or get home from the office. Even taking small walks or planting a few flowers can increase your time outdoors and make you feel happier, calmer, and better prepared to take on any problems that come your way.


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