15 Ways to Get Your Teen Outside

Yes, it IS possible to get your teen off the couch, off the phone, and outdoors for some much-needed fresh air and exercise.

We all know that time spent outdoors is time well spent. There is something about breathing in the fresh air, feeling the sun kiss your cheeks and hearing the birds chirp overhead that is good for the mind, body and soul. Even though we know being outside is both good and important, with so many things vying for your teen’s attention — like homework, devices, television, YouTube, work, sports and more — getting outdoors may be harder than it once was.

If you are struggling to motivate your teen to get outside, here are some things that you can do that may make them want to put down the device and head out of the house.

Include a friend

We all know teens are social beings and friends are of the utmost importance in this stage of life. Inviting a friend along to do something outdoors may help motivate your teen to participate in the outdoor activity.

Try ziplining or a ropes course

There are so many incredible zip line courses and ropes courses around Southwest Ohio. This is a great way to not only get your teen outdoors, but also to try something new that is both exhilarating and adventurous. 

Hit the trails

Lace up your hiking boots and head to the woods to walk the trails. If your child likes biking, there are also great mountain bike trails you can give a try. We have some great spots for hiking in Cincy and Dayton. 

Sleep under the stars

Overnight camping is another great way to spend time outdoors as a family. If you’ve never been before, you can start in your own backyard.

Visit a state park

State parks offer many wonderful outdoor activities for families to enjoy. You can go for a day, or stay at the campsite overnight. Many parks have beaches, canoe, kayak or boat rental, trails for hiking or biking, picnic areas, frisbee golf, nature centers and more. 

Pick up a new sport or hobby

There are so many sports and hobbies that get the heart pumping while you breathe in the fresh air. Consider giving tennis, golf, running, football, soccer, baseball, softball, beach volleyball or lacrosse a try. And be sure your teen knows they are never too old to start something new.

Go on a family bike ride to a fun destination

Many towns now offer community trails that can take you from your home to somewhere fun — like the local coffee or ice cream shop. So hop on your bike, start pedaling and reward your hard work with a delicious treat! 

Get a basketball hoop or a trampoline

Getting a hoop or a trampoline is a bit more expensive than the others, but can offer hours of entertainment and exercise and will get your teen outside on a more regular basis.

Plan a summer Olympics for them and their friends

Pick a date. Mark the calendar. And invite over a slew of your teen’s friends for a day of organized games such as: a three-legged race, a jump roping competition, balloon toss, relay race, hula-hoop competition, ball toss, tug-of-war, egg race and more.

Kickball time

Kickball is fun for all ages! Have your teen invite his or her friends to meet at the field for a game of kickball.

Visit a water park

Slides. Wave pools. Lazy river. Snack bars. An invitation to spend a day at the water park is an invitation that is hard to refuse.

Go on a kayak or canoe trip

There are many places that rent kayaks or canoes for trips down the river. Pack a picnic, bring a speaker and prepare for a day of fun in the sun.

Play miniature golf

Miniature golf courses are a great way to get a little exercise, socialize and enjoy time outdoors with friends and family.

Pick some fruit

Apples, strawberries and blueberries — oh my! Berry picking is a fun activity for all ages, and can lead to some pretty incredible desserts, too!

It’s picnic time!

Have your teen invite some friends for an afternoon or evening picnic. Let them pick some of their favorite foods. You can even have their friends come over to help with the cooking and prep. Here’s some great spots in Cincy and some for Dayton. 

Motivating your teen to get outdoors may not be as easy as it once was, but hopefully with these suggestions you will be able to find some things that are fun not only for your teen, but also for the entire family!

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