Five Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures, from One Hour to One Day

Over the last few months, our family has become more “outdoorsy” than we have been in the past. With many of our usual activities not being an option, we have been much more motivated to get outside, enjoy nature, and be more adventurous. In the midst of the many emotions felt by all of us during this unprecedented time, getting out into nature and trying seveal kid-friendly outdoor adventures has done wonders for us!

One-Hour Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures

  • Erwin Park: This park in McKinney has been one of our favorite spots over the last couple of months. My son has now added “mountain bike” to his list of wants and is constantly negotiating with us about how he can get one soon. For older kids, the few hills and easier trails provide lots of entertainment and exercise. For younger kids, there are grassy areas and swings scattered throughout. Miles of biking and hiking trails to explore and campsites available for reservation also add to this local outing spot.
  • Limestone Quarry Park: Another hidden gem found in Frisco has become one of our recent go-to spots. After hearing about this park from a friend, we knew we had to check it out for ourselves. We first explored the walking path with many trails that lead to views of the creek. However, the real treat is to find the trail near the bench behind the playground. It leads right down to the creek into the perfect spot for wading, skipping rocks, and exploring. For the more adventurous, grab some water shoes and hike down the creek.

Half-Day Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures

  • Eisenhower State Park: Admittedly, this was probably our first time visiting a state park in Texas. Since it was an easy, 45-minute drive from our house, it was perfect for a morning of exploring! We found two trails that were great for kids and provided some beautiful views of Lake Texoma. Our 9-, 6- and 4-year-old could easily manage the trails on their own, and our 2-year-old was also quite the determined little hiker. Make sure to reserve your day pass online, pack some water and snacks, and make it a morning! 

1 Day Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures

A few weeks ago, my husband had some time off of work and we wanted to up the adventure just a bit. We headed about two hours south west to find:

  • Dinosaur Valley State Park: Our first stop of the day was this beautiful state park. We consulted the map to show us to the dinosaur tracks and set off to find them. We didn’t have much luck at first and took a few “advanced” trails. We finally ended up at the Main Track Site and all was well! There is a section roped off where you can see tracks clearly and the same area is a perfect place for kids to play in the river. Set up on the beach area and enjoy a couple hours of splashing and playing. Important note: If you walk in the river, wear good shoes that aren’t slippery (not that I fell or anything)…Make sure to check their Facebook page or website to make sure the trails are open and tracks are visible and buy your pass online! 
  • Fossil Rim Wildlife Center: After lunch at the Dinosaur park, we drove a few miles down the road to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. While a bit pricey, we thought it was completely worth it! We embarked on a nearly two-hour adventure through the park. Animals wander around, in the road, next to your car, and even IN your car. There is a wide variety of animals just waiting to be visited. Remember to use the bathroom, grab some drinks and snacks, and make sure your gas tank is full! 

These two activities made for a perfect day trip for our family with kids ages 2 through 9.

One lesson I have learned throughout the last couple of months is that kid-friendly outdoor adventures can be found almost anywhere, right in your backyard or just a couple hours down the road. Happy adventuring! 

Amanda Stewart
Amanda moved to the Dallas area as a child, moved away for college, but then returned “home” with her husband and new daughter. Now five years later, she and her family are putting down roots in Collin County. Her educational background is an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a graduate degree in Early Childhood Studies. Most days you can find her doing her best to put her knowledge to work with 3 of the sweetest students around- born in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Once bedtime hits, you can find her doing some instructional design work, blogging, or finding the next great series on Netflix, usually with a cookie in hand. You can read more about her collection of thoughts on everything from motherhood and parenting to DIY and fitness, and whatever else is on her mind at her new blog <a href "http://www.thiscollectivelife.com/" This Collective Life .