Many studies have shown that spending time outdoors is of great benefit to your health. People who are outdoors lead healthier and happier lives. Though family life can get busy, there are many benefits to spending family time outdoors, not the least of which is strengthening family relationships.

Eat Outside

No matter how busy life gets, everyone’s got to eat. A great way to spend family time and build relationships with your loved ones is to eat outside. You can swing through a drive-thru and grab a quick bite so that you can eat at a park. Or, you can cook a homemade meal at home and have a picnic at the lake. It’s estimated that nearly 95% of Americans live within an hour of a navigable body of water, so after you’re done with your lakefront picnic, you can go swimming or kayaking.

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

Another great way to strengthen family relationships is to get outside and explore some new places. A scavenger hunt is a great excuse for exploring. You can easily make a list of landmarks or commonly found objects in your area and then find all of the items as a family. Take rocks, for example. River rocks come in a variety of sizes, ranging from one inch to several inches across, and you can make a certain size, shape, or color of rock one of the must-find items on your list.

Go Camping

There is no better way to spend time in the great outdoors than on a family camping trip. You can plan a cross-country vacation to go camping within a range of national landmarks or national parks. Or, you can keep things simple and camp at a local campground. Heck, you can even camp in your own backyard. That way, you can still have a bonfire, still roast marshmallows and make s’mores, and still spend time under the beauty of the stars.

Plant a Garden

Planting a garden is a fantastic way to spend time in the outdoors and can be a great way to get your children excited in the outdoors too. Having a child tend a garden with you is a great way to teach the importance of responsibility and seeing things through. It will also help them achieve a sense of accomplishment when they begin to see the garden grow and plants and crops start to pop up. Once that happens, you can take things a step further and have them cook the things you’ve grown in the garden into a delicious homemade meal.

Leave the Car Behind

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than going for a long drive in the car and taking in all the scenery. But other times, it’s better to leave the car behind. If you’re going to go visit a local park, for example, don’t take the car. Instead, try going for a walk or riding bikes. This gives you and your family a chance to change things up a bit and allows you to stay active. The same thing is true if you’re on a vacation. If you’re going somewhere to go explore, try taking an ATV instead of a car. Between January and March of 2017, Americans bought more than 40,000 all-terrain vehicles, and traveling on one can be a really unique way to experience the outdoors.

As you can see, there are many activities you can do to strengthen family relationships and get your family outside more often. Whether you’re going for a simple bike ride around town or planning a vacation for exploring, any outdoor activity you do will be fun for the whole family.