EARLY YEARS: Ideas for free family fun outdoors this winter

Macaroni Kid Roanoke offering ideas from geocaching, to taking a shelter dog out for the day
Activities like geocaching can get families outside and moving this winter
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:48 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Trying to get your kiddos outside more often? It’s easier, if you do it as a family. That’s according to Macaroni Kid Roanoke publisher Beth Bell.

“A lot of these ideas I had are actually free, which is great for parents and families. But just around Roanoke, we have some free ways you can get outside,” say Bell.

One is a self-guided art tour.

Roanoke has lot of public art installations, including those in Elmwood Park.

Bell says you can also mix lessons with fresh air by taking taking your kids a history walk.

“So, my children and I have always loved the little rail walk on Norfolk Avenue, which starts at the Taubman and ends at behind the Amtrak, which is also a wonder for kids to see the train and stuff,” say Bell.

If they happen to love treasure hunts, you can up the ante by spending a day geocaching.

“It’s basically treasure hunting. You get these GPS coordinates, and you go on the hunt and there’s always some little things, and you’re supposed to leave something if you take something. It could be a Happy Meal toy, or a little car with a note in it,” says Bell.

And if your family wants to also give back, while enjoying the outdoors, why not take a furry friend along through the Roanoke Adventure Dogs program?

“If you’re going to head out to the park or greenway for a hike, then you can take this dog on an adventure with you. They’ll match a dog up with you that fits your personality and your activity. They give you a backpack full of supplies,” says Bell.

Here are some helpful links from Macaroni Kid Roanoke:

10 Ways to Get Outside, click here

Where kids can eat free and cheap in the Blue Ridge, click here

Roanoke 100 Miler, click here