Get Outside :: 11 Things To Do Outside Right Now

Get Outside :: 11 Things To Do Outside Right Now

Being outside is a significant part of my family’s life. I have always been a proponent of spending time outside – yes, even when it’s cold – because it is just plain good for you. Sunlight activates vitamin D production in the skin, which is crucial for bone health, immune system function, and inflammation reduction. The sun invigorates us, improves our mood, enhances our immunity, and benefits some skin conditions. All living things need the sun to survive, and even on a cloudy day, you can still reap the benefits of its hidden rays.

I remember when both of my kids were babies, if they were unhappy and crying uncontrollably, I would walk outside with them, and they immediately calmed down. The warm hug they got from that big ball of fire was what they needed to feel instantly grounded.

Even now, before I turn artificial light on in the morning, I open the curtains, whether it’s still dark outside or cloudy. I want the first light our eyes see to be natural light, which is a much nicer way to be awakened than by glaring TV screen or overhead fluorescent light screaming in your face.

Despite rain or cold, I make sure my kids have time outside each day.

So here is a list of fun things to do outside in and around Lafayette and in your own backyard. 

Allons dehors!

There are plenty of outdoor activities in and around Lafayette. Don’t let the heat or cold stop you. Your kids probably won’t notice anyway!

Lake Chicot State Park :: A peaceful park near Lafayette with an 18-mile loop trail through swamps and forests. Enjoy fishing in the lake or paddle a canoe. Make up a scavenger hunt and collect as many plants as possible.

Palmetto Island State Park :: For a true South Louisiana outdoors experience, head to the Vermillion River in Abbeville. A few years ago, we rented a cabin here for the weekend. We had an adventurous time hiking, fishing in the lagoons, and running through the splash pad.

Get Outside :: 11 Things To Do Outside Right Now

The Azalea Trail :: The Azaleas will bloom from Feb 23 to mid-March. It is spectacular to see, and you won’t want to miss the vibrant pink hues. Pack a picnic and head out to Girard Park to relax among the beauties. The petals of Azaleas come in all different colors, including pink, salmon, orange, purple, red, and white. See how many you can gather and create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece with them. 

Moncus Park :: Our family favorite. The kids love playing on the roller slide and running up and down the tree house. When it’s warm, the splash pad is hours of fun!

The Prehistoric Park :: The dinosaur park is a fun adventure for your dino-loving kids. Pretend to be dinosaur hunters or archaeologists and “sneak” up on the dinosaurs. Quiz your littles on how much they know about each prehistoric lizard.

Zoosiana :: The zoo in Broussard is right down the street from us, and it’s an easy way to spend a few hours outside looking for and learning about animals. Have your kids retell their walk through the animal exhibits and create a story about the animals.

Things to do in your own backyard

Scavenger hunt: We have a few scavenger hunt cards that keep the kids entertained. If you don’t have pre-made cards, it’s easy to make it up. Find something green, look for something circular, pick up something hard. You get the idea.

Jumping in muddy puddles: Hear me out. It’s the best free fun your kids will have, I guarantee it. Pull on their rainboots (or rather shove their little feet in) and let them splash in the rain after heavy rain (or even during if there’s no lightning). It’s a messy kind of fun, so you may want to let them do this with minimal clothing on. They will have a Peppa Pig-tastic time!

Get Outside :: 11 Things To Do Outside Right Now

Fun with water: Fill a water bottle and let your kid spray the fence. I did this when my son was about 2, and was shocked by how much time he spent spraying the water. Have a water balloon war, splash in a kiddie pool, fill up water buckets, and have the kids “clean” their toys. 

Paint: My kids are often blue. Or pink or orange or yellow. Most of the time, they are all of these colors. Get inexpensive canvases at the dollar store or watercolor paper and let them paint the town (or your back patio) red! We have a cabinet full of acrylic and water paints and paintbrushes because painting is a weekly occurrence around here.

Easter Egg Hunt – This game started last year at Easter time after we dyed eggs (outside, of course), and now it has evolved into hiding and finding whatever is around – pieces of chalk, toys that live outside (whether they are supposed to or not), marbles (turns out marbles weren’t such a good idea for hiding and hunting, haha).

What outside adventure will you and your kiddos have first?

Alexis Marino
Alexis and her husband moved to Lafayette in 2019 when she was 5 months pregnant with their first child. Now, they live in Broussard with their 4-year-old son, Cam, and 2-year-old daughter, Marlo. Having grown up in New Orleans and living in Baton Rouge for over a decade, Alexis is happiest on this side of the Basin. Alexis loves all things Acadiana - from the never-ending events and festivals to the vibrant culture. She is the content specialist for a local startup and a contributing writer for Acadiana Lifestyle Magazine. When she isn't interviewing locals or brainstorming her next article, Alexis is most likely reading about nutrition and healthy living, having a dance (or paint) party with her kids, or sending her husband links to vacant lots (probably out of their budget) to build her dream home. Follow Alexis on Instagram.


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