Springtime is finally here, and that means the snow days (and sick days) are mostly behind us. We’ve all been cooped up long enough that now is the perfect time to start going out more with our kids. While it might not be warm enough yet for beach time, there are plenty of outdoor activities that we can start enjoying now. Your kiddos will definitely dig these activities, especially if you put your own twist on them. So throw on some sneakers, pack up some snacks, and get going with these five ideas for a perfect spring outing with your fam.

A mother and daughter play in the park

1. Start a garden. Most young kids will jump at the chance to play in some dirt. Don’t be afraid to get your own nails dirty, Mama. Pick up some seed packets, and work on a mini-garden together with your little ones. It will definitely be a fun bonding (and learning) experience for you and your kids — and one that’s ongoing, so you’ll always have something to chat about and work together on. PS: Gardening has numerous health benefits, including boosting your immune system and giving you exercise that’s more fun than work.

2. Shop at a farmers’ market. While you wait for your own flowers to bloom, you can always take your children to your local farmers’ market. Here you can teach your kids about proper nutrition by asking them to pick out new fruits and veggies to try at home. You can also pick up healthy (or at least locally produced) snacks and other hand-made goods. Many markets feature arts and crafts too, making them excellent places to gift shop for the rest of the year. No downsides detected.

3. Take a nature hike. Spring is the perfect time to get into hiking. The weather conditions are just right, so you can stay outdoors without worrying about getting too much sun (although we moms need to be sure our families are using a solid SPF cream at all times). While some kids might not be too into the idea of walking around outside at first, you can always find ways to make it relevant to them. Try creating your own scavenger hunt list prior to going out (like, find three pinecones, take a photo of someone jumping off a big rock, etc.) so you have things to search for. Or, if your kids are still fairly young, you can go extra-creative and take magnifying glasses to hunt for fairies and gnomes.

4. Play ball (or at least catch a game). Whether you’re a baseball fanatic or don’t know the infield from your team’s dugout, there’s no denying that baseball is the sport for springtime. Plenty of Little League and T-ball teams are forming right now, so feel free to register your kiddos so you can become *that mom* with the giant foam finger at all their games. Or, if your kids aren’t so personally sports-inclined or already have other activities, take them to a spring training or opening day game. Many baseball stadiums these days feature plenty of fun extras for kids, like playgrounds and batting cages. No matter who wins the game, you’ll definitely make some great family memories.

5. Visit your local zoo or botanical garden. Between holidays, vacations, and colds and flus, many of us don’t have the time to stop by our local zoos or gardens during the winter. Plus, it’s often too cold for most of the animals to want to do much. Springtime reawakens everyone — human and lion and tiger and bear alike. Take your tots to go check out that new cheetah exhibit, or stage one of your nature hikes at the botanical garden, where all sorts of plants are sure to be bloomin’.

What are some of your family plans for this spring? Tweet them to us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)