School has ended, which means kids may once again break the record number of times they say “Mom, I’m bored,” in a single day. Sure, it may be easy to hand over a tablet game controller, but what can parents do to keep kids from sliding into a dazed zone of television and video games? Plan some fun, physical and entertaining activities for the whole family. Summer break is a perfect time for parents to join in the fun to keep kids active and develop interests and habits that last throughout their lifetime.
Need some cool ideas to keep your kids active and healthy in Atlanta this summer? Look no further:
- Experience local nature first-hand.
Camp KingfisherAs part of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Camp Kingfisher offers ‘family nights’ on June 16, July 7 and July 21, that include fun activities for the whole family. Pack a picnic dinner and gear up the kids for canoeing (ages 5+), a guided hike, a raptor presentation or swimming in the pool.
- Enjoy the scenic route!
Atlanta BeltlineExplore the city with a walk or a bike ride on the Atlanta Beltline. Though it’s not fully completed yet, many trails already exist and are a popular summer option for Atlanta residents to get outdoors for fresh air and exercise. The most popular trail is the Eastside Trail, which connects the top end of Piedmont Park to Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward. It runs for 2.2 miles one way, and there are numerous restaurant and refreshment options available along the path. You can also check out Atlanta’s new popular Skatepark and sustainable green space in the Fourth Ward district.
- Take a hike.
Kennesaw Mountain Trail HikeOnce the site of a Civil War battle, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park possesses 20 miles of trails that wind around the mountain or through the forest offering a wide but distant view of the Atlanta skyline. For smaller kids, try the family-friendly Environmental Trail for 1.35 miles, which includes informational signs educating kids and visitors about the forest ecosystem. If you’re traveling with adolescents, why not try the more popular 2.4-mile Kennesaw Mountain trail leading to the top with a view of Atlanta’s downtown skyline.
- Cool off in the water.
Piedmont Park Aquatic CenterSwimming is a great exercise activity for the entire family, young and old. While it’s easier on joints, this aerobic exercise helps to increase cardiorespiratory endurance while also increasing muscle strength and tone. Swimming is a great stress and tension reliever, which is also of great health benefit for busy parents. Flotation devices and ample sunscreen can help keep kids safe while having fun in the sun. Don’t have a pool in the neighborhood? Check out the Piedmont Park Aquatic Center. Added bonus: when you need a break from the pool, you can take the kids outside the Aquatic Center for some fun on the kids’ playground and a little dose of Vitamin D.
- Stretch your body and minds with yoga.
Young Hearts YogaAfter time in the sun, your family may be ready for some tranquil togetherness. Take a few deep breaths and meet on the mats for Yoga with your kids. You can do a DIY session with a few kid-friendly poses. Or if a structured class is more your style, seek out family yoga class in your local neighborhood, like Young Hearts Yoga.
And when the summer fun starts to wind down, join us on July 25, from 10 a.m. to noon, for a Back-to-School Health Bash at the Center to make sure your little ones are starting off the school year on the right foot! Whatever you do this summer, we hope it’s full of great memories for your family!