Spending time in nature can help improve a child's confidence, foster a sense of discovery and nurture environmental stewards of tomorrow. Here are five ways your family can enjoy the great outdoors.
1. BIRDING IN TUBAC, ARIZONA
Make historic, family-friendly Tubac Golf Resort and Spa, which is on the 500-acre Otero Ranch in the Santa Cruz River Valley, your base camp for a birding expedition. You'll spot hummingbirds and elegant trogons, as well as the Tumacacori and Santa Rita peaks in the distance. The Tubac Takes Flight birding festival continues through April.
2. DIVE TO DISCOVER THE WORLD
From Bonaire and Grand Cayman to Yap and Palau, Family Dive Adventures and Kids Sea Camp provide education about the underwater world and the tools needed to become safe, confident divers. Children and their parents will learn about coral reefs, sharks, manta rays and the latest in global marine conservation during Kids Sea Camp weeks.
3. HIKE THE ZION CANYON IN SPRINGDALE, UTAH
From curvaceous slot canyons to tabletop plateaus, this peaceful yet grand countryside offers a visual bonanza of color, shape and form. Consider the Narrows, a spectacular 16-mile corridor that requires one rigorous day for fit family members. The Bottom Up hike offers stunning aspects of the canyon in four to six hours.
4. PADDLE THE BOUNDARY WATERS OF ELY, MINNESOTA
Your family will enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this pristine wilderness area. Listen to the waves lap against the shore as you drift to sleep in one of 2,000 secluded campsites that dot the lake region. Wake to birds chirping in the birch trees and hear loons on the water as you prepare for breakfast over a campfire. This richly diverse region has more than 1,500 miles of canoe routes; Piragis Northwoods Company in Ely can help outfit you for a canoe trip.
5. GETAWAY ON THE GAULEY RIVER, WEST VIRGINIA
Choose your level of excitement for a weekend in the wilds of West Virginia. Slice through the white water on the river of your choice, fly through the trees on a zip line or learn to rock climb. You can also camp and sleep under the stars or cozy up inside a lodge or rustic cabin. Discounts for kids with early booking.