10 Outdoor Activities to Do Together During the Coronavirus Crisis | East Texas Moms


What will your family do with this extra time?

With school closures looming, families in East Texas will be left with what seems like endless family togetherness time. But you don’t have to squander every day away with video games and hours in front of the TV! Outdoor activities are typically inexpensive or free, provide the social distancing that the CDC recommends, and leave you feeling more refreshed and recharged after some good ‘ole vitamin D. Here is a list of 10 outdoor activities to help pass the time, get exercise, and refresh your mind.

  1. Disc golf – Longview, Tyler, and cities in between off many disc golf courses. Type in your East Texas zipcode to find one close to you. To get you started, pick up a set of discs that have a putter, mid-range, and a driver and set aside a few hours for family bonding.
  2. Hiking – Consider your children’s abilities to match up a hike with your family. The AllTrails app is a great resource to find a hike close by or one that would be worth a drive for your family. Pack snacks, wear good shoes, and make sure to take your time so your kids can explore.
  3. CampingOur Pineywoods are the perfect canopy for camping. If you are new to camping, make sure to ask more veteran camping friends about borrowing tents and camping equipment. Most of our East Texas camping spots also have cabins and shelters available to rent. Find a new state park to camp and explore and escape the confined spaces and crowds of our cities.
  4. Picnic – Get rid of cabin fever by eating lunch by the lake or pond and feeding ducks. Grab sandwiches or pack brown-bag lunches. Don’t forget extra bread for the ducks! Some Tyler favorites of ours are the ponds at Faulkner Park and UT Tyler.
  5. Yard games – For our board-game loving family, yard games are an instant hit! Check out some of our favorites: Molkky, Kubb, Rollers, Bocce Ball, and Spikeball. These games can be played in your backyard and driveway or toss it in the car for the wide open spaces of a local East Texas park.
  6. Geocaching – Using GPS, geocaching is a scavenger hunt of sorts to find hide-and-seek containers, known as “caches”. All you need to get started is a GPS-enabled smart phone, a way to get there, and a sense of adventure!
  7. Backyard science – Bring the classroom to your backyard with an easy search for backyard science experiments. Not only will it beat the boredom blues, but your children will learn something new and be inspired by the world around them!
  8. Water gun wars – With warm weather approaching, stores have their summer fun section up and running. Water guns are cheap and the ammo is easily refilled at your garden hose. Let loose and join your kids in a game of wet fun!
  9. Family sports – You mostly likely have a football or soccer ball lying around in your garage, so why not team up and have a family-friendly competition? Our family loves playing flag football, where even the youngest can join in! Or maybe pick a new sport to learn together and practice, like tennis.
  10. Gardening – Backyard gardens are taking off, with vegetables and greens available for the picking right outside your back door. If you are new to gardening or your thumb isn’t very green, try a vegetable container garden to test our your skills. Make sure to make it a family project by having your kids help plant seeds or seedlings and water frequently. You might even find more success at the dinner table with your picky eaters if they had a hand in growing the greens!

No matter what your family tackles outdoors, be safe and smart! And keep washing those hands while singing your ABCs (or another favorite parody!).

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After a pit stop in Houston of newlywed bliss and a marketing/communications job, this Central Texan made her way to the Pineywoods of East Texas to call Tyler her home since 2009. Shae and her husband, Dash, took a chance on Tyler when God opened a door for a college tennis coaching gig for Dash and the small city continues to surprise them as they learn to lean in to all that the community offers. After three sons (born in 2009, 2011, and 2016) and a decade among the pine trees, no other place feels more like home. Shae spends her work hours as a part-time work-from-home copy editor for an education company and her play hours snuggling her toddler, cheering on her older boys at the ballpark, school stage and court, and being a coach’s wife to her busy husband. Shae loves the outdoors, gathering friends around the table, and roots loudly for the TJC Apaches, the Aggies and the Astros! This introvert is living an extroverted life and loving the lessons it teaches as it unfolds.