Great Kids, Great Outdoors

Snowshoeing is a great way to introduce kids to winter sports. Not only is it low-cost, but unlike skiing, it requires no real training period. You simply strap on your snowshoes and walk. Plus, it’s pretty. Without leaves on the trees, sunlight reaches deep into the untrammeled woods, providing magical views. That said, even a…

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We all know good gear can make your life easier in the outdoors. It can also set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Crafting your own homemade, or “do it yourself” (DIY), outdoor gear with your kids can be a fun solution. Options range from simple projects using household or campsite items you…

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The shortest day of the year, signaling the beginning of winter, has been celebrated throughout the world in any number of ways: with music, prayer, bonfires, and other festivities. In 2015, the solstice falls on December 22. Since the solstice is on a Tuesday, which may not be ideal for kids, many places are celebrating…

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Ten years ago, when our kids were 4 and 2 years old, my wife, Sarah, and I bought a simple 5-by-8-inch artist sketchbook. It’s the kind you find in art supply stores, with the hard black cover and stiff paper inside. It is a good, sturdy little book, and we decided to make it a…

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The more you think you know a place, the more likely you are to be proven wrong. I’ve written about New England—especially Massachusetts—for years, and while I feel like I know every nook and cranny, I’m always delighted to find a new piece of the outdoors to love. Such is the case with Camp Sayre,…

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Anyone who has ever played capture the flag knows the thrill of grabbing the opposing team’s pennant and running like crazy. All you need are a couple of bandanas, some open space, and a few friends. But if this and other classic outdoor games—red rover, kick the can, red light green light— are so easy…

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In the past, getting city school kids outdoors meant playing handball in a brick courtyard. These days, more and more educators are finding creative ways to integrate outdoor learning into their curricula, with efforts ranging from planting rooftop gardens to transforming parking lots into outdoor labs. One such initiative is New York City’s The Natural…

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Adults and kids often have different ideas about what autumn outings should entail. Maybe the adults in the family want to see the changing colors of the leaves, while the kids just want to jump in big piles of them. When it comes to fall foliage, there are several strategies you can try for meeting…

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There is a secret gem located in central New Hampshire: the Ossipee Mountains. The area is full of short hikes to granite ledges and open peaks, waterfalls galore, and no crowds except on a handful of locally popular hikes. A visitor to the Ossipee Mountains will wonder why they have never heard of this magical…

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Just over the Massachusetts border, Nipmuck State Forest and the adjoining Bigelow Hollow State Park in Connecticut offer plenty of outdoor activities, ranging from hiking and camping to fishing and geocaching. It’s also a great place to look for wildlife, like beavers and eagles. On a recent guided hike led by Chief Ranger Bill Reid,…

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