10 Family Friendly Activities to Get the Heart Racing!

10 family friendly activities to get the heart racing! Getting the whole family together is an important part of keeping everyone healthy and happy year round.

Getting the whole family together is an important part of keeping everyone healthy and happy year round.

Families that play together, stay together! Even though our schedules seem to be getting busier it’s important to fit in quality family time to bond, reduce stress, increase health and happiness. There’s no excuse when there are so many great, and often free activities, to get the family active in the great outdoors. From charity fun runs to hiking expeditions, it becoming easier than ever to get everybody’s heart racing, whatever their age. Here are 10 of our favourite family friendly activities:

  1. Bike riding – Most cities have family friendly bike paths that can be enjoyed for fitness and fun. Bike riding offers fresh air; gets the kids away from the TV and best of all it doesn’t cost anything! If Mum and Dad don’t have their own bikes some capital cities (Melbourne and Brisbane) have introduced bike share and hire systems that allow you to use bikes around the city from different terminals by subscribing online – see www.citycycle.com.au and www.melbournebikeshare.com.au for more information.
  2. Fun Runs – There are so many different charity fun runs throughout the year in most parts of the country all you need to do is take your pick! You’re also teaching children about community spirit and helping others by putting on your joggers and joining in! To make the event extra special you could take turns in picking a cause or event, or create a team costume to wear. You might even like to celebrate with a special breakfast or treat after you cross the finish line. Check out www.eventlist.com.au/australian-fun-run-calendar/ for a guide to fun runs in your area.
  3. Stand-up paddle boarding – This one is harder than it looks, but it will definitely get a laugh! Stand-up-paddle boarding (SUP) can be enjoyed at many local rivers or surf spots and combines the great outdoors with a full body workout (great for multitasking parents!) and can be enjoyed by everyone – especially if they’re willing to have some fun and get wet in the process!
  4. Roller-skating – The Cenovis team have some very fond memories of putting on roller skates (or rollerblades) and getting our friends together to go skating along park tracks as kids. We’d whiz and twirl and skate as if we were selected for an Olympic skating team. Roller-skating is a great form of exercise and lots of fun for the whole family (if you’re brave enough to try it out again!) There are still some skating rinks around but you might need to check out Truelocal [LINK: www.truelocal.com.au/find/skating-rinks/] to find one closest to you.
  5. Ice-skating – Even though ice-skating takes a little getting used to, it is an activity that everyone can enjoy. There are also winter festivals held around Australia now so the whole family can experience ice skating in an outdoor rink, just like in the movies!
  6. Indoor rock climbing – Indoor rock climbing centres offer a fun way to build overall fitness and usually cater for all ages and abilities. It can be a good way to encourage kids to try new things and build their confidence but take it slow as some kids might not take to it quickly, especially if they have a fear of heights.
  7. Hiking – Spend some quality time with the kids outdoors and discover new hiking trails in your local area. Whether you’re out for a short nature stroll, or more of a challenging wilderness adventure there is plenty to choose from across Australia. We recommend checking out Hiking Australia {LINK: www.hikingaustralia.com.au] for more information and to help prepare your team for the adventure!
  8. Canoeing/kayaking – Looking for a fun way to explore local rivers and waterways? Why not try canoeing or kayaking. It’s a great way to get active, have fun and take in the scenery. Make sure that the kids are comfortable swimming and have floaties. It’s also a good idea to start off slowly so the kids don’t feel too overwhelmed.
  9. Tai chi or yoga in the park – You might see these classes running in your local park from time to time and think they look easy and therefore might be boring for the kids (or yourself), but think again! Tai chi and Yoga are about slowly concentrated movements and really concentrating on breathing and paying attention to the muscles in your body. It might not be suitable for younger kids, but pre-teens might find this exciting as they get to “exercise with grown-ups”. Qualified instructors will guide you through a series of gentle movements to improve coordination, mental focus, strength, flexibility and relieve stress.
  10. Horse riding – Take a horse-riding lesson or a short guided trek for a fun and unique experience the whole family can enjoy. Stables will usually have a range of horses or ponies available to suit each rider’s experience, ability and confidence. Make sure you speak with the guide and let them know about any concerns you have as some small children may be a little wary of horses on their first encounter or two.

What fun activities get your family’s hearts racing?