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April 29, 2021

Kid Friendly Nature Activities | Discover the Arboretum in North Carolina

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” – Gertrude Jekyll
While visiting the Asheville, North Carolina area we had a free day. We slept in a bit and just slowly got up to get ready for our day. I saw the Blue Ridge Parkway welcome center was open so we ventured there to see what fun activities we could do locally. While there I spotted a sign advertising the Arboretum. We didn't expecting anything, just quickly googled it and headed that way. I was very pleasantly surprised by this place. So much so, we spent the entire day here! 
I also realized we are drawn to Nature activities with our son as he gets older. This is a transition from the kiddy activities we used to do. Not saying Nature Activities are not for littler kids. I want to give some great ways to encourage Nature Activities while discussing our visit to the Arboretum! 
One of the most important things to me is spending quality time with my family. 
After parking ( there is no, you just pay for parking your vehicle), we made a quick stop in the office of the Arboretum. They had great kid activities (pictured above) laid out which included: a scavenger hunt and a fun nature hide & seek!
Kid friendly nature activities you can do:
● Have them experience art. Whether it is backyard art or art hung in your local museums. We found a wonderful area at the Arboretum for example, that housed artists work from the gardens. Some were photos, paintings and or sketches. This was such a great way to enter the Arboretum because it gave us some different view points. We also learned what the Gardens look like when the Seasons change.
 Let them grab a pamphlet to explore and navigate with. My son LOVES maps so he always picks one of these up. I encourage him to navigate our walks and to see what they offer to help facilitate what he wants to explore.  

● One of the best things to encourage Nature Activities in kids is to simply observe what nature has to offer. Let them pick out different twigs and leaves. We have a rule he can't pick up anything living though.
● Go hiking. It is simple, often free, and fun. The Arboretum had several great hiking trails around their property. We found it was a great way to spend our day. I have even found hiking tails in our area. Just bringing your children with you to walk can be so beneficial, I am sure I've mentioned this several times before! 
● Bring things for a picnic. I am sure every parent out there brings snacks when they travel anywhere! When we hike, we always pack a lunch as well. This particular day we did not have any real plans so we took advantage of the café at the Arboretum. They have a nice seated area to sit, relax and eat some lunch. I will say this particular spot had a little wait time but you can order online to help with anyone getting HANGRY.
● Anytime you are able to extend your time outdoors with kids, by having a snack or meal for example helps tremendously. Use this opportunity to bird watch or talk with your kids about what they have seen or learned. We often play the "what was your favorite part" game and take turns all answering.
When I started noticing just how glued we are to electronics, I decided to do something about it (especially over the lock down this past year). Technology is great and it offers plenty of advantages, but I want my son to get outdoors and explore. That is exactly what we did! The Arboretum offers so many great things for all different ages. Some of the best takeaways we had as a family were:
🌲 We all loved the Art
🌲 The hiking trails were a great Nature Activity
🌲 We loved the pace, rocking chairs and Mountain views
🌲 🌲 I do want to say I would recommend arriving early if you want to skip out on larger crowd gatherings. As well as plan because the area gets warm and if you have smaller kids they might not want to hike in high heats. Arriving early in the day helps eliminate high temps as well.
Getting out and enjoying nature is important. If you’re looking forward to getting out with the kids, try some of these activities. How do you enjoy Nature? 
What Nature activities do you do with kids (if you have them)?
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1 comment

  1. North Carolina is just a neighboring state but I've never been there. Can't wait to hit the road back again.

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