Hey, you! Take your kid outside

This is Take A Child Outside Week, a week that, for reasons that escape me, we must force ourselves to force our kids outside. Not to sound like an old crank, though I will, back in the day our parents used to boot us outdoor first thing in the morning every day. Then, come sunset, they’d open that door and start yelling for us to come in. That was a daily occurrence. Today, again, we set aside one week to remind ourselves to take the kids outside.

I write about Take A Child Outside Week every year, and have since Liz Baird, director of school programs at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences came up with the idea five years ago. Rather than repeat what I’ve already written, you can read last year’s post here. (That gives me more time to take my own kids outside.)

Before signing off, though, I’ll mention that if you yourself aren’t entire comfortable exploring the great outdoors with your kids, there are plenty of outdoor events planned statewide that your family can be a part of. In fact there’s something — multiple things — going on every day. For example:

Today: Never gone fishing with your kid? Remedy that situation this afternoon from 2:30-4 p.m. with the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla. All the gear is provided, you just have to catch (and safely release) the fish. Details here.

Wednesday: Family Disc Golf at Harris Lake County Park. Been searching for something the family can do together? Disc golf masks the exercise of a long walk (a really long walk if you throw like me) with the fun of disc-flinging, the goal to eventually get your disc into all 18 netted goals. That’s from 6-7 p.m. Here for specifics.

Thursday: Got a hard-sell kid on your hands? Few can resist a canoe trip, such as the one this evening from 5-6:30 p.m. at Lake James State Park. All the gear is provided, paddlers must be at least 7. It’s free, but pre-registration is required, by calling the park office at 828.584.7728. Additional information here.

Friday: Some kids whine about going out in the heat of the day (curse the dang fool air conditioning!) But I’ve never heard one kid whine about going out in the cool of night, especially when that night is occurring in the forest, where who knows what is going on. Eliminate the whining by taking the kids on a night hike at Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville from 8-10 p.m. (they get to stay up late to boot — woo-hoo!). More information here.

Saturday: Another chance to stay up late and the folks from the Morehead Planetarium host a viewing of the night sky at Jordan Lake State Recreation area between Apex and Pittsboro. Planets, nebulae, star clusters, the moon — all your favorite celestial standouts. From 8-10 p.m. at the Ebenezer Church Recreation Area. Additional helpful information here.

Sunday: Now that you’ve had a week to instill in your kids (and yourself) a fondness for the outdoors, teach them to be responsible in the wild with The Big Foot Challenge. That’s what the folks at Hanging Rock State Park call their Leave No Trace program, which teaches kids how to enjoy the outdoors without leaving so much as a trace of a sign that they were there. Starts at 10 a.m., at the campground amphitheater. Details, details.

Now I really am leaving to go play outside with the kids (cul de sac beachball baseball — you should try it).

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For more Take A Child Outside events, check the TACO Web site and the Office of Environmental Education calendar.


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