50 Ways to Explore and Adore Nature in Northeast Ohio

50 Ways to Explore and Adore Nature in Northeast Ohio

The region’s park systems have many offerings for families. Travel to one of their nature centers and farms, which often provide an in-depth look at the park’s history, animals, and interactive exhibits for all ages to enjoy.

There are also plenty of outdoor activities around or near the centers. These provide a perfect opportunity for a family day to explore nature. Here are 50 ways to make the most of your time outdoors.

1. Grab a nature book and read outdoors.

2. Pick a spot for nature drawing.

3. Attend a nature program.

4. Practice reading in the wildlife viewing areas.

5. See the stars.

6. Have an outdoor picnic.

7. Play and learn in indoor play places.

8. Help kids identify spring and summer birds.

9. Take a blanket and sing songs outside.

10. Have kids take nature photos.

11. Bring a walking stick for a hike.

12. Play a ‘Nature ABC’ or ‘I Spy’ game.

13. Ask about volunteer opportunities.

14. Learn about insects seen in parks.

15. Visit the gift shop.

16. Identify what animals eat in the park.

17. Bring a stuffed animal to a self-guided tour.

18. Hike the unpaved trail with your teens.

19. Ask about the baby animals.

20. Visit the water spaces near centers (just leave the rocks alone).

21. Look for animal tracks or scat.

22. Ask a naturalist a question.

23. Put on a nature play.

24. Talk to kids about Ohio’s natural habitats.

25. Learn about the pond’s wildlife.

26. Teach the kids how to read a trail map.

27. Identify the native flowers and plants.

28. Ask about nature art exhibits.

29. Go geocaching.

30. Create a nature scavenger hunt.

31. Stop and listen to nature.

32. Walk on a stroller-friendly trail.

33. Grab binoculars for nature viewing.

34. Explore the center’s history.

35. Identify the trees.

36. Visit a center planetarium.

37. Check out at-home printables and programs.

38. Write a family park story.

39. Go on a bike-friendly trail.

40. Visit the live-animal exhibits.

41. Play in the outdoor spaces.

42. Count the nature items.

43. Plan an outdoor family photo.

44. Go fishing, where permitted.

45. See the butterflies.

46. Donate to park wildlife.

47. Book an outdoor party space.

48. Use the exercise stations.

49. Learn about wildlife rehabilitation programs.

50. Make a list of the animals seen in the park.

About the author

Angela Gartner has been the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine since 2014. She has won local and national awards for her features, columns and photography over the years. Previously, her work appeared in publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers and The Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy every weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She is also a board member and past president at the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She loves reading, writing poetry and taking the family's Scottish Terrier on walks.

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