I attended an event on behalf of MOM CENTRAL CONSULTING for Busch Gardens. I received free admission to the park as a thank you for participating.
Now that summer is in full swing, do you worry that your kids don't experience enough natural outdoor playtime? Did you know that 85% of moms have this worry? It isn't like it was when we were kids(at least if you are near my age). We spent so much more time outdoors than our children do. I don't know about you, but I spent most of my day around the neighborhood with friends on our bikes and playing. Outdoor time is so important for us and for our children.
We were invited to take part in a Mom blogger event, put together by Mom Central Consulting at Busch Gardens, to talk about getting our kids outdoors and encouraging them and us to have more natural fun. I hadn't been to Busch Gardens in over 20 years. I jumped at the chance to take my family for the day.
I also love encouraging family fun together and natural fun, so it seemed like the event was a perfect fit for me, my readers and our family. We came away from our day at Busch Gardens with memories to last us a lifetime as well as some great ideas for natural fun. I want to share our day with you as well as a whole list of outdoor natural fun ideas for you and your family.
If you have read my blog for a little while, you may have notice the monthly posts I have put together of activities for families. In case you haven't, I put together a family game or activity usually about once a month. They are normally inexpensive and fun. I try to create ways for a family to spend some non-electronic time together. We always have fun.
For our family, a day at a place such as a theme park is a super fun way to spend a day outdoors and have fun together. It also isn't normally in our price range. So, I want to show you some of the fantastic fun that we had a Busch Gardens and I also want to give you some ideas of simple easy ways to spend some time together and get outdoors and away from electronics.
After our breakfast and Mom blogger event, we started our day with a visit to the Clydesdale's, as you may have noticed in the first picture in this post. They are gorgeous and huge! My family isn't into the roller coasters that much, I am but not anyone else yet, so we wanted to make sure to see some of the great shows that are available at Busch Gardens. We went to Celtic Fyre first. It was spectacular. Great dancing. My girls were both in awe as they haven't seen anything like this in person. I loved being able to give them that experience and that memory.
Later in the day, we also went to the More….Pet Shenanigans show. My girls really loved this show as well. It is amazing how well trained the animals are. They were all adopted from local shelters. Totally amazing to see what you can teach any animal to do.
I found a little time, while the kids were riding a ride of their own and climbing in the tree house in the land of dragons, to head over to ride a roller coaster. I managed to hit 3 of the 4 that I wanted to ride that day. My favorite was Alpengeist. The kids loved riding on the train as well as the skyride.
All through out the morning we were there, we were tweeting away on the chance to win the opportunity for our family to get to do one of the special tours Busch Gardens offers. This tour is called the Birds of Prey – Up Close tour. I got the call that we were selected while I was in line to ride Verbolten. That is one awesome roller coaster with a totally unexpected twist!
We were all so excited to go on the tour. My kids had wanted me to tweet like mad so we could win this experience. They really enjoyed the whole tour.
We had the opportunity to go back in the area where only the handlers normally go. We got to hold several birds and pet a few as well. I wish I could remember all the names and types of the birds, but alas, I didn't have paper to write things down.
We did get to see a Bald Eagle up close. Did you know that they don't get their white head until they are around 4 or 5? My daughter asked when it would look normal. She got to learn that was looking normal, but just not how we think of a bald eagle looking.
I didn't get any decent pictures of the Bald Eagle and several of the other birds because this was the beginning of the end of my camera (which died shortly after this day). It was only working intermittently. I'm so thankful that even though it was a cloudy day, I got plenty of good pictures to remember our experience.
After being back in the handlers area, we got to walk up the hill to the area where the Clydesdale's are kept. The handlers brought one of the Hawks with them. They flew the hawk between the two handlers in the field. As you can see, they let us get involved as well. My girls did a great job making a circle big enough for that hawk to fly through.
My husband got a chance as well. I love this picture with him moving his head to get out of the bird's way and the trainer just so calm….just another day at the office folks. 🙂
Next, up we got to put on the trainer's glove and actually help with the owl. It flew across the field to the person who was wearing the glove. Then the trainer would put the leads in our hand and let us pose for pictures with the owl.
Such an amazing experience to be up close and personal with all of these birds and to get to hold an owl!
My youngest daughter, Pumpkin, loved the experience of getting to hold the owl.
In fact, an owl seemed to make its way home with us.
I have to say that a day at a theme park is a great way to get the family together for a day fun and be outdoors. Busch Gardens is also so beautifully landscaped that it is really nice to be outdoors all day even on a cloudy, rainy, humid day.
If you don't have a Busch Gardens nearby or it is out of your price range, I have some great ideas for your family for summer natural fun. I didn't come up with these ideas. The kids at the Mom Blogger event came up with them when asked what kinds of things they like to do outdoors or for natural fun ideas. I also added some that my girls either suggested or love to do. Kids definitely know best, so if we listen to them, they have great ideas for the family and being outdoors.
- Go on a walk around your neighborhood
- Go on a picnic
- Ride bikes around the neighborhood
- Play in the sprinklers (or at a water park- Water Country)
- Go to Busch Gardens
- Climb a tree
- Play hopscotch on the driveway
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt (I have a free printable for you at that link)
- Go camping
- Eat dinner in the backyard or on your deck/patio
- Hunt for seashells at the beach or lake shore
- Go to a zoo
- Go berry picking
- Play a family game. I have quite a few ideas for you: Family Activities.
I think this list could go on and on. It doesn't need to cost much or anything. It doesn't need to be a full day affair. It could be simply walking the dog after work as a family. We just need to do it and get out there together as a family. In nature, no technology, being present.
We are a family who really enjoys time together and enjoys time in nature and yet I know we are nature deficient. It is a good challenge to get out there with our family and enjoy some technology free time together. It will build memories and a close-knit family as well.