With the rise in popularity of the 1,000 Hours Outside Challenge, families are getting outdoors more than ever to play and explore. If you’re participating in this challenge, May 15 is the perfect day to log more hours, as it’s Kids to Parks Day! This is a yearly day dedicated to encouraging families to get outside to play and explore the many different parks and trails available nearby.
One thing I love about the City of Fishers is the many fantastic, diverse parks it offers. Many think of parks as just a place to visit a playground. But parks (and trails, as well) hold many more fun adventures than just a playground. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next park adventure, here are 10 of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy spring at Fishers Parks!
1. Climb A Tree
Climbing trees is a great way to explore the world from a different angle and engages all the senses. As a parent, I love this activity because it’s the perfect opportunity for children to participate in “risky” play. As a child climbs a tree, they learn how to judge risk by climbing to their comfort level, while also developing critical thinking skills of which branch to use next. My kids love finding trees to climb at Geist Park, Hoosier Woods, and Heritage Park.
4. Frisbee Fun
Frisbee is the perfect alternative to the popular throw and catch game. We love tossing the frisbee around or seeing who can throw the farthest. Another fun frisbee game is disk golf – Cumberland Park has a disk golf course that is a family favorite!
3. Playground Ninja
My family’s favorite way to shake up a typical trip to the playground is by creating an obstacle course. Whether it’s giving the kids multiple directions to follow, a relay race, or my kids’ favorite, beat the stopwatch and see how long it take to complete a sequence. Geist Park, Billericay Park, and Brooks School Park are our favorites for playing playground ninja.
4. Make Some Music
Did you know a single blade of grass can be a musical instrument? Grass whistles have become a new, fun activity this year for our family. If you’ve never grass whistled, start by picking a wide thick piece of grass. Then holding the blade of grass stretched flat, putting your mouth on the grass blade and gently blow. It might take a few tries before a whistling sound emerges.
5. Explore The Trails
Want to take a break from visiting parks? Fishers offers over 131 miles of nature and multi-use trails. All are perfect for a family ride, so grab your bike or even just your walking shoes and head to one of the many trails the city has to offer. Our family loves exploring the Nickel Plate Trail and Bee Creek Camp Trail.
6. Go On Bug Hunt
As bugs begin to reemerge, we love going on a bug hunt to find the many fun creepy crawlies! Whether it’s to see who finds the most, a scavenger hunt, or just gently observing with a magnifying glass, it’s always fun seeing what the kids can discover. Our favorite bug-hunting locations include Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve, Holland Park, and Flat Fork Creek Park.
7. Be A Boat Builder
We love adding a bit of STEM fun into our park adventures. One of our favorite activities is boat making with repurposed items from around the house and items found at the park. After building your boat, it’s fun to watch it float and see how much weight it can hold. Brooks School Park is our go-to for boat launching. Need boat inspiration? Check this out!
8. Muddy Play
Playing in the mud after a spring rainstorm is one of our favorite activities. Mud is a fun medium for creating nature masterpieces such as muddy faces on trees, mud painting, practicing writing letters, or getting active with mud skating. Many hesitate to go to a park after it’s rained, but don’t let it hold you back. Throw on your rain boots and let the creative juices flow!
9. Tree Hunt
While on a tree hunt we love to see how many different types of leaves, blooming buds, textures of bark, shapes of trees, and birds nests we can find. Fishers has many great locations to explore a variety of trees such as Geist Park, Cheeney Creek Park, and Flat Fork Creek Park. Collecting tree treasures are perfect for saving for activities like leaf rubbings, patterning, tree treasure collages, leaf scrapbook, nature mobile, or leaf windsock.
10. Sit Spot
If you’re unsure what a “sit-spot” is, it’s just as it sounds. A single place in that you sit quietly to observe nature then return multiple times to compare and contrast. In a sit spot, we love listening to the rain, watching bees float by, watching the way trees sway in the wind, listening to birds singing, and feeling the sun on your face. Recently, we’ve added the Fishers AgriPark, Cheeney Creek, and Geist Park as our new favorite sit spots.
How does your family like to spend spring at Fishers’ parks? Share all your spring park adventures on social media using the hashtags #AroundFishers and #FishersParks!
Megan Gamble was raised in Fishers and has lived here for over 20 years. She lives in the Geist area with her husband, Zane, and two active boys, Miles (4) and Nolan (1). A former teacher and child developmental therapist, she loves finding new adventures with her family in Fishers Parks, as well as attending the city’s family-friendly (and date night perfect) events throughout the year. Her hobbies include photography, coffee, DIY projects, wine, traveling, helping others, and fashion. She loves Fishers’ small town feel though it’s a growing, thriving city and being able to visit and attend festivals, events, and activities with her family that she also attended as a child. Follow her on Instagram at @MilesofAdventures.