Five Outdoor Activities for Family Bonding

The return of nice weather boosts the energy and makes the outdoors more enticing, as getting active becomes easier and more enjoyable. Sunny days are the ideal excuse for partaking in outdoor activities as a family and enjoying cherished moments with the kids. Not every weekend in Quebec is a sunny weekend, so when the weather looks great, be prepared to get outside. Here are five family-bonding outdoor activities to try out as a family and get out into nature.

1. Take a Hike

Few things are more relaxing and enjoyable than going for a trek outside. Great for kids of all ages, hiking requires little planning. Pack yourselves a picnic, snacks and lots of water, lace up your hiking boots, and you’re ready to go! If you’re heading up a mountain, bring a windbreaker as well—you can expect the summit to be quite chilly.

It’s easy to find good hiking trails nearby on the Sépaq website, which offers route suggestions for hikers of all levels. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Mont Albert in the Gaspésie, Mont St-Bruno near Montreal, Mont Orford near Sherbrooke, and Mont du lac des Cygnes in Charlevoix.

2. Plan a Bike Ride

Cycling is speedier than walking and more exciting for the kids, so you can easily cover more ground and set off on discoveries of new frontiers—whether in the city or elsewhere in the province. Pedal a couple of kilometers to get ice cream, ride along the Lachine Canal, or as part of larger vacation trips, visit Montmorency Falls, cycle a stretch of the Lac St-Jean “blueberry route” or cross l’île aux Grues.

Before hitting the bike paths, make sure your bikes are ready for the road. If you need to buy a new bicycle, read our article on finding the best bike for you.

3. Try out Arbre-en-Arbre aerial parks

The province of Quebec hosts six Arbre-en-Arbre aerial parks, where kids and adults can reconnect with the Tarzan within, no holds barred, and in complete safety. Tyrolean traverse, suspended trails, vines, zip-lines, rope bridges—it’s all up in the air. Parks with treetop aerial trails or hebertism courses (named after pioneering French physical educator Georges Hébert) have been popping up recently in every region of Quebec.

Arbre-en-Arbre’s six parks are located in Shawinigan, Mirabel, Drummondville, Havelock, Lac-Mégantic and Rouyn-Noranda, and each is built to showcase different aspects of Quebec’s diverse nature. Once your family gets into the thrill of swinging through the trees, you’ll want to try them all!

4. Go Climbing

If your kids like to climb and are in need of adventure, or if you’d like to get them out of their comfort zone, rock climbing may be just what they need. You can start off safely, practicing outdoors or indoors by scaling climbing walls—which give both the kids and adults a great workout!

To get started, choose a nearby climbing club that’s recognized by the Fédération québécoise de la montagne et de l’escalade, and sign up for a family class.

5. Camping with the Kids

Camping is without a doubt the activity that requires the most preparation, but it also brings the family together like nothing else to create memories that will last forever. Get yourselves a tent, some sleeping bags and sleeping mats, and head off to discover the beautiful provincial and national parks of Quebec! Spending time together rediscovering nature, building fires, eating around the picnic table and playing board games—far from computers, tablets and mobile phones—means bonding with the family the way it’s always been meant to be. Prepping and gearing up for a family camping trip takes some work the first time, but soon enough getting out into nature becomes second nature!

With so many great activities to choose from, where to start? More elaborate activities like camping and climbing need a bit of planning ahead of time, whereas if have your basic outdoor clothing and gear ready, you can be out the door and in the sun by foot, bike—or swinging rope—the moment inspiration hits.

So get outside and start collecting memorable moments with your family this summer.

Enjoy the start of the season!