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Time to Explore the Outdoors

Created January 10, 2017
Did you know you can experience the majesty of America’s most iconic National Parks right from home? With Nature Valley Trail View it’s easier than ever to get inspired, make plans and preview a trail before you go!

Explore the Great Outdoors

We’re using this street-view-style exploration tool of America’s most remarkable trails as our guide to an adventurous family fun night. C’mon, we’ll show you the way!

Few things work to bring family together like a common goal and an adventure. Start your family fun night by exploring Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Great Smoky Mountains parks.

All that planning will certainly work up an appetite, and we’ve got just the thing! It’s no secret that the more say kids have in dinner and the more hands-on they get to be, the more they enjoy themselves.

Letting kids lend a hand is also a smart way to introduce new foods (we’re looking at you, vegetables).

Enter foil packs. A longtime favorite around the campfire, tinfoil packets are easy to make, fun to customize and a breeze to clean up.

  • To get started, set out a variety of meats, vegetables, herbs, spices, tin foil and olive oil.
  • Let everyone create their own meal in the center of a greased 12x18-inch piece of heavy duty aluminum.
  • Next, fold over and seal edges making sure to allow space on sides for circulation and expansion.
  • Finally, grill packets 4 to 6 inches from medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.

S'mores Bar

What’s an outdoor adventure without s’mores? Create a build-your-own bar and take this old classic to a whole new level of yum. No campfire? No problem! Your microwave will do the trick. Here’s are a few stuffing ideas you probably already have on hand:

peanut butter jelly bananas hazelnut spread caramel peanuts candy strawberries

Ready, Set, Dig

Did you know that the mountains of Glacier National Park began forming 170 million years ago and have some of the finest fossilized examples of extremely early life found anywhere on Earth?

Share this and other fun facts about fossils with kids before sending them on their own anthropological dig! Here’s how:

  1. Gather plastic dinosaur toys (if you don’t have any, we recommend looking at a dollar store) and a bucket or other large container. Plastic tubs also work well for this.
  2. Place your first dinosaur into the bottom of your container, fill with a few inches of water and freeze. Continue adding dinosaurs and water and freezing until you’ve used all your dinosaurs and or reached the top of your container.
  3. Invert the ice sculpture on a patio, deck, bathtub or sink and equip kids with excavating tools such as forks, spray bottles, flathead crew drivers and hammers to use in their dig for fossils.

The larger the container, the longer it will take to free the fossils. Extra large containers are great for a family dig, whereas a number of smaller sculptures lend themselves to a race to the finish. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to talk about fossils, dinosaurs, glaciers and our national parks! Hint: Bone up on fossil facts beforehand with books from the library or a quick search on Wikipedia.

Bringing everyone together can and should be fun. With a little planning you can turn average dinners into family fun nights any day of the week!