Spending time outside is good for all of us — but is especially important for children.
This outdoor time helps children:
- Develop problem-solving skills, foster cooperation and inspire curiosity.
- Improve physical and mental health.
- Create a connection with nature and develop a long-term appreciation for the natural world.
To make it easier for you to spend time with your kids outdoors and to help build your confidence, Five Rivers MetroParks has launched Let’s Explore family adventures. In addition to what you’ll find in the field, we have prepared a series of guided activities to engage your child’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure in nature.
Explore with our Mobile App:
Let’s Explore is even better with our mobile app, powered by OuterSpatial. The app includes park maps, amenities, points of interest, self-guided tours and more.
Let’s Explore Trips
Englewood MetroPark East Park
4361 W. National Rd. | Park Info
- Start at the nature play area at Patty Shelter.
- Hike the easy 1.5-mile red trail, which takes you by the Old National Road bridge.
Hills & Dales MetroPark
2606 Hilton Dr. | Park Info
- Start at the newly opened nature play area located at this entrance.
- Hike the easy orange Adirondack Trail, which is 1.4 miles round trip with an option to turn around at Dogwood Pond for a shorter hike. Beyond the pond, look for woodpeckers and other birds, along with wildflowers in the spring and Zebra Swallowtail butterflies in summer.
Possum Creek MetroPark
4790 Frytown Rd. | Park Info
- Start at the nature play area next to the education center.
- Hike the 0.3-mile green trail around the Possum Creek Farm and see how many animals you can spot.
4178 Conference Rd. | Park Info
- Start near the nature play area by the trailhead.
- Hike the paved loop through the prairie. Various birds and wildlife might be spotted along the trail, and evening hikers may hear owls.
Let’s Explore Activities
Can you jump like a frog, balance on one leg and buzz like a bee?
Hike & Seek
How many types of trees, plants, rocks and insects can you find? These activities are available year-round:
- Hike & Seek: Colors (PDF)
- Hike & Seek: Sensory (PDF)
- Hike & Seek: Wildflowers (PDF)
- Hike & Seek: Nature Nuts (PDF)
- Hike & Seek: Nature Rocks (PDF)
- Hike & Seek: Snap It (PDF)
Tic Tac Toe
Many types of trees make up a forest but no matter the size, shape or color trees do important things for all of us. Trees provide oxygen, filter pollutants, and offer shade on a hot summer day. Take a hike and notice all the different types of trees. How many tic tac toe lines can you complete during your hike? Lines go down, across and diagonal.