We had a beautiful spring day last Friday, so James and I got out for our monthly “Explore Ohio” day. As we hiked part of the Cincinnati Nature Center, I was reminded why it’s so important for us to get outside every now and again. So today I’m sharing a spring bucket list to get us outside where we can breathe a little more deeply, bask in the beauty of nature and unplug from the fast paced, noisy world we live in.
This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links I potentially earn a commission on your purchases, but at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting my work here by shopping my links.
Spring Bucket List – Let’s Go Outside!
I’ve got ideas to propel us outside whether you’re able to go for a hike or not. I’m all for getting a little exercise while we’re outdoors, but there’s definitely benefits to just sitting and soaking it in occasionally, too. Consider adding at least 10 of these to your calendar this spring. Some will fit your location better than others, but we all can dream!
#1 – Treat someone to an impromptu picnic.
Pack a simple picnic for two or three and start texting or calling friends and/or family members until you get someone to join you at a nearby park. Don’t fee rejected if someone can’t join you. Just keep inviting until you get a taker. That someone will feel so special and grateful.
#2 – Take a hike!
Search out a new-to-you hiking trail nearby and lace up your hiking shoes. Make sure to take water and a snack along, as well as other essentials.
#3 – Sit quietly and watch the birds.
I had the best time Friday using my new Carson HD binoculars to watch the bluebirds at the Cincinnati Nature Center. But even without binoculars you can enjoy watching the birds go about their business. Consider buying a field guide similar to my Birds of Ohio book.
#4 – Get out in your own backyard.
Don’t forget to spend time in your own backyard. Whether you have a small patio or a grand lawn, create a lovely space to spend time out there this spring and summer. Buy a new chair or hammock, maybe an umbrella. Or just tuck a blanket into a basket by your door so you can grab it and head out with something cool to drink and a good book.
#5 – Plant something new.
Plant some new flowers, herbs or vegetables in your yard or a container. Even if you’re not planting anything new in your yard, get out and turn up the soil a little. Add some fresh top soil or mulch if needed. Wear some pretty gardening gloves or get your hands dirty. Just enjoy digging in the dirt!
#6 – Hit the water.
At the appropriate time for your climate, hit the water in a kayak or canoe. Look into a service that will rent you the water vessel as well as safety gear and transport you to the launching point on the river if needed. Take your time; this is not a race!
#7 – Take a child to feed the ducks.
When my children were preschoolers my dear friend Frances would pick them up occasionally just to take them to a local pond to feed the ducks. It was a respite for me, a thrill for them and a sweet act of service for her. Win, win, win!
#8 – Visit a nearby nature center or wildlife refuge.
In the United States we are blessed to have nature centers, nature preserves and wildlife refuges scattered everywhere. I suggest you put something like “nature centers near me” in your favorite search engine to see what comes up. Of course there are also private and municipal gardens you can visit in many areas. Consider buying a membership if they’re available. We purchased a membership to the Cincinnati Nature Center because we hope that will compel us to take advantage of the many programs and use the facility more frequently.
#9 – Grill out.
Maybe it’s time to take your meals outdoors. Or at least begin the meal there by grilling out. I’ve discovered that we actually eat a little more healthily when we grill out, too. Grill enough chicken for the week ahead and you’ll be able to make tasty, healthy salads for lunches.
#10 – Volunteer to pick up trash.
Most communities rely on volunteers to clean up the streets and byways. Check out the Keep America Beautiful website to see where and when you can volunteer to pick up litter in your community.
#11 – Take a child on a nature walk.
It’s so much fun to see the world through a child’s eyes. Whether you take your grandchild for a stroll around the neighborhood or a rigorous hike through the woods, help them to slow down and really see the world around them. Pause for opportunities to feel the breeze, listen to the birds, smell the flowers or watch the deer.
#12 – Walk on the beach.
No, I don’t live anywhere near a beach either. But I’d be amiss not to mention this amazing opportunity to go outside and experience the majesty of the waves. If you do live anywhere near the ocean or other large body of water, definitely make the trip to walk along the shore.
#13 – Dine out…alfresco.
Go ahead and dress up. No need to pack a picnic. Instead choose a favorite restaurant that offers alfresco dining. Call ahead for reservations if necessary. Don’t forget to take along a pretty wrap in case there’s a chill in the air.
#14 – Visit the animals.
Spring is a great time to visit a zoo, animal farm or even a smaller petting zoo because so many animals are born at this time of year. You’ll get to see the babies!
#15 – Take your work outside.
It may take a little creativity, but do what you need to do to work outside for an hour or two. Take your classroom of kids outside for a group project, wheel a patient into the courtyard for a therapy session, meet with a client for coffee in a park or pack up your laptop and head to a picnic pavilion.
#16 – Sit on your front steps and wave to the neighbors.
That’s right, you read me correctly. Sit on the front porch, not the back, for once. Watch the neighbors work in the yards, walk their dogs and fetch their mail. Pray for them. And of course be friendly.
Well, I’ve run out of pictures to share, so I think I’ll stop my list there. But maybe you’d like to join the conversation and suggest other prompts to get us outside. I’d love to hear from you today. And even if you don’t want to leave a comment, be sure to check out recommendations from others. Just click on LEAVE A COMMENT below the post to access the comments.
Of course, everything I’ve shown in today’s post is also available. You can shop the links below the photo above or through the shopping widget at the bottom of this post. And let me know if you have any questions.
Blessed for My Day
Not only does stepping out into nature reinvigorate us physically and emotionally, but it helps us to connect with our Creator in a fresh way. Through experiencing God’s creation we can see more clearly the attributes of the Creator. For instance, when I spend time watching the birds eat the seeds of the earth I’m reminded that God provides for them every day. In the same way, He provides my every need just when I truly need it. I never go without if I lean into my Provider.
Slow down a little today and really soak in part of the world around you. Whether you are able to listen to the roar of the ocean, watch a busy squirrel, gather wild flowers or pet your own dog, take those moments to see a fresh glimpse of God. Yes, be thankful for the creation. But look beyond the beauty of creation to the fuller glory of God, the One who created it…and you.
Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:19-20