Summer may be seen as time to relax - but tell that to the kids bouncing off the walls with energy or yelling, "I'm bored." As parents, we want to create valuable memories with our children while showing them the beauty of the world around us. Sometimes the thought of taking kids on a backpacking trip or a climbing trip feels stressful, fear can creep in and motivate parents to choose the easy route, rather than taking the adventurous and fun endeavor that requires more effort.
Exposing kids to outdoor activities at a young age will help foster an appreciation for adventure that will last generations. Research has shown that children that play outside are healthier, happier and stronger. Some of the health benefits include: Improves Vision, Increases Attention Span, Provides Vitamin D and Reduces Stress. Most importantly it creates an opportunity for family connection; the memories created are priceless and are worth the investment.
Here are some great ideas to get you started.
1. Whiskeytown Lake - Located outside of Redding on 299 West, Whiskeytown is a great destination for the whole family. From beaches, swimming areas, rope swings and camping to fishing, boating and waterfall hikes, Whiskeytown alone has enough to explore for the whole summer. Pack a swimsuit, a picnic and plan to spend lots of hours on the water.
We Recommend taking a moonlight kayaking tour around the lake or renting a Stand-Up Paddle board at Brandy Creek.
2. Enterprise Park - Centrally located in Redding off of Victor Ave, Enterprise Park is a great place with many great options including Disc Golf, Soccer Fields, Picnic Pavilion, Basketball Courts, Shaded Children Play Area, and Outdoor Roller Hockey. Lots to choose from and plenty of shady trees for reading a book or taking a nap.
We Recommend packing a cooler of water balloons and having a good old fashion water balloon fight. Don't forget the sunscreen, favorite lunch and lots of water.
3. Lake Shasta Caverns - Roughly 20 mins north of Redding just off the I-5, this family-filled activity includes a scenic boat ride across Lake Shasta and an impressive tour of the limestone caves. Plan on spending at least 2 hours at the Caverns which include the boat and bus ride.
We Recommend renting a catamaran and spending half the day cruising & swimming on the lake. Cost is $26 for adults and $15 for kids (3-15 years old). For more information visit: lakeshastacaverns.com
4. The Sacramento River Trail - Located in the heart of Redding, alongside the beautiful and refreshing Sacramento River, this is considered the "crown jewel" of the Redding trail system. Offering almost 18 miles of paved trail from the Sundial Bridge to the Shasta Dam, there are lots of options for running, walking, and biking along this stunning river which includes the Sun Dial Bridge, Lake Redding Park and Caldwell Park.
We Recommend riding bikes across the Sundial Bridge and Shasta Dam. Both bike rides offer breath-taking beauty.
5. Lassen Volcanic National Park - Located about 1.5 hours east of Redding, there is an north entrance from the 44 or a south entrance from I-5. This National Park has it all: camping, hiking, lakes, swimming, fishing, waterfalls, star-gazing, horseback riding, backpacking, snowshoeing and skiing to name a few. With over 150 miles of hiking trails, day hiking and backpacking are some of the most popular summer activities.
We Recommend camping at one of the lakes and doing day trips around the park. If you plan it well, hike to the summit of Lassen Peak during a full moon. Enjoy the lunar-lit environment.