Monday, May 23, 2011

Green Hour Tip: Share Nature With Friends

Today’s post is part of “Your Green Hour Survival Guide,” a series which I hope will provide you with inspiration to make getting outside every day a habit.

The big explorer and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon outside with friends yesterday. Not only was it fun to discover a new place, but it was also a nice break from our usual routine spending time outside on our own.

I used to think it was too tough to incorporate friends’ schedules into our daily green hour. But not anymore.

Here are a few simple ways to include friends in your everyday outdoor fun:
  • Schedule a weekly play date at your favorite park.
  • Host a picnic dinner on your front lawn and invite friends.
  • Take routine play dates outside. Encourage mud pie making, tree climbing and water play when possible!
  • Arrange a weekend (or weekday) outing in nature with friends.
  • Take celebrations outside. We visited my dad’s grave to mark his birthday, where we ate cake, drew pictures and ran around the beautiful grounds; we also blew bubbles outside before the little explorer’s birthday dinner.
  • Spend time in a school garden or community garden with friends – or invite people to spend time in your garden.
  • Start a family nature club – or find one near you!
  • Plan a getaway adventure in nature with friends. We spend time every summer in Yosemite with dear family friends. The experience wouldn't be the same without them.

What’s your favorite way to spend time outside with friends?


  1. I know this is kinda off the topic but I would love to hear some tips on getting outside when you live in a apartment! We don't have any parks without playgrounds in town and also with gas so high we just can't be driving all over the place all the time. We live in an apartment to SAVE money not to spend it on gas but we definitely love the outdoors and would love to hear some tips on what to do.

  2. Debi,

    I really admire your green hour commitment and loved your ideas. It's also nice to know that I'm not crazy for bringing See's Candy to the cemetary this summer to celebrate our beloved Baba.

    Madmommy, that's a tricky one. What about a photo walk where you take pictures of special trees and beautiful gardens in your neighborhood. Do you have a nursery or community garden near by? Make a foot by foot square on a piece of grass at the park and see how many critters you can find.

  3. @MADMommy: What a great question! I think Bridget has hit the nail on the head with the idea of taking a walk. No matter how urban your environment, nature can be found right outside your doorstep. Try turning routine walks into nature adventures with scavenger hunts, front garden tours, wildlife hunts & the like. A patio container garden also brings nature right into your space.

    I'm also going to put this question to the fans on Facebook to see if they come up with some more helpful responses. Hope you'll join the conversation!

    @Bridget: We love our time with grandpa & don't think it's odd at all to bring cake to his grave. :)

  4. Thanks Im going to check it out now!

  5. Some of our favorite moments have been with friends. Sam has so much more confidence on the trail and in the water when she has her friends around, very funny that way. Loved your list of ways to share outdoor time with friends, great tips!


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