Looking for a new sport or outdoor activity to try this summer with your family? Here are five great summertime sports that just about everyone is sure to love:
1. Beach volleyball
Even if you aren’t lucky enough to live in a state with oceanfront views, that doesn’t mean you don’t have access to beach volleyball. A lot of communities build beach volleyball courts next to local ponds, lakes or even in a regular park. Beach volleyball is a great way to introduce your kids to volleyball because they can dive all over the place without fear (sand is usually more forgiving than a gym floor), plus beach volleyball is a great way to make exercise fun.
Running and jumping on sand is lot harder than on a hard floor, so both you and your kids are in for a great workout (carefully disguised in game form).
2. Ultimate Frisbee
The great thing about Ultimate Frisbee is that the whole sport is based on respect and sportsmanship. Most games are self-officiated and even the official Ultimate rules established by USA Ultimate state that “Ultimate has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Such actions as taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other ‘win-at-all-costs’ behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.”
Ultimate Frisbee exists at every level of competition from park pickup games to international championships. There might even be an Ultimate Frisbee league in your hometown.
3. Mountain biking
For summertime thrill seekers, mountain biking is a great outdoor activity. This sport requires some serious endurance, core strength and balance, expert bike handling skills, and self-reliance (you’ll learn how to fix a flat tire real fast). Your 8 year old might not be ready to go totally “off road” just yet, but a dirt trail through the local forest preserve is a good mountain biking option for beginners. It’s a nice change of scenery and pace from regular old sidewalks.
Kayaks are great boating options for lakes, rivers and even the ocean (as long as you have the right kayak). It’s a wonderful way to get up close and personal with nature, and who doesn’t love spending a few hours out the water? Just make sure you pack extra sunscreen and don’t bring anything that isn’t waterproof.
5. Rock climbing
Some park districts will have indoor rock climbing walls, which is a great (and much less scary) way to introduce your kids to rock climbing. Indoor rock climbing walls are often much easier to climb, since climbers don’t have to worry about the weather or search for the next handhold.