It’s March of 2021, exactly one year after all of our lives changed, and COVID-19 is still raging on. We have hope in sight with vaccines getting into more and more people, but we still need to be very careful and protect ourselves and each other from this disease.

And, just like many of you, my family is itching to get out and do something fun for Spring Break this year!

So I created a list of ideas for adventures and projects you could do this spring break, while still staying safe.

Families in Nature Spring Break Events: 

  1. Camp and canoe with us at Turkey Bend (LCRA Park) March 12-14th  Register here
  2. Join our day trip to Enchanted Rock March 21. (Make your own day pass reservations, register on the FIN website so we know who will be meeting us.) Register here after you get your day passes through TPWD.
  3. Earn Ecologist School badges by getting outside with your friends. Lessons here. Badges and Nature Journal here.

Ideas to do on your own with your family or your quaranteam:

  1.  Canoe or Hike for a Cause – help our creeks and lakes with a clean up – Very few volunteer groups have been able to get out and pick up trash along our waterways during the past year, so our creeks, parks and rivers are in need of cleaning. Take a bag out on your next socially distant park visit with friends to pick up the trash you encounter. Or bring a trash bag when you rent a canoe to go paddling and pick up trash that you see floating in the water.

  2. Go for a hike on the greenbelts, city or state parks – explore a place you’ve never been before!

  3. Ride a bike in a park.
  4. Go camping. If you can’t get a reservation over spring break at a state park, you can also check our LCRA and County parks for reservations.

  5. Create art in a park – take your water color or drawing pencils, paper and a clipboard or sketchbook out to your nearest nature space and draw spring. Notice the colors you see – the bright greens of new leaves emerging after the freeze. Or take your camera and photograph spring plants and wildlife.

  6. Visit a swimming hole before it is warm enough to swim. Wade in the cold water. (Near Austin: Krause Springs, Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Pace Bend, Barton Springs, Hamilton Pool, Jessica Hollis park, etc…

  7. Learn to fish.

  8. Rent a canoe or kayak to paddle with your family. Or learn to standup paddle board.

  9. Try out shinrin yoku (forest bathing) by slowly walking through a park or preserve and noticing the sounds, smells, colors, textures, and details surrounding you. Breathe deeply. (You can do this often throughout the year to give your brain and body a break and counteract the hours and hours of zoom!)
  10. Climb a tree.
  11. Sleep outside – set up a tent in your backyard to enjoy the perfect camping temperatures of spring in Texas.
  12. Set up a backyard habitat in your own yard – creating spaces for wildlife or birds to find shelter, get water, get food and raise young. This could include planting wildlife-friendly plants that attract hummingbirds and insects to replace any of the plants in your yard that froze in February’s snow storm. Set up a camera trap and maybe you’ll catch grey foxes and wild grandpas in your backyard habitat like we did! (video is at the link above).

  13. Build bird feeders out of your recycling and hang them in your yard to watch the spring birds.
  14. Have a socially distanced picnic in your front yard or in a park with your friends or family.

  15. Create an outdoor study space so that you can resume your zoom classes outdoors. Set up a table and chair outside next to an extension cord to power your laptop, possibly just outside of the house in the spot where your wifi router is located. Decorate the area with potted plants to make it feel like you are working in a cafe or a park.
  16. Set up a hammock in a park in a spot with three trees near each other. Invite a friend to set up a hammock next to yours. This way you can spend time together outside while still remaining socially distant. (please use tree-friendly straps to attach your hammock to the tree.)


  17. Visit a place with lots of rocks and build elaborate rock cairns with your friends. (outdoors is the safest place to gather with your friends, so make some temporary art together!) For inspiration, watch Andy Goldsworthy’s “Rivers and Tides” before you go outside.

  18. Build or purchase a fire pit for your backyard, or use one in a state park campsite. Learn to build a fire and cook a meal over the fire you build. (Be sure to put the fire out with water so that coals are cool to the touch before you leave the area.)

  19. Learn to build a shelter out of natural materials and then spend the night in your shelter. (Helpful tools: learn a basic lashing knot and use sticks from introduced species such as ligustrum and bamboo to build your shelter.)

     

  20. Have a star party with your friends. Download a star finding app on your phone to identify what you see in the sky at night, or locate the space station when it passes overhead. It is easy to hang out with friends or family and stay socially distant by putting blankets on the ground and laying 6 feet apart to look up at the sky.

  21. Go see the Critically Endangered Whooping Cranes by boat in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Rockport Texas.

  22. Go birding! We like to go to Brazos Bend State Park to see huge numbers of birds and the alligators that are just waking up for spring. (Remember you will need a day pass reservation.)

  23. Plant a tree – many trees in Texas froze or were badly damaged by our February snow. Plant a new tree to replace one that was frozen. You may even be able to do this in your local park. Places like Pease Park in Austin are asking for volunteers to replace their damaged trees.

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