Free Programs to Get Kids in Nature

When you’re hiking with children, sometimes you need a little something extra to keep them motivated. We offer lots of tips and tricks to keep kids interested and entertained while on the trails, but there are plenty of organized challenges and programs for kids and families.

Here are some fun activities you can do south of Boston (and, in some cases, around Massachusetts).

Riley Clark’s Gold Scout Project Scavenger Hunt at NRT Sheep Pasture in Easton: Download the materials online or borrow an Adventure Pack at the Ames Free Library in Easton. See SSFA’s post about it here.

North and South River Watershed Association (NSRWA) Winter Challenge 2021: even though this challenge is over, you can still access the videos and presentations and do the challenge on your own. Or, participate in the NSRWA Explore the South Shore 2021 Contest.

The Trustees of Reservations Hiking Challenge: sign up, log your hiking miles on Trustees’ properties, and win prizes.

South Shore Quests: download the quest sheet and do the puzzles as you hike. The last clue will lead you to a box with a guest book, stamp, and stamp pad. After completing 6 quests, you can order a patch.

Blue Hills’s 125-Mile Club: earn patches and bragging rights by hiking every trail in the Blue Hills!

Mass Audubon’s Passport to Nature program: kids can get a free “passport” to Mass Audubon properties and get it stamped at each property they visit.

Mass DCR Park Passport Program: kids can get a free “passport” to Massachusetts state parks and get it stamped at each park they visit.

Make your own: your own personal challenges are just as valid as the professionally organized ones! Make your own family challenge by hiking every trail in a local state part or reserve–sort of like Blue Hills’s 125 mile club! Or vow to hike a certain number of miles in a month. Or find and explore every single trail in your town. Have fun with it! Create your own hashtag and post photos and videos with your kids.

Do you know of any other free nature programs? What is your family’s favorite hiking challenge? Please comment below!

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