Spring, certainly one most exciting times of the year. The days are getting longer, the temperatures are getting warmer, and that first dunkin donuts cup is starting to appear from under the last blankets of snow.
It’s a time of year when I actually start to feel human again after being cooped up in the house with all of the doors closed and windows sealed shut.
Wild flowers like the henbit and purple deadnettle are starting to take over the garden, the buds on the red maples are starting to expand, and skunk cabbage is full fledge!
For anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge advocate for doing anything outdoors. I try to be out in nature any chance I can get (which is why most of my photoshoots take place outside). I also try to encourage everyone to take some time to head outside to reset since this is where our bodies and brains get the most benefit.
A quick google search will bring thousands of articles and scholarly journals that explain the benefits of spending some time outside and emphasize the importance of us getting out as often as we can.
Some of those benefits include decreased stress levels, Increased energy, better concentration, increased alertness, increased memory retention, and increased creativity!
So today, on the second day of Spring (go home snow, you’re drunk) I want to share with you a few things that I look forward to during this time of year and hope that you take some of these ideas as inspiration and get outside yourselves!
Mountain Biking – I have been in love with this sport for as long as I could remember… In fact, when was a kid, I even used to take my bmx bike down some of the mountain “trails” by my house… and I loved every minute of it!
I know more avid riders will say that winter is just as fun to ride as any other season but I haven’t had the pleasure (or the right gear) to try it out for myself, so for now, I will take their word for it for now :D
If mountain biking is something you're into or something that you'd like to get into, you've got to check out Sickler's Bike and Sport Shop in Kingston, PA who host a group ride every Wednesday at Moon Lake State Park in Hunlock Creek. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced rider, this ride accommodates everyone and you're always guaranteed to ride with a great and supportive crew!
Fishing – If you live in NEPA, I guarantee that you’ve gone fishing at least once. With the Susquehanna River being a nationally recognized for avid fisherman as the mecca for small mouth bass, I can’t imagine that you haven’t given it a whirl.. but if you haven’t, I encourage you to get out there and give it a shot. And if the Susquehanna seems just a little too daunting to try for your first go, there are plenty of awesome lakes and small streams that you can fish, especially in the spring, during the first few weeks of trout season.
To see a list of places to fish for trout click here to see all locations with public access. (Just don’t forget to get your fishing license!)
Frisbee – Best invention ever? Yes, yes it is. That is all.
Hiking – again, if you’re living in Northeast PA, there are probably hiking trails within 5 miles of your house. With that said, I encourage you to check out one of the state parks that is closest to your house and go for 30 min walk through the woods. I promise, you’ll come back a renewed person. And if you still don’t know where to go, just look for the green on google maps, and go there :D
Kayaking – So spring still may be a little early to kayak for some, but as long as you take the necessary precautions, it could still be a great time. Just be sure to wear a life vest which is mandatory in PA from November 1 to April 30. This is to help protect you from the dangers of cold water shock if you happen to fall into the water. To learn more about the life jacket laws, click here.
Spring Peepers – have you ever been walking through the woods (or even the Dike in Wyoming, PA) and walked passed a pond that it sounded like a thousand crickets were chirping all at once? Odds are they weren’t crickets at all; they were spring peepers, the tiny little frogs that are a sure sign that warmer weather is on its way.
Geared Specifically Towards Kids
Even though all of the activities listed above could be shared with your kids, here a few extras that I look forward to every year specifically with my two little ones.
Bubbles – Who doesn’t love bubbles? #amiright
Sidewalk Chalk – This is a great time to let your kid’s creative mind run wild! You don’t have to worry about paint on their clothes, crayons on the walls, or markers on the table; they can literally draw on anything without damaging one thing. It’s perfect.
Prepping the Garden - Okay, I’ll admit it, gardening is not one of my favorite things to do, but I do love digging around the soil with my kids and showing them all the critters that live underground, and they love it, too.
Take Them to the Park or on a Hike – Lastly, I’m sure every family has a favorite park that they go to.. ours is at Francis Slocum #frannyslocs, or as Mia calls it, the cool park. We go here at least once a week and it’s a great chance to let your kids develop multiple skills at once, including people skills! They also have great trails for them to hike and still give you the satisfaction of getting in some more technical climbs.
So despite the fact that it seems like winter has decided to give us everything she's got throughout this whole month of March, I hope this post can lift your spirits and remind you of what's to come in the not so distant future.
And if outdoor recreation is not something you ever really thought about, I highly encourage you to get outside any chance you can get and reap all of the benefits nature has to offer. Your body and mind literally depend on it!
If you're still wondering what else you can do around this time of year here in PA, check out visitpa.com to see the latest happenings in our community.
I'll see you out there!