Did you know that spending time in nature can provide numerous benefits for families? Spending time in nature can offer numerous benefits for families, both individually and collectively. It’s true. Taking the whole family outside to a provincial park, National park or conservation area is a great idea. 


Top 5 Reasons Families Benefit From Time In Nature


Spending time in nature as a family can lead to a range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Here are the top five reasons why families benefit from spending time together in nature: 


Bonding and Quality Time in Nature 

Nature provides an ideal environment for families to bond and connect with each other. Being in nature offers a wonderful environment for families to bond and spend quality time together. Whether it’s going for a hike, having a picnic, or playing games outdoors, being in nature allows families to engage in shared activities, fostering stronger relationships and creating lasting memories. Being in nature and the outdoors together provide the perfect opportunity to discover new places, face new challenges, problem solve and learn so about the environment around you. Shared outdoor experiences create lasting memories and strengthen relationships through shared activities, conversations, and quality time spent together away from distractions.

family at Sleeping Giant Top of the Giant Thunder Bay

Mental and Emotional Well-being

Nature has a calming effect on the mind and can reduce stress levels for both adults and children. Being surrounded by natural beauty can alleviate anxiety, improve mood, and promote mental well-being. Spending time in nature has been linked to reduced anxiety, improved mood, and enhanced mental well-being for both children and adults. Not only does nature give you a mental health boost, but it can also help relieve the stresses of everyday family life. Increased mental health and relieve stress? That sounds like a great idea!

Also – spending time outdoors has also been linked to more empathy and cooperation, which can foster better family relationships. 

Mother and two children on look out point at Skinner's Bluff on the Bruce Peninsula. One of the best hiking trails in Southern Ontario

Learning and Education

Nature offers endless opportunities for learning and exploration. Families can discover new plants, animals, geological formations, and ecosystems, fostering curiosity and a sense of wonder in children and adults alike. These experiences can also stimulate creativity and critical thinking skills. Nature is an excellent teacher, offering countless opportunities for learning and education. Exploring the natural world allows children and adults to observe and understand different ecosystems, plant and animal life, geological features, and more. 

Nature-based activities stimulate curiosity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills while nurturing a sense of wonder and appreciation for the environment.  It provides a chance to unplug from screens, connect with the natural world, and experience a sense of peace and tranquillity. 

Fall hikes with kids Sager Conservation area Look Out Tower

Physical Health and Well-Being

Outdoor activities encourage movement and exercise, promoting better physical health for everyone in the family. Hiking, biking, swimming, or even just playing games outdoors can contribute to improved cardiovascular health, stronger muscles, and better overall fitness levels. Nature provides ample opportunities for physical activities that promote health and well-being. 

Spending time outdoors gets the family active together which is great for everyone’s physical health. It also is the best place to take in Vitamin D and let’s face it, many Canadians are deficient.

Kids can canoe the grand river too!

Promotes A Love For Nature 

Cultivating a love for the natural environment and the need to respect and appreciate it will encourage a future where families are happy, healthier and more connected to the amazing planet we call home. Spending time in nature helps instil a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the environment in both children and adults. By experiencing firsthand the beauty and fragility of natural ecosystems, families may develop a deeper understanding of the importance of conservation and sustainable living practices.

Boy peering through the glass at the look out over the boardwalk at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario

Environmental Awareness and Stewardship

Spending time in nature can cultivate a deeper understanding and respect for the environment. By observing and experiencing firsthand the beauty and complexity of nature, families can develop a greater awareness of the importance of conservation and sustainable practices. This can instill a sense of environmental responsibility in children and encourage them to become good stewards of the planet.

And more bonuses to families spending time in nature are:

Improved Sleep

Exposure to natural light and physical activity during the day can help regulate sleep-wake cycles and promote better sleep quality for everyone in the family. Additionally, spending time outdoors can reduce screen time, which can interfere with sleep patterns, especially in children.


Problem-Solving Skills

Outdoor activities often present challenges that require problem-solving and teamwork to overcome. Whether it’s navigating a hiking trail, building a shelter, or starting a campfire, families can work together to tackle obstacles and develop valuable skills that translate to everyday life.


two children with their back turned to the camera at the AY Jackson lookout at Onaping Falls, Great Sudbury region

Overall, families benefit from time in nature by spending time in nature as a family. Doing so provides a multitude of benefits, ranging from strengthening family bonds to promoting physical and mental well-being, fostering learning, and nurturing environmental awareness.

Being outside enriches the lives of each family member and strengthens bonds with each other and the natural world.


If you are keen to take your kids to other areas to fall hikes, some recommendations are to Sudbury – There is plenty To See And Do In Sudbury In Fall.
Another place for fall hikes with kids that is just stunning is around Hamilton. Be sure to check out Dundas Peak and Tews Falls.

Would you like to hike with your kids in other parts of the province? Here are some of our trail recommendations in Southern Ontario: HIKING IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO: BEST TRAILS FOR FAMILIES

Interested in exploring other parts of Ontario? Check this article out: TOP ONTARIO FAMILY TRAVEL DESTINATIONS TO EXPERIENCE


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