A girl and a boy catch and examine fireflies at night.

Explore the Outdoors

Spring is fast approaching and we're exploring the outdoors with PBS KIDS. Whether you're looking for something to do on the weekend as the weather warms up or staying local for a longer vacation, there's a lot to do in Iowa to enjoy Mother Nature!

  • Geocaching is fun for the whole family. A digital scavenger hunt, geocaching is easy for anyone to get started — and it's a great way to get out and explore your surroundings in both rural and urban areas.
  • Trees are amazing! Explore the trees in your neighborhood and create a book of trees from this activity with PBS KIDS. 
  • Iowa has more than 600 miles of hiking trails so get outside and take a hike or a bike ride! See what kind of animals you can find on your adventure and take in the beautiful scenery. Here are some trail suggestions from Iowa Outdoors to get you started. 
  • You and your family can plan a day trip with a ride on Iowa’s Scenic Byways. You’ll experience diverse landscapes, historic sites and unique restaurants, shops and attractions. 
  • Create paper plate animals and test how colors and patterns help them blend into the environment in this camouflage activity inspired by Elinor Wonders Why! Then play your own game of camouflage hide and seek to discover how well your crafted animals blend in.
  • When the sun starts to set, go outside to look for fireflies! These summertime insects are so interesting to examine. 
  • Would you like to start a garden with your family this year? There are many benefits to gardening with your kiddos.
  • The Iowa State Parks Passport is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and earn prizes! Discover new state parks in your community. 
  • Get outside and have fun with nature, using natural objects (leaves, flowers or anything else!) as brushes or stamps to paint creative art projects. Share your creations with artwork@iowapbs.org; we’d love to see what you make!
  • Get outside and explore! Try building a fort from found materials or pack up for a weekend camping adventure. Iowa has amazing forests to visit. 
  • Stargazing has long been an activity enjoyed for outdoor adventurers. Travel Iowa has several destinations perfect for your family’s stargazing trip!