Outside Mama loves to camp and sleep out under the stars. She wanted to start camping with BW, but thought she would take baby steps and try it out first in the backyard. Turns out she needs to take even smaller steps for a successful camping trip. Lessons learned – Mama needs a new tent, bug spray is a must and don’t mix parts of tents together!tent 3 Continue reading


It’s Fall! Or Autumn…

I think fall has to be my favorite season of the year. It could be because my birthday is coming up and it’s close to holiday time with tasty food and time off, but I know it has something to do with football, cooler weather and fall colors. Although it’s officially been fall (or as some folks call it – autumn) for a few weeks, it is finally a little cooler weather.


We have some activities planned already to explore the outdoors, but plenty of free time for whatever comes up – camping, hiking or just playing in our backyard. The only time we won’t be outside is Saturday for college football – we’ve already had multiple Saturdays starting with College Game Day! Guns up for those Red Raiders!

go tech

What is your favorite fall activity to do?  Pumpkin patches, football, hikes…?

Austin Nature and Science Center

One Saturday morning, BW and I were in town, we missed our vacation to West Texas because of a crazy stomach/throat bug going around day care, and ended up checking out the Austin Nature and Science Center with one of our good buddies. This center is just off Zilker Park and is free!

We parked underneath the Mopac bridge and headed in for an adventure. We saw owls, road runners, a stinky skunk that had sprayed someone that morning and walked around the pond to the main attraction of the day – the dino pit. We spent the morning scooping sand. Luckily, there are a few spots in the shade.   Had some snacks and then headed to Austin Java for a pancake lunch.

It was a great morning to get the boys outside and have fun with little effort from the mamas.

Things to Do Outside Part I

Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine put together a great article on 50 Ways to Get Kids Hooked on the Outdoors. I’d love to do all 50 with BW in the next few years. We’ve already done several of them, but have a long list to go. I’ll periodically do updates on each as we get outside to try them!


Look for shapes in clouds (We did more looking at the moon and for airplanes, than for shapes in the clouds.)

Attend an outdoor performance (We took BW to his first Old Settler’s Bluegrass Festival. This is a great festival for kids – lots of tie dye and dancing.)


Stargaze (Late one night we arrived to my friend’s casa outside of Medina  and BW and I rocked outside on the patio watching the stars and the moon over the bluff until he fell asleep. The whole family ended up spending the night under the stars on the porch. Does this count as his first camping trip?)

Wade in a running stream (On the same trip out to Medina, the boys went down to check out the creek on the last day and I found BW playing in the creek with the dog – best day ever!)


Go swimming (We spent our whole summer swimming! At the YMCA and local neighborhood pool mostly, but were able to jump in the Medina and Blanco rivers for some Hill Country minerals.)

Medina river

Take a hike (Had a great hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt one Sunday morning before summer got super hot. Lots of fun playing with rocks in the dry creekbed and watching the rock climbers climb up the cliffs. I definitely plan on more of these hikes this fall.)


  • Go barefoot
  • Build a sand castle
  • Walk in the rain
  • Make mud pies
  • Jump in a pile of leaves (waiting for fall for this one)
  • Open windows
  • Watch fireflies
  • Explore a mini-landscape
  • Harvest fruit or nuts
  • Have a picnic
  • Play old-fashioned games
  • Go fishing
  • Fly a kite
  • Find art in nature
  • Have a campfire
  • Go camping
  • Build a dam
  • Relax in a hammock
  • Dig a hole to China
  • Litter scavenger hunt
  • Sensory walk
  • Use your inside games
  • Make a boat
  • Plant a little garden
  • Go orienteering or geocaching
  • Cook outside
  • Use a pocketknife
  • Target practice
  • Bike course
  • Sidewalk games
  • Make a whistle from a blade of grass
  • Build a fort or treehouse
  • Get an early start on birdwatching
  • Start a collection
  • Nature treasure hunt
  • Butterfly garden
  • Engine-free travel
  • Learn how to hunt and fish!
  • Climb a tree
  • Volunteer
  • Contests!
  • Skip stones
  • Walking stick
  • Go digital

Ya’ll get outside and share stories of the fun you have!