Ahh the gift of being outside and enjoying the Gulf of Mexico. It’s got vitamin D filled sunshine, which helps growing bones and improves moods. Just looking at water and the surrounding greenery is known to reduce stress. And being active? It benefits kids’ bodies and brains.
Playing at your local park, taking a walk on the beach, or making art with nature items you find around your yard are easy (and free) ways to spend time outdoors. And, the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s aquarium, nature centers, and museums are all great places to learn more about nature’s wonders and build a deeper connection to the outdoors. Here are a few idea ideas:
- Sign up for an outdoor camp. The Gulf Coast has plenty of places that will get your kid learning and enjoying the Gulf hands-on. A few options include the USM Marine Education Center’s Sea Camp in Ocean Springs, the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum’s Sea and Sail Adventure Camp in Biloxi, and the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport.
- Go for a hike. The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Moss Point, Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Gautier, Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, and Tuxachanie National Hiking Trail in Saucier are a few places to try.
- Take a boat to Ship Island. A day at the beach is great, but a ferry ride to an island that has a fort to explore? Even better!
- Check out the outdoor activity areas at one of our local nature centers. The Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point and Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport both have specially designed outdoor spaces for kids.
Want more ideas on ways to explore and play outdoors? We have you covered. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is celebrating ways to “Get into the Gulf” on social media throughout 2023. We’re sharing tips on ways you can become a bird watcher, plant a wildlife-friendly garden, safely spend a day on the water, and more. Check out our #GetIntotheGulf posts on Facebook and Instagram all year long.
- Amanda Nalley and Christina Mohrman