With all of the delicious food (and sweets!) you’re likely to enjoy over the course of the next few weeks because of the holidays, opt for outside.  Just because REI encourages you to skip Black Friday and opt outside doesn’t mean you need to limit your outdoor adventures to only the day after you’ve indulged on lots of turkey and potatoes.

Watson Lake

Opt outside all month long (especially for you here in Arizona) and enjoy this marvelous weather!!!  The rest of the country might have to hibernate, but we don’t have to.  Get outside and try to shovel that sunshine (unless you’re in Flagstaff or the White Moutains…then come on down to the valley and help us out!)  😉

Here are some ideas to get you outdoors and enjoying this beautiful state of ours!

  1. Go on a hike.  Go do a hike you’ve been meaning to but haven’t.  Good spots are the Saguaro National Park, the Phoenix Preserves, the Grand Canyon, Mt Wilson, and in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge.
  2. Plan a backpacking trip and then go on it. You can even do an overnighter.  I suggest something like backpacking up to Flat Iron in the Superstitions, camping overnight, and then making your way back down to grab brunch somewhere on the way home. (Be sure to grab any applicable permits and bring enough water).
  3. Take a hot air balloon ride.  I did this for my 16th birthday and it was so, so cool!!  You literally feel like you’re floating.  And, you get breakfast afterwards, so that’s cool.  (Tip:  Groupon usually has deals for these!)
  4. Go volunteer to help clean up your local parks, put together turkey/food boxes, or
  5. Take your dogs for a walk or run if you don’t normally get them out on a daily basis.
  6. Sign up for a 5K, 10K, or 15K and go on a run.  Or walk it if you need to!  No one says you HAVE to run it!  There are almost always Turkey Trots, the Hot Chocolate Run, Jingle Bell runs, etc… that you can do around the holidays. (websites that list upcoming races: www.active.com, www.roadracerunner.com, etc…)
  7. Plan a ski or snowboarding trip.  Or, rent gear and learn how to ski/snowboard if  you’ve never been! (Take the lessons!)
  8. Ride your bike to a nearby restaurant (instead of driving), sit on the patio, and enjoy brunch.  Extra points if you make it a group outing.  Hey, hey, Sunday Fun-day!
  9. If you have the room, plant a flower or garden bed.  It’s pretty awesome to walk outside and pluck your own food off of a plant and/or have flowers that don’t die after a few days.
  10. Find a new mountain biking trail and then go jump off stuff (wear helmets and padding of course!)
  11. Have a picnic at a nearby park.  Or, better yet, at the top of a summit after you’ve successfully hiked it!
  12. Find a state or national park to visit.  I’ve got a good list here.
  13. Find a holiday celebration to enjoy like Zoolights or the Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden and walk through to enjoy it.
  14. Go golfing or to a driving range! Lots of golf courses in AZ!  Go to the driving range (or even Top Golf) if you’re still learning or don’t want to commit to an entire game of golf.
  15. Go to Flagstaff and tackle the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course! (this is on my to-do list!)


Aspens in AZ

Hopefully you’ve got some fun adventures planned for this month! I look forward to sharing the ones we’ve been on recently and hope to have lots more to share with you from upcoming ones as well.  Enjoy the fresh air and let me know if you do anything rad for your opt outside journey this year!


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