Mountain Biking

You can do this too. Get a bike that is rated off road and your helmet. Start riding off the road with roots and dirt in a flat area in your local park. Let the bike do the work. Just relax and pedal with your foot flat and your heel down. Play around with the gears and learn them before starting to try something harder. The JGO tip is look forward to where you are going. Don’t focus close to your front wheel.


This is the easiest thing to do outside. If you work in a city, take your lunch outside as much as possible. Even if it is for 15 minutes and the food is not so great. Re-energize your creativity and mindfulness.

JGO loves a picnic that takes a little more preparation too. Get everyone in the family involved with the menu and carrying the gear. Take small little daypacks that everyone can carry and divide up the load. No need to lug a big cooler unless you really want to. Find a green space that is easy to get to or be adventurous and hike to a peak for the best tasting picnic. 

Calendar from REI

These guys are the real deal. Check out this calendar regularly and find something you want to do. Prepare for it and do it. REI is a great place is get gear, knowledge and experience. Don’t be afraid to ask. They want to get you outside too.


Hiking is for everyone. The entire family can do this. The biggest mistake that we see are shoes. Flip flops just don’t work for this. We recommend getting a pair of hiking boots and breaking them in around town and in your house before you go out in them. If you still don’t want to invest in this, try using a old part of broken in sneakers. They will probably get ruined but at least you will be comfortable. Dress in layers that you can take off with the base layer being a wicking material. Start with a short 30 minute to one hour hike in your area. Check out the state websites to find some close to you.

Stretch Yourself

We love a goal. JGO wants everyone to justgOutside and if you stretch yourself outside good things happen to your body and mind. These two activities might be foreign to you but you never know unless you try.

Rock Climbing

You can do this. Try an indoor gym. Wear the right clothes that are basically close fitting. This is hard.  Try it and think about it. Hiking is easier and you get the nature boost but rock climbing is the physical challenge and the nature boost on steroids.

Make Your Own TRI

Who says that a tri needs to be swim, bike, run and super hard. Start by making your own tri. Here are some of our favorites:

Run, class, walk:  Run or walk to your gym, do a class or workout and then run/walk home.

Bike, hike/walk/run, bike: Find a decent size park near you. Don’t forget your bike lock. Ride in the park, lock it to a tree, hike/walk/run, take your pick of the order and what you feel like doing. Mix it up for extra benefits.

JGO favorite own TRI: Bike – Hike – Bike

In Windham, NY, bike 9 miles to Arca Point Trail head on route 40 from Windham Outfitters, hike 2.4 miles to peak, eat and check out the view before headed down, bike back to shop… it’s mostly downhill back.  No traffic and you are surrounded by state land. Three different trail heads to choose from.  Mix it up.

You get the idea. Let us know about your favorite TRI.

Favorite Locations for JGO

We spend a lot of time in the Catskill and Adirondack mountains. If you live in the northeast and haven’t tried some of this stuff. You need to and here are a few easy examples of how to. If you do this stuff like we do, tell us your favorites so we can share.

Catskill Mountains – Windham, NY - Easy Weekend Activities

Drive 2.5 hours to Windham Mountain: Stay at the Winwood Inn.

Get a bike from Windham mountain outfitters. You can walk to them from your hotel.  Get a road route from the guys at the shop or head over to the “fun loop” for mountain biking that ranges from the newbie to the not so tame. BTW, great food next door to the bike shop. Pack your pack there.

There are loads of great hiking here ranging from the easy to not so easy. Take your pick. The guys at the shop can here or go online. Here are two.

Arca Point (pretty easy 2.5 on a scale to 5) – Beautiful in and out 3 hours total depending on your speed. Trail head at the end of route 40.

Windham High Peak (not so easy 3.5) – wide variation on the trail, not technical, just longest. Budget 5 hours in and out from RT 23 trail head.

Adirondacks – Lake Placid – Long weekend.

Drive 4.5 hours to Lake Placid. Winter is moving in this time of year. But there is still time to get some hiking in. Check your forecast. Loads of places to stay in Lake Placid.

Bust out some high peaks that are only 15 minutes outside of town.

Cascade – (not so easy 4.5) It’s a giant staircase. Pretty short, but elevation. 360 degree view at the top. 

Algonquin – (not so easy 4.5) This state park has access to loads of trail heads. This is a full day hike in and out. It’s another 360 degree view at the top and a little bit technical in parts.

Games Outside

There is nothing easier than a family game outside. We love a little family competition while we get an airing out. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Horsehoes

  • Bocce

  • “One Bounce”  - stand in a circle and pass a soccer ball, only one bounce or the receiver is out, no hands of course…it’s soccer!

  • Corn Hole

  • Hopscotch – perfect for a small patio or balcony. Make it “speed” hopscotch.

If you have your favorites, tell us about them and we will share it.