With limited travel options during this difficult time, it’s the perfect time to look at your backyard and discover new adventures close to you. No matter the size or difficulty, the most important thing is to have a good time when you can say in the end, “I’m so glad I did that, that was so much fun”.

Browse our fun adventure ideas below and plan a fun weekend with your friends doing something new. You definitely won’t regret it!

Adventure ideas for a fun weekend:

1. Go for a bike ride in a new park

Biking is one of the most popular activities these days, and bikes are sold out in many stores. While everyone has a favourite trail to bike, why not explore a new one? Visit a new city park or a new trail, and you might even find another favourite trail.

2. Jump into an ice-cold lake to boost your immunity

I’m a huge fan of spontaneously jumping into lakes, especially after a hike or trail run. It’s fantastic for muscle relief and boosting your immunity. The trick is not to think about it too much or testing the water beforehand. Just go for it and enjoy the tingling sensation in your body. You only live once!

3. Catch a sunrise from a mountain top

Headlamps are not only for camping. Make sure you have one before venturing out in the dark, ask in local hiking groups on Facebook for current conditions and grab a friend. Welcoming a new day from a mountain top truly is an unforgettable adventure.

4. Try stand up paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding is a fantastic sport suitable for all age groups and fitness levels. You can even find a budget-friendly priced paddle board to buy or rent one and go for a paddle on the lake. This is my favourite activity when Canadian lakes are thawed.

SUP on Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park

5. Have a picnic by the river

A great opportunity to slow down in this rushed world is to enjoy delicious food in a good company with a nice view. Pack your favourite meal, a blanket and head to the river. Imagine having a nap while sun rays are shining on your face with the sound of rushing water nearby and a belly full of goodies. Sounds like an amazing combination.

6. Search for new murals or art in your city

Go for a stroll in search of colourful murals or other artistic creations.  Even if you’re not a city person, it might give you a new sense of appreciation for a city where you live. That’s what happened to me when we went biking around Calgary and found plenty of cool murals; my favourite is pictured below.

Calgary mural

7. Float down the river on a tube

Let’s see the familiar landscape from a different perspective. You can rent a raft or buy a tube and leisurely float down the river. This is a favourite for local Calgarians where we live, and I’m sure many other cities with the easily accessible river right in downtown.

8. Go camping and enjoy the solitude

Sleeping under the stars and waking up to the sound of chirping birds. Sounds pretty good, right? If you’ve been following our blog, you know how much we love camping, and it doesn’t matter if it’s in the majestic Canadian Rockies, in the middle of nowhere in Chilean Patagonia, on top of an Indonesian volcano or in your backyard.

Camping under the stars in Queulat National Park, Chile

We believe in the benefits of connecting to nature and disconnecting from the world so much that we’ve even started a company to help travelers camp in the Canadian Rockies. Check out our Smile Campervans.

9. Sign up for a race and start training

Have you been following someone on social media and secretly admiring their accomplishments? Then start training and make something good happen for you. To have the best motivation, sign up for a race so you have a date set in stone and can’t budge.

10. Take a walking tour

You don’t have to travel far to take a walking tour. You can take one to learn something new about your city. Whether it’s focused on history, art or haunted houses like the one I’ve attended, you’ll expand your horizons.

11. Climb a tree

I bet you did it when you were a kid, we all did. The question is, can you still climb a tree? It’s fun to stretch and strengthen the muscles you didn’t know you had, trust me.

12. Rent a canoe and paddle around the lake

Visit your local outdoor store to rent a canoe and go for a paddle down the river or in the nearby lake. They can probably advise of a slow section of the river to paddle or offer a guide to take you.

13. Take a road trip

Road trips give you a great sense of freedom, whether it’s for a weekend, a few weeks or months. Pack your camping gear and hit the road. You can explore part of your country you haven’t been to before.

Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park

14. Visit your favourite park and try the swings

Anyone loves swings as much as I do? Visit a nearby park or playground and swing away; it might bring back some lovely childhood memories.

15. Pick your produce at a local farm

It’s more fun than shopping at the grocery store, don’t you think? Ripe produce always smells and tastes better, and you will surely appreciate it more when you worked for it.

16. Fly a kite

This is another fun activity popular with kids but with adults as well. You can follow this video and make a DIY kite from things you probably already have at home.

17. Meet new friends through social groups

Join meetup.com, where you can find groups based on your interest and meet up with new people. Another option is joining Couchsurfing or search Facebook groups in your area.

18. Rent a scooter and explore a new neighbourhood

Electric scooters are having a massive boom now. It’s a fun way to get around your city, effortlessly.

19. Sign up for a new class at your local library

Check out your local library for some interesting classes or workshops. The last time I checked, our Calgary library offered online programs to learn about bears, ancient Egypt, improve interview skills and more.

20. Take a wine, brewery or food tour

Who doesn’t like trying new delicious food? Instead of trying luck and going on your own, consider taking a tour. You learn about the process of making that excellent beer or meal so you can make it at home.

21. Learn a new skill

It has never been easier to learn a new skill – photography, drawing, cooking, language, meditation, speed reading, film & video, creative writing, and more. You can learn anything you want by watching Youtube videosor joining Skillshare or Creative Live.

22. Plant your garden

Grow your herbs in your indoor or outdoor garden! We’ve planted some produce in the outdoor garden, but unfortunately, spring hail damaged most of it. At least I always have fresh mint for a tea. We hope to have better luck next year.

23. Cook a national food of a country you’d like to visit

Immerse yourself in a new culture by cooking their national food. Here’s a massive list of South American dishes for inspiration.

24. Try yoga or workout outdoors

Outdoor enthusiasts take every opportunity to get outside, whether to the mountains or just local parks. A great option is to do yoga or workout outdoors; I see plenty of them in the parks.

Yoga in Vancouver

25. Make a bonfire with your friends

Making a bonfire opens up a place for great conversations with your friends while having a barbeque. And staring at a bonfire is incredibly calming; that’s why a Swedish TV has a program that streamlines a crackling fireplace. Seriously.

26. Go cliff jumping to get an adrenaline rush

Cliff jumping is a great activity when done responsibly. It would be best if you worked your way up from a tiny jump to bigger ones when you can really feel that adrenaline rising.

27. Make a vision board

That’s exactly what we did before our trip around the world. Find pictures of incredible places you’d like to visit, make a board and hang it above your desk. You will see it every day and it will motivate you to actually plan your trip (much more than making an online vision board).

28. Watch an adventure movie

Live the adventure through the screen. I absolutely love watching adventure movies, and now I’m in the process of creating an epic list. In the meantime, I recommend watching Free Solo, Jungle or The Call of the Wild.

29. Sleep under the stars in your backyard

While camping in the mountains is great, it’s not an option for everyone. Why not set up a tent or hammock in your own backyard? That way, you can still wake up with chirping birds and fresh air.

30. Go wildlife watching

Which wild animals would you like to see? In the Canadian Rockies, the most popular are mama bears and their cubs. We usually go wildlife watching early in the morning or in the evening when animals are most active. Check out our post Wildlife in Canada for more pictures of what you can see.

Elk in Banff National Park

31. Sign up for a nature walk

If you’d like to know all the different plants and animals that live in your area, the best thing would be to sign up for a nature walk.

32. Try a new mountain biking trail

Challenge yourself and try a new mountain biking trail. A great place to start is the Trailforks app or joining local biking groups on Facebook and hit the trails with a group.

33. Pick up a new sport

Did you always want to learn how to climb, kayak or dive? Whatever it is, I’m sure there is a Youtube video about it. Watch how to start to get an idea of what it involves and then sign up for lessons if needed.

34. Chase the Northern Lights

Northern countries might have long and cold winters, but they also see Northern Lights, nature’s miracle. We’ve seen them a few times in Canada, and it’s truly a fantastic experience. To get notified when you can expect the colourful lights dance in the sky in Canada, sign up for email alerts here.

Aurora in Yoho National Park

35. Visit a new artisan market

Artisan markets are getting more and more popular as people discover their hidden talents and make handmade products. I usually find them through Facebook events. Support your local artisans and buy a unique handmade souvenir.

36. Host a couchsurfer

Couchsurfing is a great website connecting travellers from around the world. The idea is to provide a couch or a place to sleep based on cultural exchange. We’ve met many amazing people while hosting them in Calgary.

37. Take a random bus or train

I imagine this would be easier in Europe with so many nearby villages easily accessible by bus or train. You can always hop on a random bus to explore a new place and get to know a city you haven’t visited before.

38. Visit the local zoo or botanical gardens

Have a leisurely paced afternoon and admire flowers in the botanical gardens or animals in your local zoo. I love visiting bears in Calgary Zoo; you can even see them play from the biking path.

39. Try a new coffee shop every weekend

On chilly days, visit a new coffee shop and try different coffee or hot chocolate. Usually, every place has its signature one, which you don’t find elsewhere.

40. Dive into a new culture

To truly experience a new culture, you can do many things before you even visit the country you dream about. We’ve loved the South American continent so much that we’ve put together a post: 12 things to do for a fascinating journey to South America.

41. Make a DIY wall hanging

Gather some autumn leaves and imprint those using watercolours. That’s my favourite option. You can find plenty more autumn-inspired wall décor ideas on Youtube.

42. Make roast chestnuts

Autumn is a season of pumpkins and roasted chestnuts. I used to live by a chestnut tree and always picked some to roast. If you have kids, you can make little animals by connecting chestnuts with matches. It’s what I used to do as a kid.

43. Volunteer at your nearest nature reserve

You can help plant trees or pick up garbage to contribute and restore part of your city. Volunteers are always needed and very much appreciated in every community.

44. Pick up a new winter sport

Get excited about the upcoming season of white fluff falling from the sky by trying a new winter sport. We love cross country skiing and ice skating in Canada and tried fat biking just last year. It’s very different from biking on dirt trails, and I cannot wait to go fat biking again.

Do you have any other adventure ideas? Let us know in the comments how you made your weekend adventurous.

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About Maya Steiningerova

Heyo, I’m Maya! An adventure athlete currently living near the Canadian Rockies with my partner in crime Michal. I love running in the mountains, jumping in the ice cold lakes, mountain biking and trying not so common activities, such as mountaineering. By showing that an ordinary person can live an extraordinary life, my hope is to inspire you to live an adventurous life and provide you with tips and tools for your own adventure.