Going on an adventure doesn’t need to be the event of the year. I mean, it could be. But for many of us, there always seems to be a reason or excuse not to do a big adventure – that’s another story though. So sometimes just doing something different, anything, might be enough of an adventure for you. After all, adventure is different for everyone. So why not start small and do one thing that you feel is a little outside of your usual routine. A little different. Something that will excite you and maybe even scare you a little. With some great adventure ideas at the ready, there’s one less excuse to step out of the same old habits and enjoy the freedom, challenge and fun that comes with every kind of adventure, great or small. It’s there for the taking, so you just need to go get it!
Adventure ideas for families
The best part of adventuring with your kids is that once you get into it, you easily end up feeling like you’re 8 again too. And often, once that child-like imagination kicks in, the adventure doesn’t even need to be that exciting for it to be really enjoyable for everyone.
1Explore the coastline on paddleboards
Paddleboarding is a great way for families to explore the calm waters of secluded bays and hidden coves together. Bring a packed lunch and you can stop for a picnic on a deserted beach.
2Build a den in the forest
Use whatever the forest floor has to offer to make a hideaway that the whole family can fit into. Make it even more exciting by dressing up as Peter Pan and his Lost Boys, or wearing camo gear and painting your faces.
Camping is the ultimate adventure for kids (and adults!). The sheer simplicity of sleeping under canvas is ‘den making’ in reality and something that the whole family will remember forever. Read our guide to camping with kids to help make it the best adventure for everyone.
4Hike to a waterfall
Hiking for the sake of hiking can become tiresome for kids. But if you have something to find then it turns it into a quest that is much more exciting than just taking in the nice views. And if it’s hot, then bring your swimwear for a cheeky dip once you get there!
5Build a treehouse
It may take all year to do, but most kids (and a lot of adults too), dream of having a treehouse to hang out in. If you don’t have access to a big enough tree, or your building skills aren’t quite up to it, then seek out an already built treehouse and visit it (with permission of course).
6Do a scavenger hunt
Turn a day at the beach or a walk in the woods into a challenge of discovery and exploration with a scavenger hunt. Invent your own or print one of ours.
Adventure ideas for couples
Sometimes it’s far too easy to just snuggle up on the sofa with your loved one and not make the effort to do something different. In 5 years time, you won’t remember that night where you spent all evening eating yummy food and watching TV together. But you’ll most certainly remember an adventure with your other half.
7Get up early and hike a mountain for sunrise
Sunsets are great, but you end up sharing them with loads of other people. Make the effort to get up early and you’re guaranteed to enjoy a sunrise all to yourselves. Much more romantic, and you’ve still got the rest of the day for snuggling on the sofa if you want!
8Go wild swimming
Spend a summer’s day lounging on the river banks, dipping in and out of the water to cool off. Choose somewhere secluded and there’s no need to bother with your swimwear at all. Or go to the other extreme and put on a wetsuit to swim from A to B along a river.
9Climb a tree
You don’t need to go a million miles to find a great tree to climb – if you can’t get out into the wild, then your local park will do just fine. Help each other up (and down), and you’re guaranteed to feel like a little kid again. Just don’t forget to enjoy the views whilst you’re up there.
10Forage for sloes and then make some gin
As soon as the first frost appears, get out to the forests and hedgerows and fill a basket full of juicy sloes to turn into delicious sloe gin. Unfortunately it will be a couple of months until the tasting adventure begins. But it will be well worth the wait.
11Rent a rowing boat and cook your lunch on the river banks
Not to mention romantic, exploring the river in your local town or city by boat is also a super easy and accessible way to go on a mini adventure. Stop on the river banks and make a meal of it by whipping up a one pot camping meal cooked on your camping stove.
Adventure ideas for teenagers
When you’re in it, teenage life may seem like it’s the toughest time ever, but it’s the one time in life where the holidays seem endless and every new day is just another opportunity to get out adventuring. Sounds like heaven!
Whether it’s 10 or 100 miles to the beach, cycling there in a day is a great challenge. Find a secluded and discreet spot on the beach to sleep, and you’ll be snoozing in no time after a big ride. You can fit everything you need in a small backpack or bike bags. So pack up your bike and hit the road.
13Float down a river on an inflatable tube
Such a classic adventure for teenagers, but it never fails to be awesome fun and a great way to stay cool in the summer months. Attach a dry bag full of food and supplies and you can make a day of it.
14Get the train somewhere cool and hitch hike home
Take a day trip to somewhere you and your friends have never been before – the nearest city, the sea, a mountain, a lake or to visit a friend or relative. But make your journey there or back a little more exciting by thumbing a ride.
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love a good old treasure hunt, no matter their age. And Geocaching is a really easy and accessible way to explore new places, with the added excitement of discovering some treasure at the end of it. So get your phones out and follow the GPS to whatever awaits.
16Go foraging for mussels and cook them on a beach fire
This is an ideal adventure for the cooler months. Choose a quiet rocky beach and pick the mussels at low tide. Then warm up under a blanket around the fire and cook up a feast.
17Follow a stream to the river
Put on your water shoes and swimming gear, hop into your nearest stream, and follow it until it reaches the river (or until you can’t walk in it any longer!). Be prepared to get pretty wet and to do some serious scrambling through areas of dense vegetation.
Adventure ideas for adults
Adult life can be so serious sometimes, and getting out adventuring is often the only way we can truly switch off and let our childlike instincts come alive again. If you think you don’t have time to be a big kid every now and then, then maybe you need to think outside the box a little. Or maybe just try to realign your priorities occasionally.
18Go on a night hike
If you’re tired of the same old Friday night watching TV or going to a bar, then get some friends together and head out into the wild for some nocturnal exploration. Hiking at night is a great way to stay active during the dark evenings of winter, and your non-active friends might just love it too!
19Go on a microbrew adventure
If you like to sample local ales, then take your overnight adventure to a microbrewery in the middle of nowhere. Tour the brewery in the daytime, then take a bottle or two up a hill for some ‘tasting’ before you settle down for your wilderness sleep.
20Commute in a new way
Get some adventure into your mid-week routine by journeying to and from work via an alternative means to what you usually do. Cycle through a park, walk the backstreets, run, hitchhike, borrow your kids’ scooter, skip, or roller skate. Just get there in a way that is much more fun than the train or car.
21Hire some canoes and hit the river for the weekend
If you’ve got some camping gear, then there is little more preparation needed for a mini river adventure than simply renting some canoes and stuffing all your gear into dry barrels. Wild camp wherever you fancy and enjoying floating (and paddling) the days away.
22Go stealth camping
Camping in the forest with minimal gear is a great way to enjoy the quiet that getting away from the real world brings. Brush up on your survival skills, while away the hours with a whittling project, cook a delicious campfire meal, and generally disappear into wilderness life.
23Build a raft and paddle it to a deserted island in a lake or river
This is a sure-fire way of making you feel like a kid again. The sort of adventure Tom Sawyer would love to join you on! Practise your knots before you set sail on the raft equivalent of the Titanic, and be sure to put all your gear in dry bags – just in case.
24Go hammock camping
You don’t need to be a camping pro to enjoy hanging out in a hammock. But opting for suspended overnight accommodation instead of a tent is one of the best ways to really feel like you’re adventuring. Sleeping in a hammock is not only super comfortable (if you do it right!), but it’s also an inexpensive way of getting into camping, and it enables you to camp in places that simply wouldn’t work with a good old-fashioned tent.
Winter adventure ideas
Getting out on adventures during the winter months can be a little more tricky to do. But once you’ve done one winter adventure, you’ll realise just how doable they are. Often part of the challenge is not just dealing with the bad weather, but embracing and enjoying it. Being prepared with cold weather clothing and outdoor gear will really help, but winter adventures also need to be approached with a positive mindset.
Getting out hiking in the cold or snow is one of the more straightforward ways of stepping into the world of winter adventures. Start with something short and easy if you are worried about it, and read our guide on winter hiking to get you started.
In moderate winter climates where there’s little chance of snow or high winds, winter camping can be done with much of the same gear as during the rest of the year. But if the conditions are less clement, then you’ll need some cold weather camping gear and a little know-how on how to enjoy living in and on snow for a night or two.
27Build an igloo
Before you set about building an igloo, make sure that the snow is deep enough, and that you have a good shovel. Next, you’ll need a good few hours, a good deal of patience and some knowledge on how to make it. But don’t be put off, as it is a really satisfying way to enjoy being outside in the snow all day with a very cool result at the end of it!
You can rent snowshoes from winter outfitters who will recommend local areas that are safe to explore without avalanche safety gear or know-how. Don’t be tempted to go exploring in high risk areas unless you know exactly what you are doing.
29Dig out a fire pit and ice bar
If igloo building is proving too taxing, then use your neatly cut snow blocks to build a fire pit and seating area in your backyard. Whilst you’re at it, you may as well build up an ice bar too… mush up the snow on top, throw some beers in and invite your friends over for a winter party with a difference.
Even if you don’t have a proper sled, there is still loads of fun to be had sliding down a snowy hill, and a plastic bag or tea tray will work just as well. Hiking up to the top of the hill is always well worth the thrills and spills of the slippery high speed descent right back to the bottom again.
31Rent cross country skis
Avoid the queues at the ski hill and enjoy sliding around at a much more pedestrian pace. Cross-country skiing is an excellent way to keep fit during the winter and is a good way to explore the local trails. Pack a flask of hot soup and make a day of it.
Armed with this list of adventure ideas to do with friends, family, your kids and your other half, there really is no excuse not to get outside and get exploring. So start with something small, simple and easy, and before you know if these day adventure ideas will soon turn into week-long expeditions that you never thought you were capable of. For a little more inspiration, check out the advice of these incredible outdoor role models.