By Laura Turner Seydel

Summer is here and now is the perfect time to get out and experience all of Atlanta’s amazing outdoor adventures. It’s so easy for our kids to get stuck inside in front of the TV, but thanks to our many attractions and wonderful landscape there are plenty of activities to make them forget all about the video games.

Our Chattahoochee River is a great spot to beat the heat this summer. Each summer the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (UCR) hosts the River Discovery Series, a series of five paddle trips totaling 37 miles. Each paddle trip is lead by a National Park Service Ranger who educates the paddlers on the river and its environment. It’s easy to fall in love with our river, so for those who become inspired to protect it, UCR has many Paddle Cleanup volunteer opportunities.  Paddle the river and clean it up – a great way to enjoy the day and give back to our community. www.chattahoochee.org.

Zoo Atlanta has many activities perfect for families to discover and learn about our planet’s many animal species.  Their Mommy and Me classes cater to 2-3 year old children while their Keeper For The Day invites teenagers and adults to work alongside with the zoo keepers and the animals. Fun for the entire family, Zoo Atlanta’s Night Crawler series gives families the exciting adventure of going behind the scenes to experience what happens at night! www.zooatlanta.org.

For those wanting to learn about our underwater friends, the Georgia Aquarium invites 5 to 11 year olds to participate in their H2O Summer Camp. This week long camp (running through August 6) provides campers the unique experience to explore the aquatic realm through animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours and opportunities to meet the husbandry teams. www.georgiaaquarium.org.

So this summer encourage your children to get outside and join them in exploring the outdoors and rediscovering just how awesome nature can be.

For more earth-friendly living tips, visit: www.lauraseydel.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.