20 Ways to #OptOutside this Holiday Weekend

By: Jess Bonner | November 21, 2018
Topics: Life Skills, Travel Skills
We all know the chaos that comes after Thanksgiving...Black Friday, Cyber Monday, but if you're adventurers like us, you're probably planning to #OptOutside this weekend. And we're here to help!

Looking for a fun way to #OptOutside this Thanksgiving weekend? We have your back. Whether you’re adventuring with friends, family, or your fur baby we’ve got you covered. With 20 ways to #OptOutside, we’re sure you’ll love something on our list.

A Gap Year you’ll be thankful for.



1. Explore your city

No matter where you are there is always something to see. History is all around us and sometimes when it’s in our home town we never get the chance to see it. Whether you’re home or abroad, explore the sites, parks, and world around you. We promise you won’t regret it!

2. Build Something

Opt outside by building a new inside for those who need it. So many amazing skills come together when you build something using your own two hands, and nothing will make you feel more accomplished than seeing the end result.

Photo By: Abby Dulin

3. SCUBA Dive

Live near the Coast? Spend your weekend diving. Our students have loved their time getting their SCUBA certifications in Costa Rica. Not near the coast? No worries! Most SCUBA diving courses start with you learning in the pool. One of our students from Kansas came on our program having already earned her diving certification!

Maria ready to dive | Photo By Emma Mays
Photo By: Emma Mays
#OptOutside Scuba
Photo By: Winterline Staff

4. Go Camping

Camping with friends and family is an easy way to #OptOutside for the whole weekend. Be sure to enjoy what’s left of the fall weather while you still can.

Will helping pitch the tent | Photo By: Abby Dulin
Photo By: Abby Dulin

5. Swim

This may be dependent on where you live, but if you have a pool and some warm weather, invite some friends over to share in your leftovers and spend the day swimming together. (Or just relaxing in the hot tub.) And if you live up north, you can always opt for a Polar Bear Plunge! 

Alex Messitidis
Photo By: Alex Messitidis

6. Chase Waterfalls

You don’t have to be in Costa Rica or Belize to take in an amazing view. There are plenty of waterfalls here in the U.S. that you can enjoy. Not sure where to begin? Google “Waterfalls Near Me” and grab your pack and get chasing.

Waterfall #OptOutside
Photo By: Meagan Kindrat

7. Go boating

With so many different types of boats to choose from there’s sure to be something to fit your city. Boating is a great way to enjoy the water and see places from a new perspective.

opt outside birding

8. Bird-watching

Bird-watching isn’t just for grandmas. You’d be by surprised the amazing wildlife you can spot in your own backyard. And, with your smartphone you don’t need a book to identify the birds you see. Just download one of the many bird-watching apps and go adventure. Just be sure to not disturb the birds you do see.

#optoutside birdwatching
Photo By: Maria O’Neal

9. Practice Yoga

Of course we’re not all as talented as our Yogi Field Advisor, Arielle…Yoga is a great exercise pretty much anyone can do. And it’s a great way to take in the fresh air while practicing.

#OptOutside Yoga
Photo From: Arielle Polites

10. Take a hike

We mean it in a nice way. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to #OptOutside is to take a hike. Bring a friend, bring your pup, bring some water, and enjoy.

Andrew walking in Maharashtra | Photo By: Lex Messitidis
Photo By: Lex Messitidis

11. Water sports

From wakeboarding to wake surfing, to water skiing and tubing. There’s sure to be something you’ll love when it comes to getting your adrenaline pumping on the water.

12. Fishing

Give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for day. Teach a man to fish, you’ll feed him for his whole life. Fishing is a peaceful and great way to #OptOutside alone or with friends or family.

Fishing in Wyoming NOLS

13. Football

And we don’t mean watching it. We mean getting outside and playing with your friends and family. Feeling frisky? Raise the stakes and play for that last piece of pie.

Photo By: Brittany Lane

14. Learn a new skill

There are so many outdoor skills to choose from! Our students especially loved learning archery but maybe you’ll love rock-climbing, gardening, or golf! Learning a new skill is a great way to feel accomplished after your long weekend.

Andrew learning archery | Photo By: Susie Childs
Photo By: Susie Childs

15. Practice your photography

Nature is a great model! Head outside with your camera and work on your photography or videography skills. Your instagram will thank you later.

Photo By: Emma Mays
Photo By: Emma Mays

16. Stargaze

There’s nothing like a clear night sky. Keep track of how many constellations and planets you can find.

Leela Ray
Photo By: Leela Ray

17. Spend some quality time with your pet

Whether you’re taking your dog for a walk, playing with your animal outside, or going horseback riding. Spending some quality time with your pet outside in nature is one of the cutest ways to #OptOutside.

Photo By: Emma Mays

18. Cook

Cooking is probably the last thing you want to do after all the time you’ve spent in the kitchen for Thanksgiving, but cooking outside can be loads of fun. Whether you’re roasting nuts, grilling, or improving your campfire cooking skills, cooking outside can be a good time – and also prep you for your audition for Survivor.

19. Kayaking

Kayaking is a great way to enjoy the water and the company of others. If you live on the coast or even a city with an urban river there’s sure to be a place you can rent a kayak and embark on this fun adventure.

Photo By: Abby Dulin

20. Take a nap

Set up your Eno hammock or a picnic blanket and sleep off your turkey coma in the great outdoors. We won’t judge you.

Photo By: Emma Mays
Photo By: Emma Mays

Interested in our programs? Apply today for our Fall 2019 Winterline gap year. To see more photos of our students in the field be sure to check out our InstagramTumblr, and Facebook.


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