Winters can be frigid in some parts of the world, but not here in Coastal Mississippi! Our mild winter weather makes it an exciting time to head outside with the family. There are a variety of natural landscapes and tons of fun activities for even the littlest members of the family. Keep reading to learn about the best ways to spend time outdoors this season.

1. Hiking

Enjoy the fresh air and changing flora with a stroll through the woods. There are hiking trails hidden around every corner on the Secret Coast. Explore the pine forests and savannas of the Fontainebleau Trail at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, learn about the historical significance and Logtown Cemetery along the Possum Walk Heritage Trail behind the INFINITY Science Center, or follow the abandoned railroad on the Tuxachanie Hiking Trail in the De Soto National Forest.

2. Birding

Due to our unique location, a vast variety of birds migrate through the area during the Winter season, thus allowing for an excellent birdwatching experience. Keep an eye out for warblers, herons, and hawks at the Escatawpa River Observatory, Clower-Thornton Nature Area, and McLeod Park, which all offer great opportunities for birdwatching.

3. Kayaking

Kids will enjoy learning about our wetland ecosystem by exploring the waterways firsthand. Both the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and Eco-Tours of South Mississippi offer kayak tours of the Pascagoula River, also known as the largest free-flowing river in the contiguous US. Meanwhile, you can experience white-sand beaches along the Wolf River with Wolf River Canoe & Kayak.

**Pascagoula River Audubon Center will be closed November 12-26, 2021 for repairs and Thanksgiving holiday, and will reopen Saturday, November 27, 2021.

4. Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Airboat Tours

Search for alligators, birds, and other marine life in their natural habitat. The 105 acres of untouched wilderness at the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Airboat Tours offers an amazing experience of the area bordering the Grand Bay Estuary. Explore via the protected walkways, or take a ride on a highspeed airboat for an unforgettable time with the family.

5. Estuarine Education Center

This 40-acre facility is jam-packed with outdoor recreation. You can kayak, paddle board, or hike along the Mary Walker Bayou, climb the rock wall or traverse the ropes course. Whatever you choose, you’ll be surrounded by amazing, wetland views.

6. Zip'N Fun Adventure Park

The Treetop Adventure Course at Zip’N Fun Adventure Park is perfect for the adrenaline seeker in the family. Navigate your way through 50 challenging games and obstacles, including sky bridges, ziplines, and swinging logs. If that’s too nerve-wracking for mom, though, there is also a Junior Adventure Course, designed for children up to 60” that is barely above ground.

7. Camping

Get the kids unplugged and appreciating living slowly with a night out under the stars. Buccaneer Bay State Park is a fan favorite for campers, but McLeod Park, and Shepard State Park are great options too – all with a variety of outdoor activities just steps away.

8. Miniature Golf

Appeal to the competitive spirit in young ones by teeing up for a round of miniature golf at the Lava Links Golf Club or Banana’s Mini Golf & Arcade. There is a combined total of three 18-hole courses, so start brushing up on your putting skills.

With so many fun outdoor activities to do, there's no reason to keep the kids cooped up. Get the whole family out to enjoy some quality time together in the coastal sun.