U.S. Markets closed

Free Family Fun: How to Get Started with Geocaching

Sarah Stewart Holland
Sarah Stewart Holland

Sarah Stewart Holland


There is one thing all parents everywhere are looking for: free family fun!

We all want to spend quality time with our kids without spending our life savings to do it. Sure, you can go to the park or the library, but these everyday outings can grow a little stale.

So, what if on your next trip to the park you were on a treasure hunt? Not one you had to spend hours on Pinterest planning but one that was already in progress and not just at your local park, but all over the globe!

[More from Manilla.com: CloudMom Video: How to Save on Kids’ Clothes]

Welcome to geocaching.

Geocaching is a global scavenger hunt happening right now in which geocachers hide containers — known as caches — of all shapes and sizes using GPS coordinates. Most caches are about the size of a shoebox and contain little trinkets for the finder to enjoy. You find the cache, sign the log, and put it back for the next geocacher to find.

It’s easy and free to get started. Simply download the introductory app for your mobile phone and search for caches in your area. There might be a cache you pass every day on your way to work or a “micro-cache” hidden on the bench next to your child’s favorite playground. You simply never know!

Kids of all ages love going on these treasure hunts and seeing what treasure each new cache could hold. We’ve spent entire weekend searching not only our regular haunts but exploring new parts of our city and state we might never have visited otherwise! Not to mention, geocaching builds valuable problem-solving skills, an appreciation for team work, and memories that can last a lifetime.

More than the find, it’s the process of geocaching that my family enjoys. We spend time planning our next geocaches, searching for fun spots to hide our own geocaches, and enjoying time outdoors working together.

So, download the app and find your first cache. After all, it’s free, so what do you have to lose?

Sarah Stewart Holland is a wife, mother, writer, and eighth generation Kentuckian. She blogs about parenting, politics, and her small town life at bluegrass redhead and is the co-founder of Salt & Nectar, a cross-country lifestyle blog.

More from Manilla.com: