By: Iris Bejgrowicz, Trip Leader Specialist
Tyke 2Kids inspire fresh and creative ways of interacting with the world…that’s why Venture Outdoors is excited to offer such a variety of family-friendly programs for the families with tykes in tow.  From exploring the outdoors on Tyke Hikes to hula-hooping in the Open Streets, Venture Outdoors continues to connect children to the great outdoors.
 
Tyke Hikes: fostering a love of the great outdoors at an early age!
TykeTyke 1Our spring programs have been off to a great start this year with the annual Tyke Hike Bunny Hunt in Schenley Park to kick off April. Plenty of bundled up little rabbits were spotted hopping down the Lower Panther Hollow Trail and back with brightly decorated scavenger bags. Moss grew thick over an old stone bridge on the trail, which made for a great place to stop and search for eggs dropped by the elusive bunny we were tracking.  Further along the trail, there was a chance to talk about animal habitats when we came across a retaining wall where some groundhogs had made their home, and we were able to spot other evidence of animal residences in holes in trees and densely piled branches nearby.
Later in the month, we visited the EQT Children’s Theater Festival for a Tyke Hike Downtown. This group frog-hopped around to different “Frog Stops” in the area to collect stickers and learn about the Cultural District. We made sure there was plenty of time to stop and smell the magnolia trees and splash around in the fountain at Katz Plaza. On our last Frog Stop, we chanced upon the Penny Arcade Improv Group putting on a giggle-inducing performance. After we found all of the stops dispersed throughout the Cultural District, and cultivated our taste for the performing arts, we swung by the Dream Cream Ice Cream pavilion for a cold treat to top off the day! Tyke Hikes are great for parents and caregivers to tag along with their children 0-5 years old. We offer Tyke Hikes every Tuesday during the summer from 10:00-11:30am. Don’t miss our next one in Highland Park, June 23rd, Water, Water Everywhere!Tyke 3
 
Open Streets: Pittsburgh’s movement to get neighbors in the streets, having fun
Tyke 4Sunday, May 31st marked Pittsburgh’s first Open Streets Festival of the summer.  Pittsburgh opened up Penn Avenue from Market Square, all the way up to Lawrenceville, for bike and pedestrian traffic. Venture Outdoors was joined by the Pittsburgh Pro-Poultry People at Bayardstown Social Club in the Strip District.  They brought their chickens on leashes, and we brought our hula-hoops and crafts. There was an attempt to hula hoop with a chicken, but we decided it was much easier to hoop on rollerblades than while holding a live animal! We’ll be back again next month, so make sure to stop by to see us during the next Open Streets, June 28, from 8:00 AM – Noon.
Customize your own outing with Venture Outdoors!
In between all of our Tyke Hikes and public outings, VO has been coordinating plenty of custom end-of-year field trip outings for local schools including City High, Shaler Area Elementary School, as well as Fox Chapel. These custom outings usually do a round-up of all of Venture Outdoors’ favorite activities including kayaking, biking, geocaching, hiking, and of course, our portable rock wall.  Fill out the custom outing inquiry form to set up your own custom outing with us for your school, scouts, or corporate groups. 
Other upcoming youth programs we’re offering include:
June 23, 10am-11:30am @ Highland Park: Tyke Hike: Water, Water, Everywhere!
June 30, 10am-11:30am @ North Park: Tyke Hike: Ponder Wander
July 4, 9am-11am @ North Park: Family Fishing Derby
August 23, 9-10:30am @ North Park: Family Beginner Paddle
August 30, 1-3pm @ North Park: Ice Cream Geocaching