• Health
  • Parenting
  • Things to do

BLOG: Nature fosters family bonding and mental well-being

  • Posted
Man and young children in canoe

Families who visit any of Palm Beach County’s 80 parks and facilities can experience mental, physical and social benefits, which encourage greater bonding experiences.

”Families who play together, stay together,” is an important philosophy when it comes to enjoying our parks system as a family. Check out how a trip to our parks can improve your family’s well-being.


With thousands of acres of parkland available for roaming, running and discovering, parks provide plenty of exercise for children and adults. Maybe your family enjoys water activities, such as swimming at any of our six pools and aquatic facilities, splashing and sliding at our two waterparks, snorkeling at Phil Foster or DuBois parks.

Or, maybe you’re a land family who prefers strolling boardwalks and trails at our nature centers, mountain biking at three trail locations, or simply enjoying daytime play on our colorful and interactive playgrounds.

Whatever pursuits your family loves, there are so many ways parents and children can get moving together. The physical activity opportunities in our parks are fun, so the kids won’t even know they’re exercising!

Among the many benefits of exercising are increased fitness levels and a lower risk of obesity. And healthier bodies lead to healthier minds. Exercising at our parks and facilities will not only benefit the bodies and minds of adults, but also will set a foundation for children to continue the lifestyle as they grow.


Adults and children in Palm Beach County face a variety of mental health issues daily, including poor self-esteem, anxiety, depression, tension and stress, according to the Florida Department of Health.

However, studies show exercise and interacting with nature can improve our quality of life. By simply walking the many trails and green space at our parks, such as Riverbend in Jupiter, Okeeheelee west of West Palm Beach, John Prince in Lake Worth Beach and more, families can escape from the pressures of everyday life that they face at school, work and even home.

Our parks allow for tranquil getaways with the ones you love. For instance, Palm Beach County is the perfect location for beach days and evenings. We offer 14 beach locations (Peanut Island and Phil Foster are in the Intracoastal Waterway), where your family can feel the ocean breeze and watch the waves crash, easing your minds.

Mental health also plays an important role in your ability to maintain physical health, make better health decisions and live healthy, productive lives.

Click here to watch a short video produced by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department on the mental health benefits of visiting local parks.


If your family is looking for opportunities to bond on a social level, look no further than our local parks system. Discovering parks, trails, lakes and more will create a curious mindset in children.

For instance, children can encounter all sorts of animals and plants at Okeeheelee, Green Cay or Daggerwing nature centers, and parents will have a blast learning too. Parents have the opportunity to teach and learn alongside their children, creating a bond to remember.

From biking and kayaking to cultural and historical experiences, these activities encourage asking and answering questions, as well as unique chances for parents and children to interact on a different level.

Visit the parks and recreation website for park locations.

Bibi Baksh is a public relations specialist for the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

Back to listing

For a listing of all resources, click here.
Additional Resources
You May Also Enjoy
  • Discover calming ways to help your family manage stress

    To help reduce tension, start by identifying triggers. If you're worried about your teen's behavior, tap here for local organizations that can help.

  • Take it easy: Down time can create memories, spur growth

    Free time, particularly without screens, is essential for children of all ages to rest and take a break from the daily stress of school and hectic schedules. Find out from our local experts why even boredom can be good!

  • BLOG: Sharpen your minds together with local, artsy events

    Art has a profound impact on children's lives. It can boost academic performance, give kids an outlet to express themselves and help families bond. Read on to learn what Palm Beach County's art scene can offer families.