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Fun activities for the whole family - even the dog!

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Activities for everyone

You grab the kids and you're all set for a day of fun with the family. But, wait! You can't leave Fido behind! Dogs have been upgraded from "man's best friend" to true members of the family, and as such, many establishments cater to the canine-loving crowd. Here we offer fun activities that will get you and your family out and about - many of which include the family dog!

Paws for a Picnic

If you are headed out for a picnic at the local beach or park, do some research before you go. There are some great dog parks and dog-friendly beaches that welcome furry friends, too! If your dog is social, let him run around and play with other dogs (while minding any lease laws, of course). Don't forget the Frisbee!

Go for an Art walk

If you want to take in some culture, take the kids! Outdoor art walks and festivals are a great place to bring little ones along, and it's a great opportunity for exercise. Before you know it, you'll have walked a couple of miles just by strolling the sidewalks and perusing the art offerings.

Take a Hike

Think of all the great reasons you like hiking -- the fresh air, the exercise, the feeling you get when you reach the summit. In addition to the rest of your family, your pet will also enjoy this outing.

Feel Good Fido

If you and your family enjoy giving back to the community and helping those less fortunate, consider enrolling your pet in a pet-facilitated therapy program. This program incorporates the use of dogs and other pets to improve the physical and mental health of patients with certain acute or chronic diseases.

Enter it!

All you have to do is turn on your local news station to hear about the latest dog contest taking place in your area. Don't have a purebred? That's okay! There are costume contests, agility tests and even ugliest pooch competitions.

Go to an orchard or farmer's market

It's high time for fruit and veggetable-picking at many local farms and orchards right now. Load up the kids and head off out to show your local support. Bring water to keep everyone hydrated, and encourage the kids to pick out their own fruits for a snack later.

Yappy Hour

Happy hour is old news -- yappy hour is the hip thing to do with your pet. Some pet-friendly establishments host these events as a way for pet lovers to get together and share their passion for their pooches!

Lap of Luxury

If you are headed out of town, bring your pet along for the fun. There are hundreds of pet-friendly resorts across the country that even give dogs a special welcome treat when they arrive!

Seeing Eye Dog

Sightseeing is a fantastic way to tour a new city (or even your own), while getting some great exercise for yourself, your family and your pet. Before heading out into a new city, check with the resort concierge to see if the city has some dog friendly stops you should check out.

Ski Puppy

Cross-country ski bunnies no longer have to sacrifice their time with Spot when they hit the slopes -- they can bring him along. Believe it or not, according to the Cross Country Ski Areas Association, more and more Nordic centers are allowing people to ski the groomed trails with their pups!

Salty Dog

Dogs either love water or they hate it! If your Fido loves a good splish splash, set sail for a family seafaring adventure. Make sure that your pet, along with the rest of your family, has a personal floatation device, access to shade and plenty of water. Ahoy, mateys!

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