How to Celebrate Spring

See the blooming Magnolia and Cherry blossom trees at Arnold Arboretum this Saturday during the Spring into Health walk. (Photo courtesy of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.)

Flowers are blooming and high temperatures have us putting our winter parkas in storage (except this week, perhaps). It’s time to head to the great outdoors to enjoy sunshine and all the benefits fresh air is supposed to give us. Check out this roundup of outdoor events from nature walks to scavenger hunts — or if you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, just pack up a meal and hit up one of our prime picnic spots.

Boston Food Truck Tour
If you haven’t sampled Boston’s food trucks yet, now’s your chance. Tours begin downtown, and include samples from all the trucks on the tour. It’s a chance not only to learn how the food trucks emerged in Boston, but with spring around the corner, you’ll actually be able to enjoy eating your food truck lunch outside. Purchase tickets here. Friday, March 30, 11:30 a.m., Dewey Square Park at Rose Kennedy Greenway, $30.

Spring into Health
Explore lesser-traveled trails in the Arboretum and start getting fit for spring with a brisk walk that’ll get you out into nature and ready for swimsuit season. Rhoda Kubrick, Arboretum docent, will teach about plants and park life along the way. Saturday, March 30, 9:30 a.m., Hunnewell Building, 125 Arborway, 617-524-1718, arboretum.harvard.edu.

Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt
Spring is particularly exciting for those little ones who’ve been trapped indoors all winter long — especially when Boston got only 7.7 inches of snow to play with this year. The Boston Nature Center is hosting a kids’ scavenger hunt to find “signs of spring,” such as budding leaves and blooming flowers. Saturday, March 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., 617-983-8500, massaudubon.org.

Stars and Mars in March
Get out of the city for a night and take a look at the universe. Now is the time when Mars is the closest to Earth, which means a clearer viewing of the red planet. Also, with a quarter moon, there will be even more visibility for checking out those late-winter constellations and other nearby planets. Saturday, March 31, 8 to 10 p.m., Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot Street, Natick, 508-655-2296, $6-15, massaudubon.org.

Picnic Spots

  • Piers Park offers a stunning view of the city skyline and is tucked away next to the airport. Yes, you hear the planes take off, but for a hidden gem along the waterfront, we ‘ll take it. Piers Park, 95 Marginal Street, East Boston.
  • A small park at the top of a hill near Coolidge Corner, Corey Hill Outlook has a fantastic view of Cambridge and Boston. Just be aware: if you plan to bring a blanket and settle on the grass, be prepared for the downhill slope. Corey Hill Park, 174 Summit Ave, Brookline.
  • Castle Island may be a super-popular destination for Fort Independence, but it’s still one of the best parks in Boston. With the harborwalk around the peninsula and beach views over Pleasure Bay, it makes the perfect location for a lazy afternoon. Castle Island, 2080 William J Day Blvd.

Boating
Rent kayaks by the hour from the University of Massachusetts’ Boating in Boston. For $15 per hour, take a kayak to the harbor and see the city from a new perspective. You can also rent canoes, rowboats, and paddleboats. View all rental prices here. Boating in Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd., 617-299-3392, boatinginboston.com.

Hiking

  • With a city landscape, Boston is not the first place one would think of for rugged terrain and vast forests. But that said, it does offer an alternative to traditional hiking. Hough’s Neck in Quincy makes for a enjoyable day hike with beaches, marshes, and some urban areas, plus you can end the day at Nut Island — the peninsula part of the Boston Harbor Islands Recreation Area that’ll give you a stunning view of the harbor. Nut Island Park, Island Ave., Quincy.
  • Located in Dorchester, Savin Hill Park isn’t large, but it does provide a green escape from the city. Nudged right into a residential neighborhood, the park manages to offer steep trails, rock outcroppings, and a view of the Boston Harbor. Not extremely challenging for the adventurer, but just enough for a relaxing afternoon. Savin Hill Park, Rockmere St. and Caspian Way, Boston.