15 Reasons to Go Outside That Aren't to Find a Pikachu

July 12, 2016

Egg-yolk yellow, springy, and rosy-cheeked like dolls, Pikachus are a fantastical mouse-like species that can be captured by humans and taught to fight other creatures for fun. You already know this if you...

a) played Pokémon the Game Boy game or card game during their heydays during the 90s
b) got hooked on the cartoon series that was released sometime between them or
c) downloaded Pokémon Go, Nintendo's new "augmented reality" version of the game that was released over the weekend.

Photo by Creative Commons

In Go, the power of your GPS and phone camera are harnessed so you actually spot Pokemon wherever you go—bug-like Pokémon when you're in a park, water-dwelling Pokémon when you're by the water, Pokémon wherever Pokémon really shouldn't be—instead of just capturing them in the world of the video or card game. The more you wander through the real world, the better you're likely to do in the game.

Shop the Story

Due to an overwhelming surge in popularity upon its release, Go has lots of otherwise-intelligent people walking around outside and going all kinds of places while staring intensely at their iPhones and Androids. As if we needed more of that!

We aren't against Pokémon Go (we might even have a fan or two on our staff) but we are, resoundingly, for going outside to be outside—so here are fifteen reasons to walk out your door and leave the Pikachus be for a bit.

1. Follow the sound of an ice cream truck until you get some ice cream. Then eat it.

2. Run through a neighbor's sprinkler, and then keep running.

3. Roll around in the grass. Then take a little shower so you don't go to bed itchy.

4. Beeline to your local farmers market—it's stone fruit season! Running allowed.

5. Make sun-prints.

5. Try to fry an egg on the (cleaned) hood of a car.

6. Pet, play with, or take a real animal on a run. The novelty!

7. Play a game with other humans (the thought!). Free ideas: Frisbee, bocce ball, tag, Red Rover.

8. Paint a piece of furniture.

9. Sit still and watch the fog lift in the morning. Coffee makes this especially fun.

10. Go on a picnic.

11. Find a shady spot and write a postcard.

12. Fly a kite, especially if you have a small child to fly a kite with. (Can your Pikachu do that?)

13. Catch fireflies. Then let them go so you can sleep at night.

14. Watch the sun go up and the sun go down—so many colors! and feelings! and no technology at all!

15. String the string lights that are hiding in your holiday ornament box all over the back porch or an open window.

What's your favorite reason to step outside these days? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • LB
  • 702551
  • kimikoftokyo
  • Sean R
    Sean R
  • Jennifer
Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.


LB July 17, 2016
No need to be so sanctimonious. I am sure that most players of Pokemon Go are aware of ice cream and sprinklers, but this is yet another reason to be outside. This has been my first real experience of augmented reality and it is fun, at least for now. I took a walk that ended up to be three hours instead of my normal 45 min-1 hour because of the frequent detours, with only short stops. Pokestops are game elements positioned at different kinds of landmarks, and because of this I became aware a rune stone and several sculptures that I had not noticed before even though I have walked by close to them many times. You don't have to keep your eyes fixed on the screen to play, there are sound cues when there is an action to be made in the game. There is ample opportunity for enjoying the sun and the surroundings while playing.

TL;DR: cut the smug attitude.
702551 July 12, 2016
I'm too old for this.

The reason I normally leave my house at this time of year (other than go to work) is to watch baseball and drink beer.

Yes, I am *OLD*.
kimikoftokyo July 12, 2016
Lol I am only out for work and for Pokemon. But these reasons are nice also lol
Sean R. July 12, 2016
Sigh. I knew that one of my favorite lifestyle sites would write a holier-than-thou piece on Pokémon Go. Yes, yes. I understand that it's "all in good fun", but that doesn't make it any less mean-spirited. Sorry, Amanda, I do generally enjoy your articles. :(
It just encourages more strangers to glower at people (like me!) in judgement, muttering about the disappearing gift of eye contact and "kids these days".

I play Pokémon Go without shame! It's joyous, nostalgic fun.
#weareoutside #wemeetnewfriends #nothingwrongwithintroversion
kimikoftokyo July 12, 2016
Indeed we do. I met nice people and work people I never knew and we all share gyms. Awe why is everyone looking at the bad and not looking at the good. ?
Jennifer July 12, 2016
Berry picking. Best wild, but u-pick a more efficient (if less thrilling) alternative.