LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

Before kids start heading back to school, they had a chance to burn off some energy on Saturday at the Children's Festival at Myrick Park.

Everyone was invited to join in a long list of outdoor activities, which include everything from digging in the dirt to playing in the water to finger painting.

Every year, the goal of the event is to ‘let kids be kids’ and enjoy simple, fun activities. It’s something experts say is a missing link in a lot of children's lives these days, especially when technology has become a main form of entertainment.

"What we're really trying to model and put out for children is the availability of just simple things and letting children choose and use their imagination and creativity and really letting them lead the way,” said Fran Swift, a parent educator with The Parenting Place.

The Parenting Place in La Crosse has been hosting the children's festival for more than 15 years. This year, organizers expect a crowd of about 500 people.