Back in those early days On The Farm, there just wasn't a lot of pavement or hard surface nearby (gravel and dirt very prominent, just ask our floors) so the basement made for great trik'in with the kids' various wheeled goods. Keep in mind that even with our abundance of outdoor space, inside space in the mobile home was at a premium with our 4 young kiddos so a lot of living was happening in the house even before it was a house.
Our basement was going to be living space and to avoid it feeling dark and 'underground' we opted for 9' ceilings. The surrounding view from our upstairs living space only enhanced and the extra exercise hasn't hurt us one bit.
Looking back, it was a surprisingly dry summer and we were able to build almost every day.