Many parents, especially moms, are at a complete loss when it comes time to entertain little men over the summer. Believe it or not, it isn't difficult. Most of these activities are fun for everyone, especially the little guy, and are quite affordable.
1. Camping Adventures
Image via Flickr by Paul Stainthorp
A camping trip can be as simple as a tent in the back yard or as elaborate as an RV rental to travel across the country. Hiking trails, such as the Arizona Trail and Appalachian Trail, afford an opportunity to hike a short distance to set up camp or a longer hike lasting several days. Or, set up camp at a nearby state park. If you're not into roughing it, consider renting or borrowing an RV for a few days.
Local rivers are ideal for camping trips, because you can fish, canoe, and swim to pass the time. Boys will even help out with cooking if there's a grill or open fire involved. It's an excellent opportunity to teach him skills in self-sufficiency. When planning a camping trip, learn the difference between primitive and improved campsites. Among other things, Primitive sites have no running water or electrical hookups. Improved sites do.
2. Fishing Trips
Image via Flickr by Pedronet
Moms who aren't up for a few nights sleeping on the ground can still enjoy the great outdoors with their sons on a fishing trip. There are several ways to enjoy this popular sport. If there's a river or lake nearby, this is ideal. Or, you can head to the beach for a deep-sea fishing expedition.
Like camping, fishing can be simple or elaborate. For a simple day of fishing, all you need is a shore or pier to toss in a line. If you want the trip to be something special, rent a boat or charter a fishing boat to get him out into the deep waters where the big ones usually lurk. Don't forget to get applicable freshwater or saltwater fishing licenses.
3. Sports Events
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Is your little guy into cars or hoops or diamonds or pigskins? Indulge his love of sports by choosing an activity he can relate to. Car lovers can enjoy one of the short tracks around the country, many of which host weekly races all summer long. Your baseball fan would enjoyNew York Mets tickets.
Baseball season runs all summer long, and tickets are quite affordable (usually less than $20 per person, less for younger kids). Though football season is far away, most pro stadiums offer tours of the facilities year round, giving him a chance to see areas normally off-limits.
4. Concert Opportunities
Image via Flickr by Michigan Municipal League (MML)
A love of music can open new worlds up to your son. Even the youngest kids are enthralled at the majesty of a symphony orchestra. Look for your local symphony to host summer concerts at a nearby park (many do). Or, treat him to tickets to the latest music sensation of his age group.
5. Museums for Boys
Image via Flickr by EyeNo
Boys might not enjoy paintings and sculptures, but they certainly appreciate a good engine. Look for science museums, aviation museums, automotive museums, and history museums in your area he'll enjoy. Great examples are the Cradle of Aviation Museum in New Jersey or the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama.
The most valuable thing you can give your son this summer is your time. He'll enjoy most anything you plan, so long as he's with you.
Christy Wilson is a freelance writer and avid traveler working from her lakeside home in Pell City, Alabama. She received her degree in journalism from Samford University, and enjoyed a career in newspaper writing and editing before taking her passion for writing online.