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A lot of us dads set out wanting to be great fathers to our kids. It’s hard to meet that standard all the time because of work, busy schedules, and all the million other things that take time away from our growing children. Use the opportunity presented by Father’s Day, to go on a special father-kids retreat and become your kids’ hero once again.
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The truth is our kids need quality time with their parents and caregivers. Wisconsin based family clinic, Family Services suggests “setting aside just 10 minutes a day to talk to your child, without distractions, can make a big difference in establishing good communication habits.”
Not only is this short amount of time crucial for healthy development, it shows your kids that you value them and prioritize them over all of life’s other distractions. If you have two kids like me, then it will take some creativity and careful planning with your significant other to make this happen.
I consider myself to be an adventurous dad so my boys and I are always rummaging through abandoned farmhouses, trekking through thickets, climbing over rocks, and splashing into the wintry sea. When together, we strive to spend most of our time outdoors bicycling, scooting, roller skating, playing soccer, running, collecting sticks, or throwing rocks – once, when my son was four, he decided our car was the perfect target.
Life is beautiful in that we are each unique, special, and talented in our own way. Here are fantastic retreats to take your kids on no matter what your interest!
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The Musical Dad
If you are the type of dad that could spend hours with your kids at the local music shop listening to the beats and melodies of your favorite artists, then you’re probably a music connoisseur at best or an embarrassing (to your kids) beatbox “artist” at the worst. What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to head over to Memphis, TN, and spend quality time in the home of blues, soul, and rock’n’roll?
A great place to start would be B.B. King’s Blues Club on Beale Street. Here you can enjoy live music daily while chowing down on lip-smacking southern grub. After, head outdoors to skip through Memphis sidewalks humming your favorite set.
Don’t miss the Juneteenth celebrations on the lawn of the Memphis Museum of Science and History – formerly called the Pink Palace Mansion when it belonged to the founder of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain. This Father’s Day the museum will host an outdoor concert commemorating and celebrating African influences in music and honoring Black freedom from slavery.
Another great option is the Overton Park Shell, a vibrant half-dome amphitheater that presents tons of free family-friendly concerts every year. Bring your lawn blanket, picnic basket, and cold iced tea to enjoy that funky music with your kids.
Stay downtown in The Westin Memphis Beale Street, which is located next to both the Gibson Guitar Museum and the Rock n Soul Museum (both excellent options for music history buffs).
The Nature Dad
A road trip is a great way to connect with kids, especially if you put away the screens and focus on the magic happening outside. National parks, like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, are great destinations to explore the outdoors with your kids this Father’s Day. They’re like mother nature’s theme parks!
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We are particularly fond of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite National Park is full of waterfalls, tall cliffs, ancient sequoias trees, mountain scenery, and wilderness to discover. Even though Glacier Point will remain inaccessible by car throughout 2022, the rest of the park is wide open.
Secure a reservation through the National Park Service if you plan to visit during peak hours (6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily). The easiest way to secure a peak hours reservation is by booking an overnight stay at any of the several in-park camping sites available or one of the select lodging or vacation rentals. This reservation will allow you and your kids access to Yosemite 24 hours a day for up to three days.
To top off this nature getaway, experience American history at its finest by taking the kids horseback riding at Wawona Stables and follow some of the same trails that early pioneers once rode – you’ll get to appreciate Yosemite’s wilderness from an entirely different perspective.
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Enjoy a few nights at the Wawona Hotel where you and your kids will be surrounded by natural beauty. There are lots of great amenities like access to hiking trails, a pool, and even a golf course. it’s the only golf course on national parkland! The Wawona Hotel is near the giant sequoias and about twenty miles from the stunning El Capitan viewpoint.
There’s more than one type of dad, so there’s many trip ideas to suit them all. Here’s the 5 best Father’s Day trips for your special dad!
The Art Loving Dad
Incredible art can be found all across the United States, whether it’s displayed in the Smithsonian museums or lining the streets on building murals. Plenty of smaller cities like St. Petersburg, Florida, or Greenville, South Carolina are up-and-coming players in the vibrant local art scenes.
But this Father’s Day, visit San Francisco and discover why it too is a prime location for art lovers. My kids and I decided to cross over the Golden Gate Bridge (bucket list item), although you may choose to go under it or fly above it to really rock your kids’ world.
The kids are going to absolutely love Clarion Valley – one entire block centered in San Francisco’s inner Mission District with over 700 murals that inspire “social inclusiveness and aesthetic variety.”
Take your kids to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – seven stories of stunning art exhibitions to explore (plus kids under 18 get in free). Then, head on over to Club Fugazi and enjoy an unforgettable performing arts experience. Finally, let them loose at the Exploratorium for the best hands-on activities.
Book your stay at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The property has fantastic views of the city. Enjoy quality time on their small piece of green paradise, and be close to the art action.
The Adventure Dad
As I’m writing this, I am brought back to last summer’s rock climbing adventures with my boys. As an outdoorsy enthusiast, Post Falls, Idaho is a great option for a father-kids trip this Father’s Day.
The forest town of Post Falls is an outdoor junkies paradise. From mountain biking, hiking, and all sorts of water-sport activities, your kids are bound to have a blast. Encourage your kids’ self-confidence as you guide them over hundreds of traditional, sports, or on-rope climbing courses within Q’emiln Park.
My kids were speechless after catching live racing action and fireworks with their old man at the Stateline Speedway (FatherFest is a free event scheduled for June 18, 2022). We also thought it was a good idea to reserve a tour of the factory at Buck Knives – yep, we couldn’t leave without each of us getting a brand new knife and some cool gear.
The Post Falls area has plenty of amusement parks nearby; however, one of the most epic and memorable outdoor activities was the world-class zipline adventure hosted by Timberline Adventures in Coeur D’Alene (just 10 miles away).
While enjoying your Father’s Day shenanigans with the kids, the Cedar Mountain Farm Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to call home for your stay with back-door access to the wilderness and free cooked-to-order breakfast.
The Sports-Loving Dad
None of us dads want to strike out as a father, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring our kids to Boston while someone else misses three times in a row on a baseball diamond.
World-famous, Fenway Park is a must-see for sports fans. This Father’s Day, you can relax while the friendly staff of the luxury Hotel Commonwealth spoils you. As the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox, Hotel Commonwealth offers game-day packages with home games every night over Father’s Day weekend!
Father’s Day packages includes:
- An overnight stay in a spacious guest room with two beds
- Four Red Sox game tickets in the Pavilion section with access to the Pavilion club restaurant
- $500 gift card to the Red Sox team store to order personalized, matching jerseys
- Family welcome message on the scoreboard during the game
- An in-game seat visit from Wally or Tessie to surprise the kids
- Amenity basket of baseball treats
- Complimentary overnight parking for one vehicle – walk to the park!
Once you got all the rootin’ outta you and the kids, check out one of the golf courses located near Fenway Park. Though it is quite possible to get a glimpse of some PGA professionals out on the golf courses, me and my kids were getting a bit too serious about a miniature golf tournament for the family book (it was supposed to be a friendly competition!). The winner got bragging rights and an ice cream.
We found out about the Pirate Ship Formidable just in the knick of time – it was the morning of our return flight. The good news was that our flight was a red-eye so the kids and I jumped in a taxi and spent our last few hours playing together on a real life pirate ship!
Chances are your young kids couldn’t care less about visiting the presidential monuments around Washington D.C. or bumping elbows with tourists under the bright city lights of Las Vegas or New York.
Sure there are plenty of options for all types of dads and families. The best one is the one where everyone gets to be together.
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