Based on your career, housing situation and custody arrangement you may have less time with your kids.  If you are the one who moved from the primary residence, you may have less of your children’s personal belongings at your place.  This makes a rough summer when they are with you unless you prepare.  

There are some super cool ways to keep their time with you fun, exciting and energetic.  We put together a summer list of fun dad activities for you and the kids to enjoy!

Rock, shell, arrowhead hunting

Local parks, dry creek beds, family camp grounds are great places to hunt.  Your adventure, excitement and collection awaits!  Remember to apply plenty of sunscreen, insect repellent and choose times that are not too hot to go hunting.  Bring a bag for your new collection and don’t be afraid to be picky about the keepers and the throw backs.  This can start a new hobby you and your kids can do together for years to come.  It’s a great educational experience as you will likely find lots of fossils and rock species.

Fort building in the backyard 

All kids love to build and there is no better structure to build in a weekend then a backyard fort.  Get the neighbor kids or your children’s friends involved to make the fort building a great team experience and an awesome memory.  You can use supplies from around the house, the garage, hardware or craft store.  Try things like old cardboard boxes, Duck Tape™, burlap, old blankets, funny papers for wallpaper, craft string for curtains or burlap doors, craft paint, etc.

Factory tours

Engineers get their engineering minds when they are kids.  Get your preteens and teens into some factory tours to see the mechanics of assembly line operations.  It provides a wealth of opportunity to enlighten the mind to the possibilities and provides a great topic of interest you both may share!


All kids love seeing those non domesticated animals in person.  Make sure you pick a day and time that is less busy and not too hot.  Make sure to ask what each child wants to make sure they see when they go so that you can set some goals for the trip.  Liberally apply sunscreen and insect repellant through out the day.

Hiking and float trips

Great for preteens and teens.  Hiking and float trips are great for an entire summer day or overnight camping trip.  Pack plenty of snacks, where cool clothing suited for hiking or float trips and comfortable footwear designed for the terrain.  Use plenty of sunscreen and insect repellant.

Paint ball or laser tag

Part of being a great dad means sometimes thinking like a big kid.  These two activities give you a great opportunity to get out there and play hard to take the kids down!  If your kids love adventure and are always running and jumping around the house then you now have a couple perfect places to take them to make great memories without worrying about breaking things or jumping on the furniture.

Amusement Park or Outdoor Waterpark

amusement parks usually have really good deals on summer passes for the whole family.  Most kids love amusement parks for one thing or another and usually the rides and shows are free once you pay for admission.  Water parks are the same, they have plenty of activities like slides, lazy rivers and floating islands to keep every member of the family happy.  Check out the deals for your local parks in spring so that you can start taking advantage of the deals early in the summer.

Museums, Science Center, Lock and Dams

An opportunity to have science, history or examples of engineering all around you to make this both a fun and educational experience.  It gives your kids something to talk about when they return to school and furthers their interest in recent studies.  Visit your local tourism and visitors site for information about these exciting places to visit in your nearest metropolitan city.


Depending on your day or night visitor tours you may enjoy views of the mountains, rivers and surrounding valleys based on the location of the observatory.  Many have visitors tours and large research telescopes for your future astronomers to view the sun and moon.  Some offer programs to show you how to discover constellations and deep sky objects with telescopes.  There are numerous programs that might spark your child's interest in star gazing and astronomy.

Drive-in theater

Fun and different.  This gives you and the kids the chance to take in a couple current movies while sitting in or around your car.  It's usually less expensive since you can bring your own food and get two movies for about the price of one.  They charge per person, but sometimes have a car full discount.  It will really bring back old memories of the nostalgic drive-ins that many of us remember as youngsters.   Bring lots of blankets, drinks, candy and popcorn and a battery operated transistor radio.  Some older drive-ins may transmit the sound via radio station and you don't want to use your car radio since it will wear down your battery after 2 movies..  Usually cell phones won't work for the transmission, but you can try.