In my family, for Father’s Day, we like to give Dad a day he’ll remember. This year I’m sending my husband and sons to a water park for the weekend. Last year they went camping. Here’s where else dads and sons can go for a Father’s Day gift that beats a new tie or multi-tool:
* Minor League Baseball games
What with their small stadiums, seats close to the action, family-friendly activities, and promotions as goofy as the team names (Toledo Mud Hens, Lansing Lugnuts, Albuquerque Isotopes, Akron RubberDucks…), Minor League ball parks deliver old-fashioned take-me-out-to-the-ball-game fun. In fact, they’re often among the top-rated things to do in town. Think Hadlock Field in Portland, Maine, Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, even Staten Island Yankees Stadium in New York City.
* Fishing charters or fishing guides
Take your son fishing and it’ll probably bring back memories of when you went fishing with your own dad. Nearly every little seaport on both coasts has a charter fishing boat available; services range from do-it-yourself to do-everything-for-you (including baiting your hook and taking your fish off the line). Punch “TripAdvisor [state or city name] fishing charters” into your search engine and you’ll find gems such as All Rivers & Saltwater Charters in Seattle or Fishing Charters Tampa in Florida. Closer to a river than to an ocean? Hire a fishing guide for a day.
* Steam trains and transportation museums
Males of any age seem to love anything with wheels on them. There are a lot more cool transportation museums than you may realize— from the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento to Maine’s Owls Head Transportation Museum. Even better is when you can ride on 150-year-old technology that still runs today—from steam trains to unusual machines like the Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Colorado.
* Sports halls of fame
A trip to a sports hall of fame gives Dad a chance to remember the great players of his era … and to introduce his sons to them. Maybe you’ve already been to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, or the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, but what about lesser-known institutions such as the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, or the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta? There’s even a Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas. Usually there’s some sports hall of fame near you, as every state has one.
* War ships
If your wife won’t go with you, take your son and get a living history lesson. There’s a raft of battleships, aircraft carriers, and submarines to choose from, including the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego; the U.S.S. Iowa in Los Angeles; the U.S.S. Cod Submarine in Cleveland; Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts; the U.S.S. Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina; and, of course, the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York Harbor.
You’ll find more trip ideas from Wendy at WendyPerrin.com.