Summer is a great time for families to rest, relax, and connect. Everyone knows that mom loves the beach, the kids like the pool, and Dad prefers…yard work? No. Not in the least. If you’ve lost touch with what Dad likes, you might notice Dad’s glazed-over look during your next family event. He’ll be there, but he won’t really be there, if you know what I mean. Below are a few recommendations for family activities that are Dad approved.

Garage/Yard Sales

Summer’s a great time for yard sale-ing and Dad likes a good deal or steal. If you do this activity, you need to do it Dad’s way, which means planning ahead what yard sales you’re going to hit (check Craigslist Friday night to map out Saturday sales), and also getting there early! Dad knows that the best stuff if gone in the first hour. If you’re not there first, it’s hardly worth going. Dad does it right, or he doesn’t do it at all.

Backyard Fire Pit

S’mores made in the microwave might be hot, but they crush dad’s soul. Instead, ask dad to get a fire going in a backyard fire pit. He’ll build and tend the fire, and relax with a beverage, while the kids roast marshmallows. Life is good for all.

A Picnic

But not just any picnic. Find a local park with grill stations, or bring your own charcoal grill so dad can show off his grill-master status. Bonus if you remember to bring a football, soccer ball, or at least a Frisbee for a game of catch.

Laser Tag

Paintball is a hassle, and playing laser tag at the local roller-skating rink has long lines, and (let’s be honest) Dad’s likely to accidentally step on or knock over some kids. How about getting laser tag rentals delivered right to your door? A company called does just that. Thank you internet!

Hiking (A Real Hike)

Find the closest woods or mountains, and get moving. If the hike isn’t serious enough that at least one person needs to carry a backpack (with first aid and some food), and that everyone needs a water bottle, the hike isn’t a “real enough” for dad. A walk around the block won’t cut it!


These things are becoming harder and harder to find, but if there are any left in your town, talk about crazy nostalgia factor for dad! Hand him a cup of tokens and he’ll make you play him in everything from Space Invaders, to TMNT, to the first Mortal Kombat (bloody!).

Marvel/DC Movie

Dad doesn’t want to see Angry Birds. And some action movies (e.g., Bond, Bourne) are a bit too intense for the kiddos. That’s why Marvel & DC films are perfect. You can count on a couple every summer. They’re PG enough for the kids, and action enough for Dad.

Saturday/Sunday Breakfast

Last, but not least. How about a nice dive diner for Saturday or Sunday breakfast? Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs. Extra points if you bring your iphone/ipad and hang out for a while while Dad gets a second refill on his coffee and reads the paper.

Have a great summer. Make lasting memories. Try some of the above, and you’ll have one happy Dad