Any Dads of boys out there reading this? Ever since so found out our first child would be a boy I was super excited about all the things we would do together! Of course my wife and I spent a lot of time planning various firsts – trip to the zoo, boat ride, beach day and vacations! But all along I was quietly looking forward to our eventual father and son bonding trips! I picture these trips happening when he is a bit older – we are talking at least ten years old!
The purpose of these trips would be to show my son some of my favorite places and activities so we could create our own memories and traditions! Here are my top ten theoretical trips – I hope to hit at least half before he thinks i am a bore!
The Baseball Hall of Fame is a special place for a baseball fanatic! If I do my job right my son will also be a huge baseball fan in a few years. This is an easy one night trip for us. It’s a relatively short drive to the bucolic small town that hosts baseball’s history. We could spend a full day wandering the museum and the baseball card shops that line the streets. That evening we would be able to take in a game – usually amateur – at Doubleday Field. It’s pure Americana!
– Baseball Road Trip
If my son enjoys the Cooperstown Trip we would set our sights higher! A multi city baseball stadium road trip. This trip would serve two purposes – expose my son to the various great cities and stadiums that dot our great country and give us plenty of time in the car just talking!
There are plenty of routs to take for this trip – Northeast with games in Boston, New York, Philly, Baltimore and DC or a rustbelt loop with Pittsburgh and Cleveland along with some minor league games. Planning this trip would be half the fun!
– Montreal Hockey Game
Montreal is an amazing city! It has been my favorite city to visit in North America for quite awhile. The walkability, the European feel, and the amazing food and of course the intense hockey atmosphere combine for a great weekend destination. Grab tickets to a Canadiens game and spend the rest of the weekend wandering picturesque streets and forging on bagels, poutine, salted beef and more!
– Golf Trip
A major goal of mine is to get my son hooked on golf! The objective is to have a lifelong excuse to get together and have a shared passion. I will get him addicted to golf by frequenting local courses and the range but a great golf trip should be the final push to get him passionate about the game. There are so many options ranging from the easy and fairly inexpensive such as Myrtle Beach or a Florida jaunt to the once in a lifetime such as Pebble Beach, Bethpage or even the home of golf St. Andrews. The location matters less than the time spent. I think we will start with an easy trip and then bond over a shared bucket list of courses!
Just like golf, I have an agenda in getting my son passionate about skiing. The more interested he gets in the greatest winter sport the more skiing I will do! For this reason I plan on spending some quality winter break time on the slopes with my son. Again – the plan would be to start fairly local with Mount Tremblant or Killington before branching out West (Breckenridge , Sun Valley and Tahoe) or to Europe (French and Italian Alps)!
My son was born in London while we were living the expatriate life. We will undoubtedly make many trips back to his birthplace – we made many great friends in the city. However, I have been planning a bonding trip back to the city just for us so we can wander the same streets we did when he was in a carriage. I envision sharing our first beer together in London near his 18th birthday. Additionally, we would take in some culture, a football match and perhaps even take a canal boat ride. It will probably be strange for him not having been born on the US like most of his friends so I want to do my part to make this difference a fun and strong part of his personality.
– Train Trip
I have always had an interest in train travel and my son has been obsessed with trains since he started playing with toys. For an earlier in life trip sometime in the next few years I plan on taking him on a train voyage! This doesn’t have to be murder on the orient express but a quick trip from Boston to Portland Maine, New York City or even further south to Philadelphia or DC would be fun! The journey would be he highlight! I plan on a major European rail tour as he gets a bit older!
– Football Game at Alma Mater
As an alumnus of the University of South Carolina football was a big part of my college experience. I would love to share the passion I have for the sport and college football in general by taking my son to a game in Columbia. We would spend the weekend visiting all of my old favorites such as Groucho’s Deli, Zaxby’s Chicken, Five Points and the Vista before tailgating all day at Williams Brice Stadium with my Old college pals. This experience would illustrate that I was once a young man as well.
Our family – both my wife’s side and mine – have strong connections to Ireland through distant cousins and our heritage. A trip to the homeland to visit with our distant relations and spend time where our family started will go along way to deepen his connection with his heritage. As a bonus, Ireland isn’t a tourist trap, we will get to spend plenty of quiet time in pubs or taking walks not just rushing from tourist attraction to tourist attraction with the throngs.
– Championship Game for Our Team
I have been lucky with my sports fandom! As I came of age in high school and college my teams were in the midst of an unparalleled run of success – all 4 teams won a championship and they were all in the mix almost every year. I hope my son is as lucky but we won’t chance it! As soon as he is old enough – say 8 – and one of our 4 major teams makes a championship we will spend the money to go! I want to bond with my son over the shared glory of a championship! This would be something we would be able to look back on with fondness for or entire lives.
That is it for my list – go ahead and make your own! A father son bonding trip should be both a cool trip and carry some meaning!
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