So you’ve agreed to give your wife an afternoon away from the house. You can handle this. As Daddy, finding something fun to do should be easy… except it’s the middle of the winter and your video pals from Hulu and Amazon only take you so far. Think about it: don’t you want to make this exclusive time with the kiddos quality time?
Here’s some random Daddy Date Ideas to make the most of your time:
We’re all tired of arriving home with only minutes of daylight left. One plus to darkness is how it can turn a walk in the backyard into an adventurous trek. A couple of low cost head lamps from Outdoor Gear Exchange will allow you to explore the backyard for animal tracks, chase shadows, and maybe get in a game of flash-light tag. If the sub zero temps make outdoor exploration difficult, then bring it inside and turn out the lights to play hide and seek with head lamps.
Dress-up Dance Party
This may require some pre-planning or even better- a fun trip to the local thrift store with the kids in tow. Let your kids pick out “costumes” that mimic their favorite cartoon characters or create their own. My two year old daughter recently dressed up as a “super girl” princess. After the finishing touches on the costume, turn Pandora into your favorite 80’s dance station (personal preference).
Finger Nail Painting
This won’t get the adrenaline pumping but nothing will excite your little girl like treating her like a little lady. The Nail Pro Beaute’ Spa in the Burlington Town Center mall will let her pick out the polish of her choice, give her a pretend manicure, and paint her nails for $5. Then take your little girl somewhere sweet for dinner where she can show off her sparkly nails. If you feel especially generous, buy the bottle of polish so she can keep those nails looking good.
This one is all about the build-up: “we’re taking a boat trip today… in the car.” Make the short drive over to Grand Isle for the 14 minute ferry ride to Plattsburgh, which is just about the right time for toddlers. If you want to add a little adventure, you have just enough time to exit your car and hangout in the upstairs (heated) sitting room. Make the short drive over to the Champlain Centre mall where you can pick out treats from Target’s dollar bins, get some not quite organic food from the food court, and stroll through Gander Mountain to get your masculinity fix.
Other ideas that may lack creativity, but still quite fun:
Both Outdoor Gear Exchange and Eastern Mountain Sports carry kids snow shoes. With several great parks in Burlington, your kids can experience snow-shoeing “in the woods” without even living the city limits. A few options include Ethan Allen Park, Ethan Allen Homestead, Red Rocks Park, and the Intervale.
I’m always amazed at the number of dads who enjoyed sledding as children yet don’t introduce their own kids to this fun. The key is finding the right hill. One of the best spots with minimal competition is the campground behind Burlington High School. Walk towards North Beach and you cannot miss the excellent sledding hill.
Sleigh Rides at Shelburne Farms
Nothing makes a complete Vermont winter like a sleigh ride. These continue on Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 23. Call to check on wait times and to make sure weather is permitting.
Alice in Wonderland at Echo
This 1500 square foot interactive exhibit continues until May 11. It’s included in Echo’s cost of admission and the kids will love joining Alice in her adventures.
I almost regret putting this one in print because I genuinely do not enjoy it… but the kids absolutely love it. Sometimes in the midst of subzero temps you need a place for the kids to run out their energy and where you can play with them. I view this as a last resort.
Let’s make the most of our time with our children while we have it.
[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Written By: Kevin Pounds[/typography]
I and my family LOVE living in Burlington. I’m blessed to “do life” with Christin, my wife of twelve years, and our two children: Jude (4) an Wren (2). I also serve as one of the pastors of Burlington City Church and on the board of Serve Burlington. I enjoy hiking, biking, movies (especially Star Wars) and playing with the family.
Kevin…I already told you this but I loved all of these ideas in this post. Very helpful for both me and Michael.
Great ideas Kevin! I know Robin was trying to think of some ideas the other day. I will show this to him 🙂