By Luke Andermann, program supervisor
Happy Father’s Day fellow dads. As we exit this most extraordinary past school year, we turn our gaze to summer with its promises of long hot days, cool evenings, fireflies in the park, and a time to come reconnect with our families over summer break. We are our kids’ heroes every day, but Father’s Day gives them, and us, an opportunity to make a special effort for our families to share with each other how much they care. Here are just a few ideas for some ways to really make those special days.
- S’mores by the fire. Just a few simple ingredients and either a home fire pit, or any one of the many parks around Madison can lead to a delicious afternoon. If you are feeling really fancy, you can find a couple official marshmallow fire tongs at most department store, but I’ve always leaned more toward a good stick hunt with my kids.
- Bike rides can be just the thing to get out and feel the sun with the family. You can pack up a backpack with sandwiches and make a destination of it for a family picnic at a favorite place, visit the closest custard restaurant, or simple saddle up and see where the day takes you. If you are really lucky (or do some research beforehand) you might even come across a neighborhood ice cream truck.
- Chasing fireflies is one of my favorite memories from growing up. Our family lived out in the woods, and every summer we would grab some glass jars, punch a few holes in the lids, put in some leaves and grass and spend evenings chasing fireflies. They would live in our room for a night or two, and we would release them afterward.
- If you are up for a late night, taking a trip out of the city limits to a place where you have a good view for a great night of stargazing. You could see a few falling stars with your kids, point out constellations, or even do a small bit of orienteering using the stars as a guide. That does take a little bit of prep work beforehand, but kids end up loving it.
- Hammock time. An easy-to-set-up hammock from most any store, a good book, and something cool to drink in the shade on a hot afternoon can be just the thing to relax and enjoy some alone time. Of course, you might look so comfortable that you end of having a pile of family in the hammock before the afternoon is done, but then, that’s what being a dad is all about.