Is it time for a mother-son date?

If you’re overdue to spend some real QT time with your son (when aren’t we?), one of the easiest ways to make it happen is to set aside a few hours at a time for just the two of you. We asked moms of boys everywhere to share their favorite mother-son activities, and from a Sugar Rush-inspired baking session to planting a garden and playing LEGO, there’s tons of ground to cover! 

1. Go fishing. Grab a pole, and hit the local pond. It’s a quiet sport that’ll keep you present and in the moment.

2. Pack a picnic and find open green space. 

3. Play a board game or a card game

4. Start a journal. There are plenty of diaries and journals for girls, but boys need a place to write down their thoughts too. Encourage him by writing in it with him. We especially love this one from Wee Society.

5. Schedule tech-free playtime. Being present with your kid, even for 20 minutes, is one of the most valuable ways to bond.

6. Run a race. Whether it’s a 5k or a 1-mile fun run, train with your son and show him what moms (and women) can do!

7. Attend a rally for a cause you care about. It’s important to teach your son how to be a good citizen.

8. Bake something. Not a seasoned baker yourself? Try one of these easy kits that make you look like a cake boss, even when you’re not.

9. Read with him. Especially books that show strong female role models, like Astronaut Annie, Girl Running, and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls.

10. Have a good cry. Boys are often encouraged to hide their feelings and “man up.” Letting your son know it’s okay to have emotions will set him up to be a more empathetic adult.

11. Go surfing. Spend an afternoon catching waves with your kid. Don’t live near the beach? Make it a vacation, and book one of these Airbnbs that are perfect for families!

12. Plan a future vacay for just the two of you. Wondering where to go? We scouted 48 epic spots to see before the kids get too old

13. Go geocaching together. You know your inner pirate will be stoked to follow a map and find treasure.

14. Put on a puppet show together. It’s fun to be someone else for a while.

15. Do a science experiment. Because no one knows how to invent something out of nothing like a mom and her kid!!

16. Get takeout from somewhere fancy and eat al fresco. Support a local restaurant by grabbing takeout and hitting the open green field for an outdoor dinner. 

17. Go see a symphony or stage performance. Sharing this experience with your son will help him appreciate the theatrical arts later in life.

18. Have an up-close encounter with animals (reptiles, giraffes, starfish, etc.) at your local zoo. We can’t deny that a visit to the zoo is a favorite for everyone involved.

19. Plant something. There’s nothing like digging in the dirt and watching the fruits of your labor grow in the sunshine.

Related: 15 Things You Know as a Mom of Little Boys


20. Make art/take a clay class. Art isn’t just for girls, it’s for everyone! Schedule a class and get ready to get messy

21. Volunteer. Compassion is a key skill in raising a strong man.

22. Pretend to be spies and create decoder messages for each other. 

23. Practice random acts of kindness. Because it's awesome.

24. Play ninjas/dinosaurs/Star Wars/house. Whatever he’s into, he’ll love that you’re into it too.

25. Make a “lunch” out of free samples of a shopping trip to Whole Foods or Costco. Hey, those samples are worth their weight in gold!

26. Do a big puzzle together that can be framed in his room when it’s done. It'll keep everyone busy for hours! Which will be some kind of record.  

27. Make a surprise craft together for your partner. Do something sweet for the other person who loves him as much as you do. 

28. Ask him a question. These simple prompts will help your son feel comfortable opening up and sharing his thoughts.

29. Plan a walking (and sampling) food tour of your favorite local foodie district. Every kid should know exactly how the neighborhood delicacies taste. 

31. Go through old family photos and talk about your family history. To go forward it’s important to know where you’ve come from. 

32. Have a knock-knock joke battle. You’re in luck because we’ve got the best ones right here.

33. Have a water balloon fight in the warmer months. Don’t want to deal with the broken bits of balloons after it’s all over? Try our favorite water games, instead

34. Go to a museum together. Pick a museum, any museum! From dinosaurs to cars to local history, there’s something for everyone.

35. Go beachcombing for crabs and other beach critters together. Whether you live nearby, or if it’s an annual trek, collecting stuff on the beach is a must.

36. Get Chinese dim sum or Spanish tapas together. You can both try new foods together in perfectly-sized portions.

37. Organize an afternoon of playing jumbo lawn games. Here are our favorites! 

38. Chaperone a Boy Scout trip. Dad doesn’t always have to be the one on the campout. 

39. Go to a sporting event. Whether it’s baseball, tennis, football, golf, basketball, or hockey (or anything else!), if he’s into it, he’ll love being able to watch it in person.

Related: 13 Compliments You Need to Give Your Son

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