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The DADS’ Guide to San Diego

We’ve seen it time and time again… Mommy. And. Me.  Those three sweet words ignore one very important family member- DADDY!

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Throughout San Diego, you can find numerous classes that support the bond between mother and child: Mommy & Me Yoga, Mommy & Me Music class, Mommy & Me Sign Language. There are only a few “Daddy & Me” programs, although dads are certainly welcome everywhere moms are!

This week we are paying tribute to all the dads out there who are the primary care giver or just giving us moms a break every once in awhile by taking over babysitting (or shall we say parenting) duties! The next time hubby has your little one(s), feel free to send him this list of ideas that some of our very own San Diego dads have shared!

Mission Trails Family Discovery Walk: This free nature walk takes place on the fourth Sunday each month from 3 – 4:30pm. It is the perfect opportunity for dad to help your little one connect with nature, dig in the dirt, smell some fragrant flowers, all while learning about our native landscape. Can’t make this particular date? Check out there calendar for details on the family discovery walk and other nature walks here.

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Gymboree: We signed Oliver up for Gymboree class on daddy’s day off because it’s the perfect activity for them to do together. Whether in class, or during free play hours, there are usually a few other dads there to help their kids shake bells and climb ladders. To find a class near you, head to http://www.gymboreeclasses.com/en/

Home Depot Kids Workshop: Jason, from Chula Vista, loves to take his kids to the Home Depot Free Kids Workshops. These classes are typically designed for ages 5-12 (although his 3 year old has a great time too!) and involves a free, hands-on workshop where kids get to create a DIY project to take home. Most often held on the first Saturday of the month, the upcoming workshop (on Saturday, August 1st) will allow children to create and take home their own chalkboard door hanger!

 

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Jason also suggests taking the kids to a nearby swap meet/flea market on the weekend, where he can not only get a new tool, but also find something cheap for the kids and get some easy food from one of the food trucks. Besides Home Depot and the swap meet, Jason also loves to take his kids to Seaport Village to see the boats. It’s also a great place to watch street performers and people-watch.

Lowes: Similar to Jason, Jarod from Hillcrest enjoys taking his toddler to Lowes for their free Build & Grow classes. “I dress the dude in his manliest overalls (& preferably worker boots) and grab his plastic hammer. Time to run home errands with papa. The first stop I usually make in Lowes is plumbing or irrigation where the little guy gets to pick out something to hold/play with while we’re shopping. Plumbing has fittings organized in bins at toddler level, and most of the objects are too big for him to swallow, plus their plastic or metal so their not going break if (when) he chucks them!”

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Jarod had a couple of other GREAT suggestions too:

Picnic at the playground: “We nosh on a huge breakfast at the picnic tables by the playground. He usually practices sitting by himself. This is fun because early mornings at the playground are super quiet, so he normally gets the run of the place.”

Air and Space museum Parking Lot:  “The air & space museum has a big jet right outside the entrance that we like to play around. Before he was walking, the huge expanse of grass right behind the museum was a fun place to practice with the help of my hands. The airplanes fly about 100 feet above the park before they land, and its both deafening and amazing. My son LOVED this spot. Now when we pull up he starts getting giddy! It also overlooks downtown and is pretty spectacular.”

SaturDADS: North County…we haven’t forgotten about you! Check out this awesome group of dads who eat donuts, drink coffee and have fun chillen with other dads and their kids on the first Saturday of each month. Find out their upcoming times and locations on their Facebook page.

photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/sandiegoSaturDADS

photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/sandiegoSaturDADS

YMCAs throughout San Diego offer dad and their K-4th grade kiddos the opportunity to bond over nature hikes and camp outs through their Indian Princess and Trailblazers programs. Check your local Y for more information.

The bonding between a father and child can start before your bundle of joy even arrives. Dads-to-be should check out this basic training course for new dads!

What kinds of things does your “baby daddy” do when he’s out parenting?! We’d love to hear your suggestions!

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