The bond between mother and son is one of the strongest on Earth, but like all good relationships, it needs tending. If you’re a boy mom looking for ways to bond with your guy, we’ve gathered some amazing mom and son date ideas for every budget and style. Whether you’re into sporty days out or cozy nights in, milestone trips, or cheap day outings, we’ve got the perfect mother-son date idea for everyone!
Bonding With Scratch-off Adventures
Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition is your go-to for mom and son date ideas. Our scratch-off adventure books are loaded with more than 50 exciting and innovative activities that help you make the most of your one-on-one time, no matter how much time you’ve got. With a bonding adventure for every week of the year, you’ll never be short on fantastically fun mother-son dates. Plus, there’s space to save your memories, so you both can look back together anytime!
Inexpensive Mom and Son Date Ideas for Little Guys
This first section is full of fun ways to spend the day with your little man, and they won’t break the budget. Many can even be done at home!
1. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt
Let’s Roam is all about family fun, and we’ve created hundreds of scavenger hunts in cities and small towns all over the world. We also have in-home scavenger hunts for rainy-day fun with your kiddo! Our hunts involve tricky trivia and cute photo and video challenges, providing plenty of bonding moments and a little friendly competition.
FYI—our hunts work great for older kids too, as we have ghost tours, sightseeing hunts, and urban art walks!
2. A Night of Board Games
For a special date that takes little to no planning, throw out a blanket on the living room floor, and get out Twister, Trouble, or even LEGOs for a night of easy fun!
3. Fishing in the Local Pond
If you’ve got a river, creek, or pond nearby, grab a bucket of worms, and spend the day searching for fishies with your favorite little fella.
4. Ice Cream Date
Turn simple ice cream into something truly special by making homemade ice cream, snow cream, or a big ice cream sundae bar together! Explore crazy combinations, or make a favorite from another country.
5. Dress Up Day
Cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, superheroes and bad guys—no matter who you transform into, little boys love a good game of make-believe! Let their imaginations run wild, and join in the fun!
6. Petting Zoo
Llamas, bunnies, goats, and more—let your little one touch and cuddle the cutest creatures on a special day out. Not only will they learn about animal care, but you’ll get adorable photos too!
7. Homemade Obstacle Course
If you have a three-year-old boy, then you know that the world is full of hot lava! There seems to be an imaginary molten flow everywhere you look. Take some household objects, and build an obstacle course above the danger.
8. Water Fun Day
Water balloon fights, sprinklers, or homemade slip-n-slides are all great options for an easy summer mother-son date.
9. Tandem Bike Ride
Head for the local park, and take a tandem ride with your little guy. Watch for squirrels, play I-Spy, or pretend you’re on a journey through the jungle looking for tigers!
10. Gaming Day
Head for your local kiddie arcade, and rack up those tickets! Enjoy a terrible slice of overpriced pizza, whack some moles, and win a plastic trinket or two.
11. Science Experiment Day
If you’re looking for a mom-and-son date idea with some educational value, spend your day blowing stuff up! For some inspiration, check out “The 27 Best Science Games for Kids.”
12. A Night of Cooking
Measuring, pouring, stirring, and pushing buttons are simple pleasures that all littles love. Plus, they get to sit on the counter and make something with Mom. It’s a win/win!
13. Construction Crusade
Head for Home Depot, and gather some scrap wood, glue, and paint. Then, spend the day creating a birdhouse, pencil holder, door sign for his room, or some other useful construction project. These games help with fine motor skills and creativity as well as making them feel big!
14. Firehouse Romp
Community service workers love a visit from little ones. Schedule a visit to your local firehouse, police station, or EMS bay, and the workers will usually give your ecstatic boy a fun and educational tour!
15. Picnic Dinner Date
Dates with Mom don’t have to be fancy. They can involve nothing more than a blanket in the backyard with your favorite finger foods and storybooks.
16. At-Home Camping
What kid doesn’t like to build a fort? Bring out the dining chairs and blankets. Construct your tent in the living room or the backyard, and have a sleepover in the wild!
17. Local Library Day
Take your little one on a literary journey with a day at the local library! Snuggle up on a bean bag, and venture into the unknown together.
18. Nature Walk
The great thing about little kids is that any old walk can be a trekking adventure in the mountains of Nepal, a jungle hunt, or a desert expedition. With a little imagination, a bug or leaf-finding kit, and a free spirit, you can spend your day across the world without leaving your yard.
19. Gardening Day
Plant a tree or spruce up the flower garden together. Getting your hands dirty is good for your health and your spirits.
20. Leaf Pile Palooza
When autumn brings falling leaves, you may as well make the clean-up exciting. Rake up some piles, and spend the day running, jumping, and rolling the fun!
21. Puddle Jumping
Life’s simple pleasures are often the most rewarding, and that includes stomping your heart out in a spring puddle or swimming in a lake full of summer rain.
22. Pumpkin Patch
If you need a cute fall date idea, take your little man to the pumpkin patch for a day of animal petting, pumpkin picking, corn mazes, and jump pads!
23. Train Ride
It’s a rare little boy who doesn’t like a train (and a rare mom at that!). Spend a day on the rails with your conductor at your local park, train-themed restaurant, Christmas Polar Express, or at a rail museum.
Special Mom and Son Adventures for Young Boys
Celebrating a birthday, a big achievement, or the end of a school year? For a special day with your son, take a look at these bigger outings! You may need to take a small road trip to the nearest big city, but that just adds to the adventure.
24. Gem Mining
Digging for fossils, quartz, or diamonds is a fun way to spend a special day, and it may even be a profitable one! Several states in the U.S. have family-friendly gem mining operations where kids can learn the basics, and at most of them, you get to keep what you find.
25. Interactive Kid’s Museum
Almost every major U.S. city has at least one museum that specializes in hands-on experiments and exhibits for kiddos. Find the nearest one, and spend your day learning together!
26. Amusement Park
Riding the rides is just one of the fun things you can do at an amusement park. Play games, eat fun carnival food, get your faces painted, and buy some fun souvenirs too!
27. Drive-Thru Safari
Strap your little one into his car seat, and set out for the nearest safari! You’ll wind your way through grazing rhinos, towering giraffes, and cantankerous monkeys, all from the comfort of your car.
28. Waterpark Day
Splash the day away at your nearest splash pad, or go big with a day at a full-fledged waterpark. Float along the lazy river together, brave the wave pool, and chow down on some snow cones!
29. Kid-Friendly Hotel
Sometimes, a night away from the norm is all you need to create adventure. Find a hotel with an indoor waterpark, a pool with a movie screen, or a climbing gym. Look for accommodations with fun bunkbed rooms or child-themed suites, and spend a night or two with your little man in wonderland.
30. Children’s Night at the Theater
From Disney on Ice to the Blippi Wonderful World Tour, a night at the theater is a fun way to hang out with your little man, especially on cold winter nights!
Inexpensive Mom and Son Date Ideas for Older Kids
If your son has hit that age where he’s a bit harder to engage and you find yourself vying for his time, here are a few easy and cheap mother-son date ideas. Instead of engaging his imagination and getting him excited about new things, you’ll likely find more success by joining in on what he already loves and spends his time doing. Most of these dates have an active focus and encourage a little friendly competition to keep them engaged.
Bring out his competitive side with a rousing game of mini-golf. This one works from age 3 to 83. Just make sure to employ your best trash-talk!
32. Drive-in Movie Night
Introduce a little nostalgia by taking your pre-teen to a fun drive-in movie. Load up on popcorn and soda, and giggle the night away to an appropriate comedy.
33. Nerf Gun War
Squirt guns, nerf guns, laser tag, or the new water bead blasters all make for a fun day with your older son. Head to a professional course, or set up your own in the backyard!
34. Batting Cage Competition
Most cities have a batting cage either at a sporting facility, the high school, or your local family fun park. Challenge your big hitter to a homerun competition!
35. Night of Card Games
If your teen enjoys a more low-key event, set up a card table with plenty of junk food, and spend the night learning new card games.
36. Sporting Event
Grab two seats and (probably way more than two) hot dogs for a day at the ballpark. Check out a high school football game, a minor league baseball team, or a professional sports game! If you share a favorite team, this date idea becomes even more special… though a rivalry is fun too!
37. Bumper Cars
Bumper cars and go-karts are a big hit for boys who are not quite old enough to drive a real car yet. You’ll smash, crash, and belly laugh all day long!
38. ATV Ride
If you’ve got an outdoorsy teen, join him on a ride through the woods. It’s a great opportunity for conversation, fishing, hunting, mudding, or collecting mushrooms and berries… whatever floats your boat.
39. Coffee Shop Breakfast
Sometimes the best way to get some one-on-one time with your teen son is to step out of the ordinary daily routine. Instead of rushing out the door to school today, plan to get up early and enjoy a morning together with a cappuccino and a scone!
40. Video Game Challenge
If your son spends his evenings in virtual reality, strap on a weird face mask, and step into his virtual world. Let him teach you how to play. If nothing else, he’ll get a good laugh watching you try.
41. A Simple Game of Catch
Boys tend to communicate better when their minds (and hands) are focusing on something else. If you need to have a convo with your teenage son, strap on some gloves, play catch, and let the words flow.
42. Rooftop Stargazing
While eye contact is often suggested in adult communication classes, when talking to an awkward teen, avoidance is sometimes best. You may be surprised at how much your teen opens up, even about difficult subjects, when you’re both lying on your back staring at the sky. Grab a ladder and a blanket, and head for the roof on a clear night. Use a stargazing app to identify constellations, and bring some snacks too!
43. Animal Shelter Volunteering
Spend your day giving back by volunteering together. Bathe dogs at a shelter, plant trees in your community, or volunteer with a neighborhood cleanup crew!
Special Adventures for Older Boys
If you and your older son have something to celebrate or you just really want to treat him to a special time, consider one of these adventurous mom and son date ideas.
44. Kayaking Trip
If you and your son love the great outdoors, then plan a weekend on the river together! Pack the tent and an ice chest, and load up the kayaks, or rent them when you get there!
45. Quirky Attractions Road Trip
The United States is full of weird and wonderful roadside attractions. Choose a few that tickle your fancy, mark them on a map, load up on road trip snacks, and hit the highways for an adventure to remember.
46. Service Trip
There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your child grow in their passions… even better if that passion benefits others. Consider spending a week this summer working with kids at a summer camp in Guatemala, visiting an Amazon bio reserve to help with animal care, or volunteering with a language exchange in Mexico! The volunteer options are endless!
47. Day at the Shooting Range
Test your survival skills with a little friendly fire. We guarantee you’ll be the coolest mom around after a day at the range.
While it might not be a big trip, Topgolf can be quite expensive and probably isn’t an every-week kind of thing for most folks. However, for a special occasion, these venues have the most high-tech games, excellent food, and a fun, swanky atmosphere that your teen will love.
49. Flea Market Finds
It might sound like an old-lady thing to do, but flea markets are actually really fun with older kids. You’ll explore old-timey trinkets and tools, take Insta-photo sessions in funny clothes, pick out funky home decor, and maybe even find something valuable!
If you and your son have a love of tunes, then find a concert or music festival, and spend the weekend jamming out together!
Choosing the Best Mom and Son Date: Simpler Than You Think
Whether you snuggle up on the couch for a movie night or go big with a cross-country road trip, spending one-on-one time with your son is important and should take precedence. So, don’t spend too much time analyzing your choice or searching for the perfect activity. Instead, grab your kid, and get to exploring! You’ll certainly have date ideas that fail to meet the cool mark, but try again next week. You’ll eventually find the things that work best for you both, and whether it’s an epic fail or a riveting win, you’ve shown him that he matters and that time with him is first on your list of priorities. Dates with your son, no matter how old he is, are memories that you’ll both cherish for a lifetime!
While you and the boys are adventuring, set up Dad for some quality time, too, with a few daddy-daughter date ideas!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking for fun activities to do with your son, check out the outings in Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. There are more than 50 outings to try!