As a little girl, one of the fondest memories I have with my dad is when he would take me places by myself. When it was just him and me going on daddy-daughter dates and experiencing things together, making memories that only he and I could relate to.
Now that we are approaching summer, your daughter will no longer be in school, and there will be plenty of time and opportunities for you to spend some quality time with her and plan some daddy-daughter dates. Doing this is going to not only bring you closer together, but it’ll also make a life-long impact on her.
So, if you’re unsure what date ideas you can plan for some daddy-daughter bonding, we’ve made it easy for you.
Check out these seven different father-daughter dates you can do this summer:
1. Theme Parks or Amusement Dates
Between the local zoo, Six Flags, a carnival, skating rinks, sports complexes, bowling alleys, trampoline parks, indoor skydiving, and Chuck-E-Cheese, there are many fun activities to choose from, especially during the summer. When the weather is warmer, many of these places are open for business and even run specials for discounts and extra fun activities to get you to come. Make a list of places you or your daughter could go to, and let her choose which sounds most fun!
2. Ice Cream Parlor
There is nothing more classic and cool than an ice cream date. Especially when it’s hot outside, the cooling taste of a vanilla cone with extra sprinkles can make for a sweet and refreshing memory together. With dates like this, you could do them much more often than a trip to the theme park. Maybe, during the summer, choose to put your daughter in the car every Friday and head over to your local ice cream or frozen yogurt shop. Keeping that daddy-daughter date consistent throughout the summer will give her something to look forward to every week and fond memories that she (and you) will cherish forever.
3. Splish-Splash Day
When the summer’s hot, the water is cool! What a perfect time to make it a fun day of splishing and splashing with your daughter while the weather is warm. If you have a pool yourself, send mom and the boys away for an afternoon while you and your daughter enjoy playing “Marco Polo” in the shallow end. Or, if you don’t have a pool, get a Slip-N-Slide for the backyard, a cool sprinkler, or some fun water guns to play with together. If you don’t have a backyard, many neighborhoods have community pools, splash pads, or water parks in many big cities. In any case, water fun is something that your daughter will surely love!
4. A Picnic
How special would a little park picnic be for you and your sweet girl? Pack a lunch box filled with her favorite foods, drinks, and maybe a yummy dessert. Find a place under a shade tree to sit and chat, eat, people-watch, and play board games. Perhaps even carve your initials onto that same shade tree, leaving your daddy-daughter mark there forever. Picnics are a great way to bond and an even better opportunity to communicate with one another since you’re not distracted by too many activities. Having a weekly picnic date with your girl is a priceless idea!
I don’t know of any little girl on the planet who doesn’t enjoy shopping – shopping for clothes, shopping for toys, shopping for jewelry, shopping for – well – anything. Ask her her favorite store, and pick a time to go together – just the two of you. Let her choose one or two of her favorite items and be on your way. If she has more than one favorite store, let her pick one store per week.
The items don’t have to be extravagantly expensive, either. You could even use this opportunity to teach her about money. Give her a budget, let her know that she can only purchase under a certain amount, and see how creative she can get in what she chooses. You’d be surprised to see how smart your girl is and how fun she is as you shop with her! When she gets to buy something new, the excitement on her face will leave a precious imprint on your heart. Plus, the fondness of your generosity and life lessons are things she will remember forever.
6. Drive-In Movie
Going to the movie theater is ALWAYS a great daddy-daughter date choice! I am becoming a huge fan of drive-in movie theaters. You can turn up your car speakers, sit outside the car with your lawn chairs, or open the trunk and sit in the back of your SUV. Many drive-in movie theaters also have concession stands where she can pick her favorite candy or buttered popcorn. It’s a more private and intimate experience at a drive-in theater, so it would be a fun daddy-daughter date. However, if a drive-in isn’t in your town, the regular theater is also a great date idea! Let her pick the movie – AND the seats. And maybe do this with her multiple times throughout the summer!
7. Fancy Dinner
Last but not least, treat your daughter to a nice dinner. She’ll have a great time, plus you can talk, just you two!
Encourage her to dress up – wear her favorite dress, have her hair done, and apply some of Mommy’s lipstick just for the night. Something magical happens to a little girl when she gets all dolled up. She feels beautiful, like a princess, and worthy of being treated like royalty when dressed to the nine. And when she’s ready to go, compliment her like CRAZY. Let her know how pretty she is. Tell her how much you like her outfit. Express how happy you are that you’re going to this dinner with her and no one else. Do all the gentleman-like things. Open all doors for her and hold her hand as you enter the restaurant. Pull out her seat for her at the table. Show her exactly how she is supposed to be treated like a little lady – how you’d want her future husband to treat her one day.
She’s only your little girl for such a short while. And one day, she will have someone else in her life. A man who she will love and adore, just like she does you. It’s up to you to show her what she is worth, how special she is, how gorgeous she is inside and out, and how she is to be treated with value and respect. Doing this will bring her security and confidence that you might not understand – but as she grows older, you will see how your simple decisions of spending quality time with her mold her into a strong, beautiful, independent, and virtuous woman.
Use this summer to show your daughter how much you love her. Go get ’em, Daddy!