Sure, you can learn some things from books but nothing replaces adventures with Dad. With Father’s Day around the corner, these activities are a great way for kids to spend time with the number one man in their lives — and celebrate how great he is in the process.
Neptune’s Locker Diving Center
5820 W. Highway 74
Indian Trail, NC 28070
Explore a world not of your own — as a guest, just observing. Neptune’s Locker Diving Center is operated by a highly-skilled U.S. Navy veteran. The PADI Open Water diving course is for ages 15 and up. The Open Water Junior course is for ages 10 to 15. The course will teach the kids about equipment, physics, water skills, physiology, trip planning and more. This includes classroom time and pool training. A written test and a diving test concludes the course. Remember: the mysterious is not to be feared, but embraced!
12504 Maxam Court
Charlotte, NC 28273
Price: $29 for introductory package of field admission, gun, goggles, air refills and 200 paintballs
Paintball Paradyes strives to be the most family-friendly paintball facility in the area. It’s 1.5 miles from Carowinds, where Steele Creek and Westinghouse meets. There’s a picnic area with tables and benches. Make a day of it and bring some hot dogs to cook on the outdoor grills. There’s an observation area to sit in the shade and watch the fields. The owners take time to educate participants on safety issues. There’s a referee in each playing field. Kids under 10 are not allowed on the fields, however, there is a shooting booth, featuring wooden props. Over 36,000 square feet of playing space includes a western, military, woods and advanced speedball. This is one of the best facilities for first-time paintball gamers!
Inner Peaks Climbing Center
9535 Monoe Road, Suite 170
Charlotte, NC 28270
Inner Peaks Climbing Center will help you conquer your fear of heights! It’s 13,000 square feet of climbing fun. Dad and the kids can enjoy a recreational climbing team for ages 7+ from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays or 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Skill building includes top-roping, boulders, belay and climbing games. The kids will learn valuable lessons in fear and feelings of inadequacies. It is a partner sport, demanding trust — and a great way to stay in shape!
AMF Carolina Lanes
11210 Bringman Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Free bowling for kids, and bring dad along! It’s called Summer Unplugged at Carolina Lanes. What a deal: two games per day all summer long. Go here to register. There’s a summer pass for $34.95. That includes two games per day for one person with up to three guests, ages 16+. There are 56 lanes, a rental shop and a concession stand.
Matthews-Morningstar Volunteer Fire Department236 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC 28105
Childhood memories are made at fire departments! Call ahead to schedule a visit. Dad and the kids will get a tour of the facility. Find out where the firemen sleep and eat. Learn about the equipment and hoses. Best of all, check out the shiny, red trucks. What’s the training like to become a fireman? These kind folks love to answer questions!
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Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.