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5 Parent-Child Activities for Any Budget


We get it. Life can get hectic. Between work, school, kids’ sports and activities, weekend projects, and family time, it’s easy to wonderfully lose yourself in the chorus of life. But let’s not forget about the importance of some one-on-one time with each of our children to reconnect and bond away from the daily routine. Kids deserve and love some special time alone with their parent or primary caregiver, even if it’s only for an hour or two!

Here are five ideas for fun activities you and your child can enjoy, just the two of you.

Bake something

Have a great time in the kitchen whipping up a batch of their favorite cookies, a special cake, or dessert. Not a baker? A baking kit from HERE or HERE sends everything you need (including foolproof instructions) to your front door.
Go on a picnic playdate

Pack a picnic with tasty a lunch (don’t forget the treats!) and make your way to Central Park, or even your backyard. Depending on your child’s age, bring a bag of tricks with a board game or two, an easy craft, supplies for a Lego-making sesh, Mad Libs, and a list of questions for Would You Rather.

Get a day pass to a favorite local attraction

If you feel like splurging, plan a surprise day trip to a place they love but don’t get to visit often, like a theme park, zoo, water park, indoor climbing gym, or miniature golf. Check out a complete list of Bay Area amusement parks and attractions HERE.

Take a hike or bike ride

Cruise the trails at Mountain House or discover a regional park, preserve, or wildlife refuge. It’s a great opportunity to explore a new-to-you area, learn about its habitat and local wildlife, and enjoy some one-on-one time. Another bonding idea is to create a journal documenting your discoveries. Be sure your child writes in the journal and includes special photos or drawings of the day. This adventure journal can be a new tradition as a fun way to record all your family’s adventures, from discovering a new park, vacations, camping trips, etc.

Go to a play or the symphony

Living near the East Bay means an abundance of cultural performances and activities are only a short drive away. There are the lively Bay Area Children’s Theatre and East Bay Children’s Theatre, and Danville’s Village Theatre often features child-friendly live productions. If your child is learning how to play an instrument, going to the symphony would be a real treat. The Silicon Valley, Oakland, and San Francisco symphonies are great options!

Have you already done all of the above and need more ideas?
Check out 40 parent-daughter activities HERE.
And 45 parent-son ideas HERE.

Don’t blink! Enjoy this special time, because they grow up so fast!