When the nurses told me I was having a boy, I was secretly so excited to begin my journey into motherhood raising a little man. I’m one of three girls, so I had no clue what it would be like to raise a boy. I remember thinking it was going to be a fun “project!”– Ha! First-time-mom delusions.
I even wrote him a letter on my blog at the time about how much I was looking forward to the fun activities we’d do together.
Even before he was born, it was important to me that we form a solid relationship as mother and son. One that was built on respect, laughter and friendship. I continue to read books on the topic, chat with other moms of boys and watch how other little boys of all ages behave when we’re out and about.
He’s four now and I’m so proud of the kind, caring well-mannered person he has become. I hope his personality continues to thrive. There are honestly many days where I just turn to my husband and say, “I just LOVE him!”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough raising a boy. Toddler boys are a constant challenge, but we work on our relationship on a daily basis, mother and son, and person-to-person. At the end of the day, it’s true what they say, there really is a special bond between a Momma and her son.
One of the ways I like to honor this connection is by going out on special Mother + Son dates. I’ve been doing this since he was 18 months old and it’s something we both have grown to look forward to throughout the year. From musical theater shows, to building days at Home Depot, there is always something to do around town with your little man.
Here are some of my favorite places to go and things to see or do for Mother + Son dates in Austin:
- Volunteer together with Little Helping Hands.
- Capture special moments in a mother-son photoshoot.
- Run around town and snap some selfies in front of the colorfully painted murals. Some of my favorites are the Willie Nelson wall, You’re My Butter Half, SMILE! and the iconic I Love You So Much wall at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress.
- Visit a unique Austin museum like the Museum of the Weird, Sfanthor House of Wax, or the Austin Car Museum.
Appreciating the Arts
- Grab tickets to a family production at the Zach Theater or Pollyanna Theater. It’s never too early to start experiencing the arts! I took my son to his first musical theater kids show at age 2 and he literally sat there in awe the entire time clutching his ticket.
- Snuggle up for a local storytime at the library or local book store. BookPeople on Lamar has one of the best storytime events for all ages. Just be sure to get there early to secure a spot, they tend to fill up quickly. Check the calendar to see if special guests will join for storytime such as book characters, musicians, puppets, live animals and more!
Exploring the Outdoors
- Can’t gent enough of our amazing Texas weather? St. Edwards Park and Mayfield Park are both great for hiking.
- If you’ve never been, the Veloway at Circle C is the perfect spot for rollerblading, bikes or trikes in South Austin. It’s pretty flat and smooth.
- For boys that are a bit older, there’s always fun to be had on the water. Rent a paddleboat, canoe, water bikes, kayak, Stand Up Paddleboard, boat, jet skis or take the Duck Tour.
- For boy of any age, the Science and Nature Center near Zilker is Ah-mazing! They have this really cool Trading Post activity that teaches kids about native wildlife and plant life through discovery. I don’t know about you, but we tend to collect quite a few rocks and random bits and pieces on our walks, so the idea of a Trading Post is gold to me. Collect treasures such as pinecones or leaves, and then bring them to the Trading Counter to exchange objects like for points. Points can then be redeemed for more unique artifacts inside the Trading Post.
Using Your Senses
- Let’s be honest, it’s an essential life skill for both boys and girls to learn how to prepare food. Sign up for one of the many exciting cooking class offered at Foodie Kids and you will have a ball. Seriously, I love this place and wish we lived closer!
- Not into cooking? Try using your artist skills to paint-your-own piece of pottery at Cafe Monet or sign up for a class at the Art Garage.
- We happen to live in the Live Music Capital of the world, so this list would not be complete without a nod to the musical entertainment our great city has to offer. Pick up a copy of the Austin Chronicle to see what’s going on this week that you and your boy would love.
- Visit the rescued animals at the Austin Zoo.
- Spend the afternoon with aquatic life at the Austin Aquarium.
- Stop by a local pet store and pet the animals for free or check out the unique furry friends.
- Support a local animal shelter like Austin Pets Alive by attending a fundraiser like the Paddle for Puppies event.
Sports and Games
- With UT, St.Edward’s University and Texas State all right around the corner, you can always check out a sports game or two. Don’t forget there are both men and women teams, so double the opportunities to cheer on local athletes!
- Mini-golf or bowling are both fun ideas when the weather isn’t in your favor. You could spend hours at places like the Main Event.
- If your son is anything like mine, an activity that involves cars or vehicles makes for the best.day.ever. Check the Circuit of Americas site for upcoming free time trials or other events taking place at the track near the airport.
- Experience a real train ride on the historical Austin Steam Train. There are themed rides and special events happening all year round.
- For up-and-coming engineers, the Lego Store is a little slice of heaven. Join the VIP club to get inside access to special build events and new releases before anyone else.
- When in doubt, go play! Explore Mt.Playmore, Catch Air, or the Play for All Abilities park in Round Rock for a truly memorable date with your little man.
Looking to get out of town? Take a day trip and explore some Mother & Son date activities outside of Austin and let us know what are your favorites to add to this list!