Columns » Go Ask Dad

What's your favorite thing to do with your kids in the summer?


Rob Ploof, Georgia

Sales Manager, Sure Winner Foods
Daughters Paige, 7, and Madeline, 5

We've been here in Georgia for about a year, so we're still kind of figuring out the landscape.

Last year, we liked to take the whole family on a walk down to the end of Mill River Road and follow a trail to where there's a pretty big waterfall. There are other families there, and people fishing, and there's a swimming hole. The kids are engaged because they love playing in the water and on the rocks. It's a great, fun activity, and we all get a little exercise in.

At home, summer means doing a little bit of everything. We have a playground for the kids in our backyard, and we have soccer practice and run around with the dogs there, too.

My older daughter just got a set of golf clubs. Today when I went out to play golf, she asked about going, too, and our younger daughter chimed in as well. I'd say golf with them is definitely on the agenda this summer.


Josh Clayton, South Burlington

Manager, The Shopping Bag
Sons Caleb, 9, and Caden, 7

When we're at home, we do things in the yard — play basketball, stuff like that. But every year when it gets warmer, we like to take our boys to Boston; we've already started planning this year's trip.

While we're there, we see the sights and walk all over the place. We've probably walked every street in Boston. We've been to the park; we've been to the water. We've done the Boston Duck Tours and visited the New England Aquarium. Both boys love the Science Museum and the Children's Museum.

Our boys are Red Sox fans through and through. Caden probably couldn't tell you the name of a single player on the team, but believe me, he knows he's a Red Sox fan.

We've never taken them to a game — we wanted to wait untilthey were old enough. But this year, we're finally taking them to Fenway.


Chip Allen, Burlington

Senior Account Manager, Kehoe & Allen Associates
Son Connor, 14; daughter Casey, 12

We use the bike path a lot in summer when we're close to home, and we like to go paddleboarding on the lake, too.

For the last eight years or so, we've gone to Block Island in Rhode Island for family vacations. We rent a place, use the Block Island Club and swim. We hang out on the beach, go sailing and surfing. It's especially great now that our kids are older and more responsible. They can have some independence there.

One of the things my son Connor and I like to do is fish for stripers and bluefish. Once we got a school of blues and sat there for about an hour and a half, just casting our rods. Every time our lures would hit the water, we'd hook a fish, and if that fish jumped the lure and we lost it, it wasn't more than two or three seconds before another fish jumped on. We like to remember that time — it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Chris Bergeron, South Burlington

Letter Carrier, US Postal Service
Daughters Ella, 4, and Hadley, 2

Once things start popping out of the ground, my daughters and I go out picking wild edibles. In the past, we've gone into the woods and picked a ton of blackberries. We used them to make jam, so all winter long, whenever we'd have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we would know the jam was from the berries we picked. The girls thought that was pretty cool. This year, for the first time, I took them out along the river and we picked fiddleheads.

In the summer, the girls help me with the garden. They each get to pick out their own tomato plant and decide where all the plants will go. We let them play in the dirt. If things grow, they grow; if they don't, they don't.

The garden can look a little haphazard — things sometimes grow in spots — but it's creative. The girls learn to take care of the plants, and they learn where they can play and where they can't. They love bragging to their friends that they can eat something, like cherry tomatoes, that they've grown themselves.


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