How to Have Fun on Father's Day While Avoiding Heat Stroke

So what's the weather like at your house? It was 103 degrees (F) when I started this column. The temperature is supposed to be better for Sunday, Father's Day, but still hot, in the high 80s. If you were planning on grilling with Dad you may want to rethink that plan. After all it's the food that's supposed to cook, not the two of you. Thinking it would be nice if you and Dad got to go out and have some fun without melting; I did some digging and came up with the following suggestions.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, Arkansas is having a two day celebration, from the 14th to the 15th that includes a cruise along Lake Maumelle and free programs outlining various ways animal fathers help their offspring. I'm guessing it's not all going to be seahorses carrying the young. Maybe you'll get to see kangaroo fathers teaching their kids to box. No promises though.

The entire state of Maryland is celebrating Father's Day by making June 14th free fishing day. The Department of Natural Resources website explains; "During a free fishing day, a person may catch and possess finfish in the tidal and nontidal waters of the State for recreational purposes without an angler's license, Chesapeake Bay sportfishing license, or any fishing stamp normally required by the State but must observe all fishing laws and regulations." In addition the Queen City Transportation Museum is featuring a Father's Day Picnic on June 14th. There will be a history lesson about Father's Day, followed by parent/child teams building a Model-T. Now the site doesn't say, but I imagine that will be a model Model-T, not the actual car. I'm also guessing that building the entire car would take more than a day and require more than one picnic.

The Children's Museum of Houston is also having an indoor event, called Rad Dad Celebration! Their website says father and child can play games, try out the ping pong catapult, make a card and, get this, make flubber(!). Why does the Children's Museum of Houston have the recipe for anti-gravitational matter? Does this have something to do with the space program? Why don't more people have it? Think of all those poor elderly people dragging their groceries home in little carts when they could floating them home like carrot laden balloons. What a shame. The Rad Dad Celebration! is on June 15th and fathers get in free when accompanied by a child.

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon is having a super secret special Father's Day event, which I've managed to find out about. It's called SR-71 Blackbird: Secrets Revealed! There will be four panel discussions, two on Saturday June 14th and two on the 15th, featuring six SR-71 experts. I had no idea what an SR-71 was or why it would have secrets, but my son assures me it is a Mach 3 Stealth plane and quite exciting. If Dad is not impressed you can bring him back on the 21st for a tank ride, although I believe you have to be a member to partake.

Another good way to avoid the heat is to go out at night. Bass River State Forest near Tuckerton, New Jersey is having a Father’s Day Moonlight Hike & S’Mores at the Lake Absegami Beach Complex on June 14th. The program itself is free but there is an admission to the park. You should bring a flashlight, insect repellent and a stick for toasting your marshmallows. Don’t get confused as insect repellent makes a terrible toasting tool.

The San Diego Zoo is having a Father/child sleepover to celebrate Father's Day, taking place on June 14th and 28th. Participants camp out, go on a night prowl, sing by the campfire and do other assorted out in the woods type activities. No word on what the animals make of all this. If you can't make this event you may want to try the spooky sleepovers which take place every weekend in October. There's nothing quite as spooky as a wolf in a zombie costume.

One-Paragraph Review
This week's one-paragraph review is from Kyra, an elementary school student who lives in New York. Kyra wrote to tell me she's enjoying a book called So B. It by Sarah Weeks. Kyra says, "The book I am reading is called So B. It. My friend was reading it and she requests good books. The book is about a girl named Heidi and her mom is mentally disabled. It is hard to do things with Heidi's mom so someone who lives next door named Bernadette helps them. And her mom does not know lots of words and her voice is high pitched. Heidi wants to know her past so [when] she finds a camera in a cabinet, Heidi prints out the pictures. And the pictures [were taken] in a place they do not know, so one day Bernadette and Heidi call down the mom and ask "where the place is". So the mom does not say where the place is. So they call the place and they keep putting on hold. And they get tired and Bernadette has agoraphobia (fear of going outside) so Heidi tries to make Bernadette go outside by she can't so Heidi leaves by herself to the place. I like this book because it is like a big adventure and because I could be the characters. It was special because it was different than any other book I have ever read." Do you have a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me and I'll run the most interesting ones. You can reach me at