Where should I take my son for his 13th birthday?


In january?

it’s too cold for skydiving, amusment parks, or snorkling/water things…

it would just be him and I (his mother) for a weekend.

what would your sons think was cool and memorable?

**unless there are spiders - I’m game, but would prefer something WARM!:slight_smile: **


movie … put-put … lunch/dinner…CHURCH


Laser tag is indoors. Can you picture running around and shooting each other?

If not…maybe a museum or two. Do you have any good ones around you?


**I know you said you’d prefer warm, but are you totally against the idea of going skiing? It can be nice and warm in the lodge with hot chocolate after a day on the slopes:D. I used to love skiing at your son’s age (we went with school).



yeah, no skiing… too far away.

I’m thinking it needs to be within the following states to meet our weekend time frame

I’m thinking something that wouldn’t happen very often and would be memorable and fun. I had hoped we’d be able to go sky diving, but that’s not happening. and companies won’t let a kid as young as him go splunking (which I totally understand why!)

we already go rockclimbing, so that’s no big deal
same for lazer tag, museums (yea! homeschooling;) ), and we both hate golf, even the putt-putt kind.

any other ideas folks?


Go Kart racing? Not one of those little tracks you’d find at a family fun center type place, but at least here they have really big ones where you can go FAST and do all different kinds of races. That certainly wouldn’t take all weekend, though…


Is there an aquarium where you can swim with dolphins (indoors of course)?

Also, not to be a downer, but wouldn’t he have more fun doing guy stuff with his dad? Or does he get to do something else with his dad and this is just for him and Mom?


Would he enjoy an indoor water park? I like the ones at Branson and Lake of the Ozarks (MO).


In Arkansas, you can dig for diamonds


Texas - how about the Space Center?


Missouri -

St. Louis has the Arch



yep, they are closed until spring due to cold weather.


We have the same problem doing anything for our anniversary in january. bummer.

I’ll keep racking my brain…


Is Colorado too far?



How about Cincinnati? They have a hotel with an indoor water park and an excellent aquarium.




I found this site, don’t know if it is any good but you can enter your zip and tell it how many hours you are willing to drive and it will give you options for cities to go to and you can also click on a state and read about what it has to offer. travelnotes.org/NorthAmerica/index.htm


Hi Rob’s wife;

My son liked having a few friends over, and dropping them off at the movies. We lived up north when he turned 13, and he also liked skateboard parks back then…there are a lot of ramps, etc. He is not into that anymore, but another fun thing is to go to a sporting event together…as a family. My husband took my son to the Penguins game last year, when he turned 14. Or let him choose something…there was a video game arcade type place/restaurant up in PA, as well–and both my kids enjoyed having their birthdays there when they were younger. The games are geared towards teens. (not like Chuck E Cheese or something)


I was meaning more of a “just us guys” kind of thing when I mentioned “guy stuff”, not that the actual activities themselves are necessarily for males or females. A guy’s weekend out. But then again, I’ve never been a 13 year old boy, so I don’t know if they’d have more fun hanging out 1-on-1 with mom or dad :smiley:

Is your DH going for a weekend away with your eldest DD when she turns 13? I’ve heard of young girls going out for their “first date” with their fathers to a fancy restaurant :slight_smile:


I don’t know if there are any such places in the states you mentioned and I don’t know if they would be operating in January…

But one of the more memorable family trips we took was to go ATV riding in Utah. My son, at age 13, was allowed to drive his own vehicle. (Our younger ones had to ride with an adult.)

We’ve since then gone other places with all girls but those were more like parks with a track. The place in Utah was a guided six hour (round trip) back country excursion and we drove over some pretty rough terrain. My son was very slightly built as a 13 year old but he had above average upper body strength as a result of doing gymnastics.

The problem would be finding a place that allows kids under the age of 16 to ride. A lot of places have strict insurance regulations and they are probably tougher today than they were just a few years ago. And such trips are subject to last minute cancellations due to weather.


Have you been to Carlsbad Caverns in eastern New Mexico? There is a self-guided tour along a paved path and several ranger guided tours that come close to “spelunking”. 12 is the oldest minimum-age required. Go to www.nps.gov/cave/ and click on Cave Tours, then Ranger-guided tours. There is also the Living Desert Zoo on the outskirts of the city of Carlsbad, Brantly Lake (for camping), the Pecos River (they usually do a river parade of boats and Christmas lights every year, but I think it only goes until the 1st of January) and you can find hotel/cave tour specials from some of the local hotels.


**probably not. what’s it got to do with mom or dad? I’m the one that birthed them!:confused: :wink: **

**Isn’t that the truth? I really feel for boys these days. I was a very energic girl and I would have gone insane under all the restrictions put on kids these days.:shrug: **

**ding-ding-ding! we might have a winner! he loves caves and so do I and we haven’t been to that one yet. **


Good! :thumbsup: My son wants to take the more advanced tours but we last went when he was 11 and too young to do any of the “real” exploring! Hopefully this coming summer!

Good luck and whatever you all do, enjoy yourselves!


You beat me to it :D. I was also going to add that there is skiing in NM! The mountains north of Santa Fe have skiing and if there is enough snow the eastern slope of the Sandia’s in Albuquerque have skiing (not something I do so I can’t tell you which ski areas are open or how much snow is in each one).

Carlsbad Caverns is awesome - you can go down the “natural” trail and take the elevators up or go both ways in the elevators. I have done both and both are pretty cool to do.

Brenda V.

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