As a father, it’s important to make time for your family and create positive memories with them. One way to do this is by planning spontaneous adventures. These types of experiences can be especially meaningful because they allow you to embrace the element of surprise and make the most of the present moment.

My kids are at an age where these adventures are a lot easier, so be mindful of what’s doable for your children. It’s important to adjust your plans to match their age, maturity, and tolerance. Inviting your wife/partner into the process can also help you work together as a team and create closeness. The most important – focus on being present and responsive to your children during the adventure. The goal is to build positive memories, so your attitude and mood will make the biggest impression.

Here are a few ideas for how you can plan spontaneous adventures for your family:

1. Take a day trip to a nearby town or city

It can be fun to explore a new place, even if it’s just a short drive away. Look for nearby attractions or events that might be of interest to your family, such as a local festival, museum, or park.

2. Go on a hike, nature walk or skating

Spending time in nature can be a great way to bond with your family and disconnect from the distractions of everyday life. Find a nearby trail or park and pack a lunch to enjoy on the trail. If winter makes it too cold In winter skating can be a great activity to enjoy together as a family. If there is a favorite outdoor rink – even better. Even if its an indoor rink you’ve all been to before, maybe you can make it a bit different by having the kids favorite treat after you’re all done.

3. Have a backyard (or basement) campout

If you don’t feel like venturing too far from home, consider setting up a tent in your backyard and having a family campout. You can tell stories around the campfire, roast marshmallows, and enjoy the great outdoors right in your own backyard. In the winter, why not make it a basement camp out? Set up the tent, create a sitting area, and have snacks and story time to make it feel cozy and special.

4. Plan a surprise outing to a local attraction

Maybe there’s a nearby theme park, water park, or sporting event that your family would enjoy. Consider planning a surprise outing to one of these locations and watch your family’s faces light up with excitement.

5. Go on a spontaneous road trip

If you’re feeling adventurous, pack up the car and hit the road for a spontaneous road trip. You can either plan out your route in advance or just wing it and see where the road takes you. Don’t forget to bring plenty of snacks and activities to keep the kids entertained during the drive.

6. Have a family game night

Games can be a great way to bring the family together and have some fun. Consider setting aside a night for a spontaneous family game night and break out your favorite board games or card games.

7. Have a family movie night

Another way to spend quality time with your family is by having a spontaneous movie night. Pop some popcorn, snuggle up on the couch, and enjoy a family-favorite film or a new release.

8. Go on a bike ride (or sledding)

Biking is a fun way to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. Consider planning a spontaneous bike ride with your family, either on a local trail or through your neighborhood. In the winter months sledding is a great outdoor activity that can give a similar benefit. Exercise, fresh air and fun. Just remember to keep the kids warm and dry with snow pants, hats and gloves. Finish it off with a hot chocolate to warm up from the inside out!

9. Have a spontaneous family photo shoot

It can be fun to capture special moments with your family and create lasting memories. Consider hiring a photographer or setting aside a day to have a spontaneous family photo shoot. You can even have some fun with it and dress up in costumes or try out different locations for your photos.

10. Plan a spontaneous family outing to a local event or festival

Many communities offer a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, such as farmers markets, art fairs, and music festivals. Consider checking out what’s happening in your area and planning a spontaneous outing to one of these events with your family.

Over the years, I’ve had some great moments through family adventures. There have also been some difficult moments, but through them all I’ve watched my children’s faces light up with joy, wonder and excitement. To me, those are memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I know they will too.

In conclusion, there are many ways that dads can plan spontaneous adventures for their family to create memories and build lasting bonds. Whether it’s taking a day trip to a nearby town, going on a hike, having a backyard campout, or planning a surprise outing to a local attraction, there are endless possibilities for creating meaningful experiences with your family. So don’t be afraid to shake things up and embrace the element of surprise – your family will thank you for it.


For specific resources connect with Dad Central. Download a free resource, read additional blogs, enroll in our fatherhood fundamentals course, or just email us at [email protected].

About The Author – Drew Soleyn

I’m the Director of Dad Central Ontario, Founder of Connected Dads, and a Career Coach at the Queen's Smith School of Business. As an ICF and Maxwell Leadership certified Coach, Trainer & Speaker, I help struggling dads show up at their best for the people who matter most.

Ways to connect: