Sunday Signal

Family bonding: ‘Boys Day Out’ activities

Fathers and sons. The bond that fathers and sons create during childhood will have far-reaching consequences for both. An article in “Developmental Psychology” suggests that a strong father-son bond that is forged during childhood, may help men deal with everyday stress later in life. Spending time with your children is not only important for healthy children, mental and physically, but also to create cherished and lasting memories.

Typical “father-son” experiences — working on cars together, fishing, hunting and playing sports — may not be as relevant as in years past. Modern-day fathers and sons might want to create their own experiences by participating in adventures mean- ingful to their aptitudes and interests.

Know your child, what they like and what they don’t like. But, don’t
be afraid to push them to experience new and different activities. Just make sure that all activities are age and skill appropriate.

Special father-son outings should be on the monthly family calendar.

Here are a few ideas for fathers and sons to enjoy on a “Boys Day Out.”

Explore rocks

High-energy, adventurous boys might have found their perfect place to explore at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area in Aqua Dulce.

Vasquez Rocks offers numerous spectacular rock formations from tilt- ed slabs to steep overhangs and caves. The rock, a coarse grained sandstone conglomerate, can be flaky in places, but usually provides solid footing for climbing and clambering over.

If you are looking for a sport, “bouldering” is a great way to build strength and agility. In addition, most climbs in bouldering are less than 15 feet off the ground. For more information visit www.99boulders.com/ what-is-bouldering.

Southern California has many places for outdoor climbing adventures. Here are a few locations.

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Address 10700 W. Escondido Can- yon Road, Aqua Dulce, 91390
Info https://parks.lacounty.gov/ vasquez-rocks-natural-area-and- nature-center

Malibu Creek State Park
Address 
1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, 91302
Info https://www.malibucreekstate park.org

Stoney Point Park
Address 
TopangaCanyonBoulevard, between Chatsworth Street and Simi Valley (118) Freeway, Chatsworth, 91311
Info https://www.laparks.org/park/ stoney-point

Volcanic Tablelands, Bishop Address From the town of Bishop, head north on State Highway 6 until you reach 5 Bridges Road. Take a left and drive for five miles until it turns into a dirt road. Stop at the BLM kiosk for a detailed map and useful route info on the Tablelands.

Info www.bishopvisitor.com/ volcanic-tableland-loop-trail-running and www.mountainproject.com/ area/106094717/volcanic-tablelands- happysad-boulders

Joshua Tree National Park
Address 
74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, 92277
Info www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

Find the dinosaurs

The Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles
Address 
900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, 90007

Info https://nhm.org/site/plan-your- visit

The Museum of Natural Histo-
ry in Los Angeles offers “Dinosaur Encounters,” where dinosaurs come to life. The realistic T. rex and Tric- eratops large-scale puppets can help guests experience how these prehis- toric animals lived. On weekends
and holidays, it is recommended you arrive early to this popular show. Most seating is on the floor and is first-come, first-served. Presentations depict realistic dinosaurs and may be frightening for very small children.

New to the museum, and running through Jan. 5, 2020, is “Antarctic Dinosaurs.” Travel to frigid Antarcti- ca to discover the world of Antarctic dinosaurs.

The exhibition tells the story of mod- ern-day paleontologists and their expe- dition to excavate fossils beneath the ice and stone. Visitors can experience the adventure themselves, as they choose protective gear and supplies, drop in

on Snow School training and set up a remote Antarctic field site. Hands-on excavation activities, touchable spec- imens, and media touchscreens take visitors behind-the-scenes.

After you experience the modern Antarctic, you’ll also step through a portal and be transported back mil- lions of years. You’ll see the habitat where exotic dinosaurs lived, includ- ing the 25-foot-long, cold-crested killer, Cryolophosaurus; the ele- phant-sized herbivore Glacialisaurus; and two recently discovered dino- saurs that have yet to be named.

Don’t miss the new Dinosaur Hall at the museum. The 14,000-square-foot Jane G. Pisano Dinosaur Hall is twice the size of the museum’s old dinosaur galleries. It rivals the world’s leading dinosaur halls for the number of individual fossils displayed, and the size and spectacular character of the major mounts. The centerpiece of the gallery features a baby, juve- nile and sub-adult T. rex. It’s the only series of its kind in the world.

Find a tide pool

There’s lots of cool stuff to find in tide pools. In southern California, you can find sea stars, hermit crabs, anemones and small fish.

Most tide pools are only accessible during low tide, so make sure you check out the tide tables at www.californiabeaches.com/ california-tide-tables.

Tide pools are fragile ecosystems, so it is important to carefully walk around the pools. Don’t splash through a tide pool and don’t remove any of the sea life you find inside a tide pool. Take lots and lots of photos so you can share your finds with mom and sisters.

Leo Carrillo State Park
Address 
35000 Pacific Coast High- way, Malibu, 90265
Info https://www.parks.ca.gov/ ?page_id=616

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park Address 5970 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275Info www.rpvca.gov/Facilities/ Facility/Details/Abalone-Cove- Shoreline-Park-1

Golden Cove Beach (some call it Neptune Cove)
Address 
19 Calle Entradero, Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275

Info www.californiabeaches.com/ beach/golden-cove

White Point Beach
Address 
W Paseo Del Mar and Kay Fiorentino Drive San Pedro, 90731Info www.californiabeaches.com/ beach/white-point-beach

Point Fermin Park
Address 
807 West Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro 90731 Info www.californiabeaches.com/ beach/point-fermin-park-beach

‘The Dangerous Book for Boys’

With activities like building the “Greatest Paper Airplane in the World,” “How to Build a Battery” and “The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know,” “The Dangerous Book for Boys” by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden is a great place to start your father-son bonding adventures.

Available at most bookstores and from Amazon.com, the book is a fun look at “traditional” activities for fathers and sons to share.

Other items of interest include constructing a periscope, finding true North, making a water bomb, skipping stones, making cloth fireproof, secret inks, teaching your dog tricks and juggling.

There are plenty of topics of conversation available in the book as inspirational starting points where sons can learn about their dads and dads can learn about their sons.

From “The Declaration of Independence” to “Girls,” the book offers

information and insight for fathers and sons to discuss.

Don’t forget to collect the “essential gear” that all boys should have: Swiss Army knife, compass, matches, fishhook, small flashlight, magnifying glass and, of course, bandages.

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