Daddy-Daughter Date #35: Broadway Show/Opera

Time: 2-3 hours
Cost:  $$
Recurrence:  Once a year
Age: 7-73
Impact: =D

You’re probably saying to yourself “I don’t want to go to the opera with my spouse, why would I want to go there with my daughter?”  But that’s really a completely different mindset than what the Daddy-Daughter Date concept is about.  It’s about spending time with her in a unique way that creates memories.  What’s more unique than watching a performance on stage filled with acting, music, and a live audience?

Even though I’ve combined the two activities (Broadway show and opera), they are two very distinct experiences.  Operas are often in another language other than English and it’s just singing all the time.  A Broadway show mixes that up a bit so it’s not three hours of powerful voices and orchestras.  Many of the operas are tragedies or tales of love (which finding out can be difficult if its in another language) and can be somewhat trying to follow (again, language barrier here).  Broadway shows range in topic, but most likely will be in English.  There are also so many Broadway shows that you or your daughter probably recognize the stories.  There are Broadway shows about Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, and even Spiderman (hey, if she likes him, why not?).

I can TOTALLY see the strings...

The opera is a good choice if your daughter is of that age where she can appreciate a performance of such caliber.  This may be at the teen or even adult daughter stage.  The key is that you should know whether your daughter is going to be interested in attending or whether you’re setting yourself up for wasting a ton of money on tickets.  I had my daughter sit through a 3 hour opera at the age of 6, as that’s just the sort of child she is.  She LOVED it.  She loved the fancy costumes, the dramatic music, and the grandness of it all.  An opera is going to function a lot like taking your daughter to the symphony in terms of dress and set up.  If you’ve never been and she’s never been, give it a shot.  You might be shocked with how much you enjoy it and then next time your spouse invites you, you’ll shock them with a whole-hearted “YES”.

If it’s a Broadway show you’re after, there are many to choose from.  I would suggest looking for a real production, if possible, and avoid the high school or community productions.  The date you’re taking your daughter on should demand a certain amount of quality, as you’re trying to make this thing REPEATABLE.  If she’s bored or having a terrible time, she’s less likely to want to do it again.  On the flip side, you’re going to pay for that quality.  Regardless, if you want to make the most out of a date at a Broadway show, see a real production of that show.

Robin Hood or Peter Pan? YOU MAKE THE CALL!

You’ll want to check with the performing arts center near you on what shows are coming to town.  On a side note, you’re probably going to have to plan this date a few weeks if not month ahead of time to get tickets.  It’s just like the big game; tickets go fast and then climb in price.  Ask around for what are good shows or what are the latest productions traveling the U.S.  You might have to drive a few miles to get to where a great show is at, but that windshield time can be great conversation time with your daughter.

Before or after the show (I suggest after), there will most likely be merchandise for sale, which always seems like a scam.  Buy her a soundtrack to the performance.  Think of it as a little souvenir; one that she’ll listen to over and over, thinking of that Daddy-Daughter Date.  You want her to remember you through more songs than just Butterfly Kisses or Dance with Cinderella.  You might want to think about getting a copy for yourself.  She shouldn’t be the only one with memories like that.

Does this mean the blog post is over with?

You might not be the artsy type or even like any sort of music that isn’t the Monday Night Football theme, but your daughter is going to love the date even more if so.  She knows you, loves you, and just wants to spend time with you.  If she sees you going outside your normal ways to do something special for her, she’ll always appreciate you for it and return it in spades.

Super-Dad Tip: Rent a limo to go to the performance.  C’mon, how fancy would that be?  Plus, you haven’t ridden in a limo since your wedding so don’t you deserve a little luxury now and then?

Thanks for being a dad….


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Why change your ways after becoming a dad?

So I saw this article last week and I’ve been dying to comment every since.  But, I had to wait for my Monday slot, so I spared you all my comments.  Lucky you.

Why is NOW the moment that rapper Jay-Z vow to stop rapping about women in a derogatory way?  Why is it, that when he finally has a DAUGHTER, he decides that using words in such a way is no longer acceptable?  It’s seems all too simple, really.  He finally has a daughter and he sees the error of his ways.  His words that he once used to define women in his music were now barbaric, crude, and ignorant?  What a big change 9 months can make.

Somehow, I think "You look like a pregnant Beyonce" would still be a compliment

Let’s look back.  Jay Z has been on the hip-hop scene since 1996.  He’s been a part of 15 albums.  He’s won multiple Grammy awards as well as BET awards.  He is seen as one of the greatest rappers of all time.  Without getting too deep, he did build a portion of that empire by referring to women in less than admirable ways.  50 million albums went out with those references, in fact.  But a man grows up, eventually.  In 2006, Jay-Z helped focus his tour on global water shortages due to his experience in Africa.  When Hurricane Katrina hit, he dunked in a cool million.  Yet, he didn’t say he was going to change his lyrics.

Fast forward to 2008, when he marries Beyonce.  He finally was part of a union, a marriage, a partnership, if you will.  He still didn’t talk about changing his lyrics. That was 4 years ago.  The couple continued their success, being ranked by Forbes as Hollywood’s top-earning couple in 2009.  Still, no change in lyrics.

January 7th, 2012, Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, was born.  January 9th, Beyonce and Jay-Z write a song about her.  In that statement, he finally decides that he’s going to start changing his lyrics.  The lyrics that built his empire, brought his fame, won him awards, are suddenly unacceptable, after just two days?  What was going on during the 16 years, 4 of those being married to a female?

He's going to have 99 problems, and they're all going to be diapers

What this is about is not about his daughter, this is about Jay-Z.  It’s about him rather than her.  In his own words: “Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it“.  That says it all.  “NOW”.  “Now with MY daughter”.  Not before that moment, when Beyonce was pregnant.  Not when he decided to commit to his partnership with his wife.  Not 16 years ago when he showed up on the rap scene.  But NOW, when he’s gained something, THEN it needs to change.  Only when it affects him, his possession, his feelings.  THEN, it needs to change.  Seems a little self-centered, doesn’t it?

Look, the fact of the matter is that how we treat women is how we’re asking our daughters to be treated in the future.  Maybe that’s what Jay-Z is trying to say.  But why not change the behavior BEFORE we have a person vested interest?  I don’t want my daughters to grow up in a world where it’s okay for them to be referred to any of the terms in Jay-Z’s music, so I DON’T USE THOSE TERMS.  I don’t refer to their mom like that, a female driver, or even a co-worker I can’t stand.  It’s about character; doing the right things even if no one is looking.

I’m raising daughters.  I’m raising girls.  I’m raising women.  I’m not raising any of the terms Jay-Z had in his music, regardless if he continues to use them.  I’ve had that resolve from when they were first born.  I knew of those terms before their birth, and I chose to walk away from those definitions.  I didn’t do it JUST because they were born.  I did it because that was the right thing to do.

Thanks for being a dad…..


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Daddy-Daughter Date #23a – Watch a sunrise

Time: 10 – 25 min
Cost: FREE
Recurrence: Every day!
Age: newborn – 104
Impact: =D

What could be more inspiring and yet peaceful to start the day watching a sunset?  What could be more tranquil, yet powerful to watch the sun creep up over the horizon?  What could be more timeless than sharing that with your little girl?  It’s one of the more beautiful natural events that EVERYONE can see, and she’ll love being there with you.

Isn't it beaut-- WAIT! How high up are you?!?!

Planning to watch a sunrise can take a little bit of doing.  You’re going to need to find out when it is, naturally, but also what the weather is going to be like.  In some cases, you might be getting both yourself and your daughter up at 5 in the morning just to catch it.  You don’t want to waste all that potential sleep (both for her and for you) by waking up early on a foggy or overcast morning.  Luckily, the newspaper and weather related websites will have the approximate sunrise times as well as weather.

You also want to pick a good spot to view the sunrise.  If there are a bunch of buildings in the way, that might not be the most serene location.  If there are hill or any natural overlook spots near you, those will probably give you a pretty nice view.  Seating might also be an issue.  Bring along a blanket to sit on or even a light chair if you’re going to be watching the sunrise in spot with not the best turf.  Starting off the day by changing mud stained clothes is probably not what your daughter wants to do.

Then again...maybe she does

Unlike most Daddy Daughter Dates, it’s not a necessity to talk here.  Sometimes, the silence between you and your daughter is worth so much more than describing it with words.  Just take it all in.  The pink and orange clouds; the morning dew; beams of light coming through the trees.  Let her take it all in to.

If she wants to talk, though, talk.  Talk about your day ahead and what you hope to accomplish.  Something about that sunrise really gets one’s mind going.  Share it.

Something this amazing...and it happens every day

Super Dad Tip(s): Pack a breakfast along with this Daddy Daughter Date. Watch the sunset during every season and compare the spring sunrise over morning dew to the winter sunrise over freshly fallen snow.

Thanks for being a dad…


A lesson in real life

So here’s a post for all you dads out there with teenage daughters.  Yours is a plight filled with gigantic mood swings, high school drama, and the ever-lurking predators known as “boys”.  It’s a position that many have lived through, somehow, with their sanity in check.  The best of those continue to do Daddy-Daughter Dates even during the teenage years.  Even at the very cusp on teenage angst, dads still want to hang out with their daughters.  That’s awesome.

As you’ve seen here, a number of the Daddy-Daughter Dates are for any age.  I recently heard of something that one dad was going to do with his daughter that was less of a date, but with amazing impact.  The dad is a cop and works in a metropolitan area with a university.  He gets to see all the stupidity and depravity that happens at college, that most of us are glad is over (and some wish we were still there).  And he’s going to show that to his daughter.

This is going to be interesting

To set the scene, he’s going to take his daughter on a “ride-along”.  It’s for her to really see what happens at college when hormones are high, parents are far away, and alcohol is available.  It could be a tame night, for sure.  She might only see a speeding ticket or two.  However, she might see the very dark consequences that can happen at college parties.  Or how college guys act.  Or what it’s like to be the only sober one at a party.

Hopefully, that's not your future son in law

I think it’s a great idea.  Sure, maybe she’d roll her eyes the whole time, but after watching way too many surreal situations involving inebriated people, I’ll take the eye roll.  We’re trying to instill values in our daughters and sometimes that takes an example of what NOT to do.

For example, don't get tased.

What do you think?  Is that a little too real and college is the time for anything and everything?  Do you wish you could do this with YOUR daughter and simply need the squad car?

Either way, thanks for being a dad….


Guest blogging this week

Yes, yes, someone was crazy smart open enough to allow me to guest blog this week.  Since I’m guest blogging, I’m going to have this be the only update for this week.  I really enjoyed being able to write for a different blog, as different perspectives are good in this space.  There are two posts out there based around (what else?) the relationship building between dads and daughters.

Surf on over to Ordinary Parent to check them out.  Here’s part 1 and part 2.  You sort of have to read them in order.  But, to each his own.  Or her own.  Whatever, just go read the posts.

You're looking at the wrong post

Daddy-Daughter Dates will be back next week!  Unless I feel guilty enough to post a Daddy-Daughter Date this week.  Should I?  What say you, Internet?

Thanks for being a dad…


Daddy-Daughter Date #51: Planetarium

Time: 2-3 hours
Cost:  $
Recurrence:  Twice a year
Age: 7-55
Impact: =}

This is a very unique Daddy-Daughter Date as the Planetarium is a place you visit in the evening.  You thought you could watch stars in the day?  Really, when is the last time you did that with blue skies?  Just like when you’re sitting around a campfire watching the stars, that is the same time that astronomers are getting THEIR work done.  Now, you could go the self-discovery route and do Astronomy on your own (DDD #2) but going to a Planetarium gives you an expert that can show you and your daughter a ton of stuff you would have never figured out on your own.

Probably won't be him, though

Planetariums are not all that prominent in Everyday, U.S.A. however.  You’re most likely going to need to be traveling to a campus of some sort or metropolitan area to get to one.  Do a quick search either via Google for the closest one near you and then check out the website.  Many locations have a robust calendar of events that go out for months.  Remember, this isn’t as dependent on the season as those stars are out there each and every night.  Planetariums are therefore over-zealous planners and running programs each week for months on end.  That could mean that you might see the same event if you visit often, but if you’re looking at this blog for this idea, you don’t visit often.

Yeah, more likely to be him

The neat part about these programs is that they are run by a professional.  They are an expert on what you’re looking at and the equipment that you’re looking at it through.  They’re probably the only person in the group that doesn’t need an app to tell which constellation they are looking at.  Most of the programs will run at least an hour, if not two.  Some may have a charge if you’re going to be looking through the Planetarium equipment or if it’s a lengthy session, but the fee is usually a couple of dollars.  You might have to register ahead of time, so again, check the information on the website.   Some programs that are free are simply using telescopes outside the Planetarium.  Then, the person running the event is simply giving guidance and maybe giving a few coordinates for points of interest.  Double check if you have to bring your own equipment, because that would be awkward with your daughter to show up without a telescope.

Know your equipment

Weather can be a big factor here, but is really not under your control.  If it’s a cloudy evening, you’re done.  Sure, you can still listen to Gallileo Jr. talk and talk for the full hour, but you came there with your daughter to share the stars, not just to hear about them.  It’s basic advice to watch the weather for the week you’re planning on pulling off this date.  Look at the hour by hour, because you can always avoid that drive if you know a storm is coming in or if it’s going to be overcast.  With today’s technology, you should be able to appropriately gauge the weather.

So, how do you make this special with your daughter?  You’re beginning the date at night, for starters.  Some planetariums don’t start until 9 p.m., so that’s just cool to be out with Dad that late.  There will probably be a big group that is there to take in the night sky as well, but you’re there with her for one on one time, so that is special.  And overall, there is just something serene and tranquil about the night sky.  You really don’t even need a telescope, but luckily you’ll have one here.  It’s a learning experience for her and for you, with a little evening fireworks to put the icing on the cake.

A nightly reminder of the time you spent with your daughter

Thanks for being a dad…


Don’t encourage a Playboy appearance

I didn’t want to write about this.  I really didn’t.  I usually try and avoid the negative stories and talk about the good things that happen for dads and daughters, but I just had to comment on this.  Lindsay Lohan’s dad backs her Playboy spread.  Look, I’m not the most up on internet stuff, but I know what Playboy is and only very large boulders could keep you from hearing about Lohan’s misadventures.

Almost enough to cover the Kardashian thing

Let me just state this simply: this is not right.  A dad shouldn’t applaud his daughter reducing herself to physical eye candy for monetary gain.  He shouldn’t see a situation like this and feel like things are okay.  I know this is a slippery slope, but let’s look ourselves in the face here.  Stop what you’re doing and truly answer this: Do you want your daughter to be in Playboy?  Simple “yes” or “no”.


Now, I know that’s somewhat subjective and as parents we back our kids, but look at what we’re doing right now.  We’re taking the time to invest in our daughters, to show them that they are loved, that they are capable of anything, and that they have something meaningful to do in this world.  We’re not teaching them to be strippers, we’re teaching them to be teachers, scientists, moms, historians, and artists.


I know that Lohan and her dad have had a tough relationship, but even Chris Rock that said, “They don’t grade fathers, but if your daughter’s a stripper, you [messed] up!”.  And that’s coming from Chris Rock!  These are all pretty harsh words for this blog, but I hope you’ll forgive me.  I’m really tired of things like this in the media portraying messed up relationships as the norm.  We can avoid it just by being a good dad.  Being there for her.  Spending one on one time with her.  Showing her she’s loved.  In the end, it’s the most important job we’ll do.

He probably got offended by that Chris Rock quote

Guys, go out and do it.  Not because you’re trying to avoid some future consequence but because it’s the right thing to do here and now, for her.  Don’t look at that news story and just think “that’s messed up” while your daughter plays on the floor by herself.  Don’t sit back and wait for 15 years to fly by and wonder where it all went.  At ANY AGE, she’s looking for time with her dad.  Get involved; spend the time with her; go out and do it.

A simple statue, a simple message

Thanks for reading and thanks for being a dad…