Alternative Summer Sports Activities for the Entire Family
NASCAR: FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals
Like watching racing on television? Why not check it out live? NASCAR is one of the most popular sports in America, in part because of its family-friendly live events. Tickets for the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals (July 16-18, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.) start at $50 for adults and $20 for children. For other NASCAR races and events, visit NASCAR.com.
NASCAR RV Resorts
Racing fans who enjoy camping can combine the two activities by visiting the new NASCAR RV Resorts. These are NASCAR-sponsored campsites where you can hook up your RV, watch live racing on a big screen and participate in activities for the entire family. Visit nascarrvresorts.com for more information.
Unusual Sports Museums
Been to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.? Bet you've never seen the Bowling Museum in Arlington, Texas, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum in Indiana.
The NBA finals are over, but there's still basketball being played in the WNBA. The women's league's regular season began May 15 and continues through Aug. 22. Tickets start as low as $10, and there are teams all over the country. Check out WNBA.com for tickets and schedules for all 12 franchises. (And prep for the games by meeting the moms of the WNBA.)
Minor League Baseball
Minor league baseball offers major-league fun without the major-league price. You can see a low-key version of the Subway Series (the New York Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones versus the Staten Island Yankees, also known as the Baby Bombers) for just $16. You'll definitely have enough cash left over to buy the family some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Minor league games are a great way to see the stars of tomorrow, or even of today -- major leaguers often do time in the minors while rehabbing an injury. Games continue through September. Visit MinorLeaugeBaseball.com to find a team near you.
Independent League Baseball
Want to see a game for even less money? Independent League Baseball is made up of teams that have no affiliation with the majors, and the tickets are priced accordingly. Seeing the El Paso Diablos play ball will only set you back $8. Visit the Independent Professional Baseball Federation website for details.
This year, the Special Olympics begins July 18 and continues until July 23. The games will be held in Lincoln, Neb., a town with lots of family-friendly activities to check out for when you're not cheering on the Special Olympians. Plus, it's just a short drive to the awesome Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.
NFL Training Camp
Football season doesn't start until fall, but NFL training camps kick off in the summer, and many teams open their pre-season practices to the public. Training camp is a great way to get close to gridiron greats, many of whom are happy to sign a few autographs on their way to an intrasquad scrimmage. Not every NFL team has open pre-season practices; here are three that do.
- New York Giants: Aug. 1-20, University of Albany
- Green Bay Packers: July 31-Aug. 31, Ray Nitschke Field
- Carolina Panthers: July 29-Aug. 18, Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
Related: Avoid the Summer Learning Slide With Educational Activities That are Actually Fun
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.