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Miller: Wagon rides provide outdoor fun, bonding time for moms, sons

I’ve been told there’s nothing like the bond between a mother and a son. Growing up with three older sisters, there was plenty of dolls, dress up and drama to go around. But once my sisters had boys, there was something so special about their relationship and the way my nephews looked up to their mothers.

Throughout the year, the Batavia Park District offers many events, but one of the most special to attend is the Mom Son Wagon Ride. In the six years I’ve been with the district, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing this event numerous times.

There are plenty of daddy-daughter events throughout the suburbs, including in Batavia, but this event is the perfect opportunity for moms to spend some quality time with their sons.

Years ago, the event was held indoors, and moms and sons would have dinner, then watch some form of entertainment. But a couple years back, the recreation department wanted to switch things up.

The event was meant to give moms quality one-on-one time with their sons, and it’s no secret that boys love the outdoors. So, after brainstorming ideas, the Mom Son Wagon Ride was born.

During the event, moms and their son(s) will take a tractor-pulled wagon ride through a former tree nursery at the scenic West Main Community Park, 40W101 W. Main St., Batavia. They wind through trails and take in the sights of the changing leaves. Then they make their way back to the pavilion where hot dogs, chips and hot chocolate will be waiting. After dinner, participants can huddle around the campfire, listen to stories and make s’mores.

Holly Deitchman of Batavia took her sons Adam, 7, and Logan, 4, to the event last year. It was the trio’s first time attending the event.

“The boys love tractor rides and s’mores, so this event was right up their alley,” said Deitchman. “My favorite part was snuggling up with them on the tractor ride since it was a little chilly, and they loved being able to sip hot chocolate and make s’mores.”

Deitchman already has her boys signed up for this year’s event and has recommended the event to other moms.

“My boys were super excited when I told them I was signing us up again this year,” she said, “They ran down the street to tell their neighbor friends that they should sign up too!”

This year’s event will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at West Main Community Park.

It’s open to moms with sons ages 3 through 12. The cost is $10 for residents and $13 for nonresidents.

Price is per person. Wagon rides start from the parking lot at 6 p.m., and a storyteller has been added to the event from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m.

“My boys love storytime at home,” Deitchman said, “so if you combine that with s’mores and hot chocolate that is a big win for us.”

Moms – don’t miss out on your chance to spend quality time with your son. Registration for the Mom Son Wagon Ride is going on now. Call 630-879-5235 or visit to register.

• Kari Miller is director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. Contact her at

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