With Father's Day just around the corner, Parents got the chance to chat with Extra host and father of two Mario Lopez about the most playful cities in America for families and his plans for this Father's Day. While playtime is especially important to Lopez, he knows how important it is to find a balance between fun-loving dad and lay-down-the-law dad.
P: What has been the biggest change in your life since you first became a father?
ML: My priorities have changed—your daily schedule takes on major adjustments when you become a parent. But I love the little humans that I've been given—I love my kids, and I've always been close with my family so I am especially happy to have started family of my own.
P: Do you think you're a fun dad?
ML: Yeah, I do think I'm a fun, cool dad. But I'm also a strict, stern dad—you can't always be their playmate.
P: What has been your favorite city to visit with your family?
ML: We all know that traveling with kids can be difficult, but we do get to visit a lot of places. We just recently went to Pittsburgh and we visit San Diego often. [My kids] have also gotten their passports stamped when we've visited Mexico. I'd have to say my favorite is San Diego because it's my hometown and it's nearby. I was hoping to see my hometown come in as the 'Most Playful City for Families in America' in the Top 10 list but it turned out to be Denver, CO. San Diego ranked a few spots down.
P: What advice do you have for busy families who don't feel they have enough time to devote to "playtime"?
ML: Playtime is very important, so it should be made a priority—actually schedule the time. That's why I decided to team up with Quaker Chewy for the Keep Playing campaign. Being a busy family, we usually schedule time on the weekends to do activities, like going hiking, dance-offs, and swimming.
P: How do you plan to spend your Father's Day?
ML: We'll start the day off by going to church, then a mariachi brunch—where we eat a lot of food—then maybe see a movie, or just kick back and enjoy the day together.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Father's Day Lollypapas
Photo courtesy of Jack Dempsey/Invision for Quaker Chewy/AP Images