Yeah you are a newb, it's ASTRONOMY.
I had a 12" SC from Meade, like the LX200? I believe. My dad got it for the same reason as you're getting one, which is super ridiculously cool. I say go for an SC, that's what I had with my dad, and it cranked out some phenomenal photos. That was even with a sensor from like 2004 or some shit, so who knows what you can get now. But do go for like a 12 inch mirror. We had a whole bunch of glass for it too, and other nifty things like a handy equatorial mount for longer exposures. I'd kill to still have that thing around today, but our house burned down hahahahaha. But anyways I think it's super cool that you're doing that for your son, some of my favorite memories are with my dad around his age doing cool exposures like that, learning about what seems to be everything. +k for badass dad, and with that, here's some photos my dad and I took back then on our meade.