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Unforgettable Father’s Day Activities

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Father’s Day is the perfect occasion for bonding with your Dad, Grandpa, Pop-Pop, Daddy, Husband, and any other amazing father figure in your life.

This tradition has existed for over 100 years, though the holiday itself wasn’t nationally recognized in the United States until 1972, when President Nixon officially designated the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. 

Mother’s Day has been around for much longer. And let’s face it. Unless your dad really wants wine, flowers, and a bubble bath, you can’t exactly reuse the same gift ideas you had for mom a month ago. You’ll have to think a bit harder this time around (or check their Giftster list 😉).

For the men who like bratwurst, baseball, beer, birdwatching, and everything in between, has you covered. Here are some unforgettable Father’s Day activities to enjoy together. 

1. Take your dad on an outdoor adventure.

Pack snacks and sunscreen and head into the great outdoors for a Father’s Day adventure. If your dad is a nature enthusiast, plan a hike. For a real thrill seeker, book a whitewater rafting trip. And if he enjoys relaxing, find a fantastic spot for quietly competitive fishing.

All of these ideas, or an outdoor adventure of your choosing, will get you and Dad outside into the sunshine and away from bills and chores. It will help Dad relax and give you some time to bond, even if it’s in silence listening to the birds.

Want some additional tips for your outdoor Father’s Day activity? Here are a few to consider:

  • Give your dad a gift that goes along with your day in nature, such as a new pair of hiking boots or a new fishing reel.
  • Pack some of dad’s favorite foods and snacks. If needed, keep them cold in a cooler or lunch box with some frozen bottles of water.
  • Put together the items for the trip so dad doesn’t have to. There’s nothing like saying, “We’re going fishing!” and leaving all the prep work to him to figure out. (Unless, of course, that’s one of your dad’s favorite parts.)

2. Plan a Father’s Day BBQ of your dad’s favorite foods.

Burgers, sausages, hotdogs, chicken, steaks, portabella mushrooms, kabobs… the list of delicious dad-friendly grill foods never ends. Fill a cooler with beers, stick a spatula in his hand, and let Dad teach you (for the tenth time) how to grill to perfection.

You’ll benefit from the time spent together making delicious food, even if he never actually lets you near the grill.

If the dad in your life loves to socialize, plan a little BBQ get-together with a few of his closest guy friends and their kids, too. It will be a Father’s Day activity to remember with everyone gathered together and enjoying yummy food.

Here are some BBQ recipe ideas:

3. Give him an excuse to use power tools.

Do the birds need a birdhouse? Do your collectible action figures need a new shelf? If your dad likes to tinker, asking him to build something with you is the best Father’s Day activity. Measure twice, cut once, and watch him have the time of his life with you or his kids.

To go along with this activity, you might be tempted to give him a new power tool. However, unless you know exactly what he wants or needs, down to the brand and specifications, it’s probably best to leave the actual tool buying up to him. 

Instead, give him a gift card and let him spend unlimited “me” time in his favorite hardware store. After all, browsing all the tools might be more fun than buying one.

4. Offer to help your dad do some chores.

There are some chores your father might enjoy and others he’d love to let you do for him. If it seems like your dad would really like a day to put his feet up, offer to take care of mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, or folding clean laundry. 

If he likes to keep himself busy, you can still offer to help him with some indoor or outdoor tasks you can do together. You can spread mulch, tackle a broken appliance, or do a little upkeep around the house with a hammer and nails or some paint.

Better yet, tell Mom that Dad’s car “needs” to be vacuumed, washed, and waxed, and spend a few hours together making it shine. A clean car is one Father’s Day activity your dad won’t want to pass up.

5. Get tickets for a sporting event.

Imagine the smile on your dad’s face if he opens tickets to a baseball game on Father’s Day. Going to a game lets you shout, cheer, and enjoy stadium food. Plus, you’ll have some time to bond in a sports arena instead of in front of the TV.

If this isn’t an option, here are a few other sports-related Father’s Day activities you can do with your dad:

  • Go out for a round of golf or mini golf.
  • Take dad to the bowling alley.
  • Schedule a time to go axe-throwing.
  • Go sky-diving together.
  • Visit a rock climbing gym.
  • Surprise him with a NASCAR test drive.
  • Host a friendly game of basketball in your driveway.

And if dad really just enjoys watching the final round of the U.S. Open on Father’s Day, maybe this is the year you keep him company in front of the TV and provide a few snacks.

6. Let your dad spend a few hours on his own.

Sometimes, fathers need space. Plan a bonding activity or two, but keep in mind that alone time might also be an unforgettable Father’s Day activity. Consider giving him a gift that he can enjoy in the peace and quiet, like a book, a new video game, or a kit for his favorite hobby.

There are some other small things you can do to help him take time to relax. For example, make him his favorite breakfast to eat in bed (and make sure to do the dishes for him, too). You could also schedule him a massage or a visit to a float spa so he can get a little pampering.

If you really want to spoil dad, you can hire a private chef to cook him an amazing dinner. (Let’s be honest. Mom will probably also appreciate this.)

7. Schedule some alone time with your husband.

If you have kids, especially if they’re young, consider planning adult time after they’re in bed. You could make his favorite cocktail, rent the movie he’s been waiting to watch, and cook bacon as a midnight snack. 

Here are a few Dad-approved cocktails you can make and enjoy together as a Father’s Day Activity without the kids:

Another idea is to create a beer flight at home so he can enjoy tasting several varieties. 

And if his Father’s Day present from you happens to be new lingerie, he probably won’t mind that, either.

Father’s Day activity tips for little kids

Most of the activities we’ve discussed so far work well as ideas for older sons and daughters who have their own incomes and transportation or who are old enough to mow the lawn or go axe-throwing.

However, we know that dads love to spend time with their younger kids on Father’s Day, too.

To keep dad surprised, mom can plan some activities with the littles. But if dad wants to be part of the planning, that’s fine, too! Here are some tips:

1. Give kids options

If you leave the decision-making for Father’s Day activities completely up to kids, they may think that the best gift for a dad is a fancy makeover or a dinosaur stuffed animal. We aren’t saying that dad wouldn’t enjoy these, but you can probably think of activities he would enjoy more.

Here are some kid-friendly Father’s Day activity ideas you can let your littles choose from:

Fly a kite in the backyard: You can find a kite online or in stores, but they are also pretty easy to make. Here’s a guide for how dad can Make a Newspaper Kite to fly with the kids.

Make ice cream sundaes: All you need is ice cream, some toppings, and whipped cream for a fun time creating a dessert in the kitchen.

Go to a museum: Father’s Day is a great time to explore a local children’s or science museum. If you don’t have any nearby, many major museums are still offering virtual tours online.

Build a pillow fort: Collect all the couch cushions, pillows, and blankets and have fun creating a fort to play in for the day.

Work on a puzzle: Kid-friendly puzzles

  • Roast marshmallows for s’mores
  • Bake a dessert
  • Sing karaoke at home
  • Have a family game night
  • Go swimming at a pool
  • Make a craft together

2. Pick up the ingredients and supplies

Once your young kids have decided on a few Father’s Day activities, make sure to pick up the supplies in advance. This is a great task for moms to do with the kids so everyone gets excited and dad can still be surprised.

3. Let kids pick gifts from a wish list

Activities are excellent for bonding with dad on Father’s Day, but you can also let your kids pick a gift or two. If dad has a wishlist, you can help younger kids look through some of his favorite items and choose the ones they want to give to him.

Giftster is an excellent wishlist maker to use for Father’s Day gifts. Dad can add gift ideas from a variety of online stores or type in his gift preferences. The kids will be able to look at pictures of the items to help them choose.

To actually make the purchases, all you have to do is follow the link to the product’s website and mark it as purchased on Giftster. The process is super easy and your kids will love to be involved in selecting gifts for dad.

4. Capture the memories with photographs

While dad and the kids are making new memories with their Father’s Day activities, you can do one of the most important jobs of all: take photographs.

Here are a few tips for making sure you capture the best moments from the day:

  • Take photos as soon as the day starts, especially if your kids are making breakfast or wishing dad a Happy Father’s Day in the morning with a card.
  • Photograph every part of the activities for the day. For example, if the kids and dad are making a kite to fly, include both putting it together and the actual flying.
  • Dad and the kids don’t have to be looking at the camera for every photo. Don’t forget to take action shots. 
  • Take a few posed photos with everyone (hopefully) looking at the camera and smiling.

When you’re done taking the photos, you’ll have great memories for a family photo album or scrapbook. You can also make a post to social media (if you’re both into that sort of thing), wishing your partner a Happy Father’s Day and talking about how amazing he is with the kids.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Father’s Day, we hope that you have a memorable day of fun activities with the father figure in your life. It’s the one day a year set aside to honor everything he’s done for you.

Happy Father’s Day!

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