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    Categories: Family - Reunions, Caring for Family, In-Laws...

20 Fun Father’s Day Ideas: Gifts of Experience


Father’s Day is almost here! Are you ready? Most of us are not. Father’s Day always seems to sneak up on us in the shadow of Memorial weekend, graduations, the end of school, and the start of summer. Somehow it seems Dad’s day doesn’t have quite the same commanding presence as Mother’s Day. What’s up with that? Dad is just as loved and just as important, and thankfully the time is almost here to show him.

You did get Dad a gift, didn’t you? Oh, you didn’t? That’s okay – we have some ideas to help you along.

First, you know Dad really doesn’t want another necktie, bottle of cologne, or pack of handkerchiefs, right? In fact I’m pretty sure he hasn’t wanted any of that since, oh, circa 1984.

Let’s be honest. Today’s dads have enough stuff. Just look in their closets, garages, basements, sheds, attics… you get the idea. Instead of giving Dad more stuff to store, give him something he’ll never forget—gifts of experience.

Here are some fun Father’s Day ideas to spend special time with Dad rather than giving him the same old gifts.

  1. Hike with a Picnic – Pack up a picnic lunch – some of Dad’s favorite sandwiches, yummy leftovers, or a rotisserie chicken, shrimp ring, or other tasty choices. Inclued a few ice cold beverages and some delicious treats. Pack it all up in a knapsack along with a picnic blanket and set off on a fun hike to find the perfect picnic spot.
  2. Scavenger Hunt – Work together with your siblings and Mom to come up with a fun scavenger hunt adventure for Dad. Make it all about him finding his present (ballgame tickets? a grown-up arcade like Dave & Busters?) or split up into teams for a little competition.
  3. Fishing Excursion – Pack up all your gear and a lunch to go and head out in your boat or venture off to a marina where you can rent one. Set off to catch big Charlie or whatever your particular catch of the day might be.
  4. Water Adventures – If you’re thinking of taking your own boat out or renting one, be sure to consider a set of water skis or a tube and tow line. Enjoy a blissful day whizzing around the lake or comfortably floating along.
  5. Amusement Park Thrills – Ride the coasters and enjoy all the excitement you can pack into a single day at your local adventure park. Treat Dad to funnelcake, cotton candy, or his favorite treat.
  6. Trip to the beach – Get ready to test out your bodysurfing skills and hit up the boardwalk for fudge and saltwater taffy. Take a stroll down memory lane with Dad, walking along the shore looking for shells.
  7. Trip to the mountains – Gather up the family and head far away from technology and the daily grind. Enjoy a relaxing weekend peppered with a little bit of adventure. Make sure you save enough energy for a campfire complete with s’mores and beverages of choice all around.
  8. Miniature golf competition – No Father’s Day weekend is complete without the annual mini golf competition. Challenge your family to the ultimate battle– loser buys ice cream at the end!
  9. Museum Madness – Find a unique point of interest you can reach in the course of a day and go explore and learn. From old auto museums to museums about art, history, and more, you can find plenty of fun and exciting exhibits the whole family can enjoy.
  10. Factory tour experience – Find a near factory to tour and get a taste of the local flavor of your area. Earn bonus points for finding a food themed tour, like a pretzel or chip factory, candy factory, or ice cream factory. No factories near you? No problem – simply sub it out for a winery or brewery and be sure to enjoy the samples!
  11. Concert or live music – Live music can be a wonderful activity to enjoy with your family, and the outdoor setting can be just perfect in June. Look for a venue with a live band and outdoor dining for the ultimate Father’s Day experience.
  12. Sporting event – Dads tend to love ballgames so let him have his day in the sun. Flag down the beer man, get a few hotdogs and cheer on the home team.
  13. Festival – If a local festival or carnival comes to town around Father’s Day, take Dad out to enjoy the sights and sounds. The food is sure to be delicious and you might even catch some fireworks!
  14. Paintball – Take competition to a new level with a game of paintball! Get the whole family together and break into teams, working to capture the flag or passing through any obstacles in your way.
  15. Have a GoKart Race – The little boy at heart will love racing around the track in a GoKart and it will be even more fun to see who races the best to win bragging rights.
  16. Catch a flick – Whether you hit up your local theater or find a drive-in, a movie night can be one of the more entertaining Father’s Day ideas as well. Let Dad pick the flick and you worry about smuggling in all the movie candy!
  17. Check out the zoo – Explore creatures great and small at your local zoo or aquarium. Pack a lunch or plan to eat at one of the associated cafes. Take fun pictures with Dad all over the zoo for a super memorable experience.
  18. Go Skating – Does Dad still have his rollerblades? If so, gear up for a game of roller hockey! You can also head to your closest skating rink or ice skating rink for a bit of exercise and enjoyment.
  19. Grill party at home – Invite some friends or keep it casual and let Dad grill a feast to his heart’s content. Don’t stop at burgers — consider steak, kebabs, lobster tail, grilled vegetables, and more. Of course if Dad doesn’t want to grill, don’t make him. Let Mom cook or have the kids all team up to make a savory meal.
  20. Swimming or water park adventure – If it’s a hot one, skip the above Father’s Day ideas and opt for a fun time splashing around at a local water park or swimming hole. Bonus if your family knows where to find a rope swing!

If actually getting together on Father’s Day is out of the question, you can always work on homemade Father’s Day gifts instead. A few delightful handmade selections may include:

  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Homemade chocolate chip cookies
  • Homemade toffee candy
  • Homemade grill rubs and seasonings
  • Photo albums or photo books
  • Video slideshows with music
  • Handmade coupon book for Dad

Now that you have all of these father’s day gift ideas in mind, don’t forget to write a special note to Dad in the card. For inspiration, check out our post: Father’s Day Messages for Dad, Stepdad, Father-in-Law, and Grandfather.

Kate: