Every dad needs reminders of how much he is loved and valued. While you don’t want to forgo the handmade cards and the offbeat kid ideas, these 10 ways to celebrate dad are sure to remind him of how much you care and give everyone some fun along the way.
1. Scavenger Hunt: This works for kids of all ages, plus it can be as involved as you want it to be. Come up with fun clues like, “As a dad I could not ask for better, your next clue is where you find a letter,” to lead dad around the house to find a Father’s Day prize. You can make up your own clues or download a set from the internet. You’re sure to get lots of giggles from kids every step of the way.
To make this work with older kids, you can even take the hunt beyond the house to go to places around town. Give him a clue when he arrives at each location, eventually ending up at a favorite restaurant or event like a baseball game or concert.
2. Memory Lane: Even the most macho dads can appreciate a little trip down memory lane. Scroll through your phones for some old photos and create a short movie full of memories for him. This is the perfect project for tweens and teens to take charge of. For younger helpers, get photos printed and have them create a poster of memories.
It’s even great to get photos from before dad was, well, a dad. Give him the chance to tell stories about who he was as a kid and before he embraced dad life.
3. Finish a Project: Every dad we know has some project they started that they never got around to finishing because dad life is busy. Work together to help him finish a project. Whether it’s finally building the shelves he needs or planting the garden he dreams of, working together will make the project even sweeter.
4. Challenge: This can be as crazy as you want it to be. Think outdoor races, a bake-off, a game of basketball, or chess. Discover a fun challenge you can do for some friendly competition and time together.
5. Serve Him: This is not giving him a coupon for help in the yard or washing his car. This is about actually doing it. Surprise dad and wash the car inside and out. Pack his lunch for the next day. Take care of a job he always does so he can put his feet up and relax. Bonus points if you bring him some lemonade and cookies!
6. Explore a Favorite Spot: Does he love a certain hiking trail? Maybe there’s a bookstore that he never has time to meander through or that hardware store that he loves. Even a coffee shop that makes his favorite latte. Find a place you know he enjoys and get him there.
You can have him go on his own if he likes some quiet time to himself or make it a family affair if that’s more his speed. No matter how you do it, just make sure it’s one of his favorite places.
7. Discover a New Place: It’s easy for parents to get caught up in the day-to-day that they run out of time for exploring new places. Give dad the gift of exploration.
You can go old school and road trip with no plan in mind, but it’s usually better to have a few ideas up your sleeve. Search online for wacky restaurants, hikes you never knew about, abandoned places, and more.
8. Make a Summer Bucket List—Dad Edition: Even dad has a list of things he’d love to do. Sometimes it gets buried under work, baseball practice, and goodnight stories. Father’s Day is the perfect time to dust it off!
Get a poster and some markers or create a shared family list on your phone for Dad’s Summer Bucket List. Ask him what he wants to do before summer is over—and it can’t be all work and house things! Make sure he has simple ideas like watching his favorite movie and some bigger ideas like boogie boarding at the beach.
The only requirement: make time for the things on the list. Putting them on the calendar is the key to making them happen.
9. Favorite Foods: From sunup to sundown, fill the day with dad’s favorite foods. Does he love a Caffè Americano and donuts? Maybe a protein shake from that place across town? How about burgers and fries? Add a milkshake? You got it!
Whatever it is, the day isn’t about what the kids like—sorry kids! It’s a chance for dad to eat the things he loves and enjoy every bite. He doesn’t even have to share!
10. More Than a Day: The fun doesn’t have to last for just one day. Make it an overnight or a weekend. Plan a family vacation that you know he’d love. It doesn’t need to be far or expensive—although that resort he’s dreamed about isn’t a terrible idea! Think about things he loves and start there.
Does he love the outdoors? Maybe a campout is a perfect idea—even in the backyard! Is he a museum guy? Plan an overnight trip to go to an art installation or even a fun place like the Spy Museum. Whatever dad likes, you can find a place he will enjoy.
And the best part? The time you’ll have together!