Plan a special day packed with activities such as barbecuing, woodworking, and camping.
family playtime fort
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Father's Day is designed to recognize all dads do for their children. While you may have already bought him a silk tie or new kitchen essential, why not add to the special day by setting up some quality time together? This Father's Day, try whipping up a barbecue buffet, taking a class together (online or in-person), or even taking part in an activity he's been talking about for years, but hasn't quite found the time to do. At the end of the day, the gift of time spent will leave a lasting memory. Ahead, explore some of our favorite activities that ensure you and Dad make the most of this invaluable time together.

Credit: Lennart Weibull

Get grilling

Fire up the grill and fill up the table with all of his favorite bites. Think pork ribs, meat kabobs—like the Grilled Kofta Kebabs pictured above—and fresh veggies. It's also nice to add a few new twists to the menu to surprise his palate: Quinoa Feta Burgers, Tequila Shrimp, or even Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet are delightful additions. You could also go the classic cookout route and grill some hamburgers and hotdogs. Bring out all the toppings he loves—onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and relish—plus some creative add-ons that are sure to make his list of favorites.

football on field
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Take him out to the ball game

If Dad is a sports fanatic, then you already know that his idea of heaven is acres of rolling green hills. Or maybe it's a diamond field. Or a football stadium. Or a hockey rink. (You get the picture.) Whatever he loves—as an athlete or aficionado—spend an afternoon partaking in his favorite game. You'll get extra points for baking a batch of these sports-themed cupcakes!

Father's Day confetti cards

Sign up for a class together

Expand your skill set by taking a class that piques both of your interests. After all, there's always something new to learn. Help him pick up a new hobby or craft via an adult learning class—and carve out time to discuss what you've learned after the session is over. Pro tip: Let him choose the topic. He just might surprise you.

hardware on a peg board
Credit: Lennart Weibull

Spend quality time building something

In some households, there's no contest: Dad is the original DIYer. He taught you how to hammer in a nail, install a shelf, and how to change a flat tire. (Not to mention, he fielded all of your frantic, "I don't know what I'm doing," phone calls from your local hardware store.) For today, he picks the project, and you provide all of the materials and tools. He'll love the extra hours of time with you—plus, he'll be left with something that you two created together.

Credit: Bryan Gardner

Make your own milkshake bar

Clink spoons and tap into childhood nostalgia—both his and yours—by whipping up a milkshake that tops any of the ones he has enjoyed at retro diners. Start with a basic recipe, like this S'mores Milkshake, then "shake" things up with wonderfully wacky add-ons, like dripping chocolate sauce, toasted marshmallows, and crumbled graham crackers.

Lake Erie Fisherman at Sunset
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Go fishing

For some people, no childhood summer day beat the ones that involved hours of casting lines with Dad. And admittedly, not much has changed since then. Treat him to an early morning or late afternoon of fishing. After, chow down on a seafood smorgasbord of your own making (with whatever's caught by the master fisherman himself).

family enjoying a camping trip
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Try camping in the Great Outdoors

By the "Great Outdoors," we really mean your backyard (or inside with a fort if the weather doesn't cooperate). Set up a makeshift tent, light a few lanterns, and swap stories with a flashlight. To make it feel just like old times with Dad, make a crunchy campfire dessert that will bring out your inner summer camp kid.

Dad playing board games with child
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Play games together

Round up your favorite board game to put Dad's skills to the test. Or try out a pop quiz! What did Dad want to be when he grew up? If you don't know the answer, now's your chance to learn. Stack up a list of tricky trivia questions—all related to your father—on index cards and make a game out of it. The winner of any of the games gets an extra day of one-on-one time with Dad. This is fun for the whole family, especially younger kids.

Vintage cars lined up
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Attend a local car show

After all, wasn't he the one who taught you how to drive one? If Dad is a car buff, this idea will really rev up his engines: Take him out for a trip to the local auto show. There, you can both admire row upon row of vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles; plus you can swap stories of what it was like for him to drive his first car or laugh over your own early driving days.

friends clinking beer glasses in a pub
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Hunt down the perfect pint

Dad knows there's nothing better than a tall cold one at the end of a long day. As an alternative to the decidedly formal wine-tasting, try a more casual beer-tasting, instead. You can tour the local breweries or host a get-together of your own. Designating it as a bring-your-own-beer bash means more flavors. And don't forget to cook up some gastropub-worthy grub, like Beer-Battered Onion Rings.

Dad playing guitar for child
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Cross something off of his bucket list

Maybe he had rockstar aspirations for his high school band back in the day—or maybe he wanted to grow up to be a race car driver. Perhaps he always wanted to fly a helicopter. Tap into his favorite childhood memories and arrange for a choose-your-own-adventure experience gift; it will remind him that dreams (still can) come true.


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