Father's Day Gifts That Get the Whole Family Involved
Sure, a sharp new tie or some sweet grilling tools will make pretty much every dad happy on Father’s Day. And many dads would probably be content to wile the day away watching golf on TV. But this year, consider getting out of the house for some fun Father’s Day activities that involve the whole family. The kids can even get in on the planning—you can dress it up as Operation: Surprise Dad.
To help you devise Dad’s day out, we have ideas for Father’s Day gifts that will give him an experience to cherish for years to come—or an excuse to get tipsy, depending on your brood’s age group.
Kids’ Age: Infant
Who’s in Charge: Spouse/Partner
Activity: Dad’s day of relaxation
A big part of becoming a new father is swearing off uninterrupted sleep, so you can’t really blame him if he’s starting to look a little bit like a member of ZZ Top. Help him out with a day of manly pampering that begins with a straight razor shave and haircut, and concludes with a massage. His heart will miss spending time with the baby, but his head (and shoulders) will appreciate the chance remove the BabyBjörn and feel the knots melt away.
Pro-tip: Stock the fridge with a few brews and time his return with baby’s nap so you two can catch up on the Netflix queue.
Kids’ Age: Toddler
Who’s in Charge: Spouse/Partner
Activity: Petting Zoo
Although toddlers aren’t known for their planning skills, they are known for their love of baby animals (and secretly, so are grown men). Get ready for a Father’s Day full of giggles and shrieks of joy as everyone pets bunnies and feeds feisty little goats. As a bonus, many petting zoos and farms feature bonuses such as fruit picking, pony rides, and the chance to milk a cow—while these activities may be more your kid’s interest than Dad’s, they’ll nevertheless make for sweet memories.
Pro-tip: Take videos. Lots and lots of videos!
Kids’ Age: Middle school
Who’s in Charge: Spouse/Partner, with input from kids
Activity: Active Father’s Day gift ideas
Now that the kids are a little bit older, they’re ready to get in on the decision-making. Let them pick from a lineup of Father’s Day activities, such as go-karting, roller skating, or rock climbing. Encourage them to think about what Dad likes doing. Is he interested in sports? Take a trip to the batting cages or a mini golf course. If he’s the competitive type, get in a game of laser tag or paintball—just make sure they offer the kid-friendly version that doesn’t sting!
Kids’ Age: High school
Who’s in Charge: Kids, with a little guidance from you
As high-schoolers, the kids are finally worthy opponents, and Dad doesn’t have to worry about preserving anyone’s self-esteem by letting them win. Rally together as a family to give him the opportunity to prove he’s been really good at golf this whole time with an outing to a golf or mini golf course. (Of course, you can still destroy him, because as we discovered, letting your partner win is a relic of a by-gone era.) If your family is new to the sport, consider honing your skills during a lesson or hitting a driving range the weekend before.
Pro-tip: To make him feel like a true pro, pair the experience with customized driver head covers.
Kids’ Age: Adult
Who’s in Charge: Kids
Activity: Beer tasting
Now that the kids have flown the coop, getting everyone together is probably a little more challenging. But Father’s Day always merits a visit, and adding booze into the mix sweetens the deal. Let the kids take the reigns and introduce Dad to their favorite breweries with a beer tasting. As the night continues, you might hear stories of what was actually happening when they claimed to be doing homework at their BFF’s house.
Pro-tip: Make sure to nab a growler of his favorite beer so he can relive the fun at home.