happy father s day 2579

Every dad needs reminders of how much he is loved and valued. While you don’t want to forgo handmade cards and the kids’ sweet ideas for Father’s Day or a birthday, these creative ways to celebrate will let Dad know how much you care and provide family fun along the way.

  1. Scavenger Hunt: Great for kids of all ages and 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 prize. Make up your own clues or find a set on Etsy. You’re sure to get giggles from the kids every step of the way.
    Older kids may want to expand the hunt to places around town. Give Dad a clue when he arrives at each location, eventually ending up at a favorite restaurant, a baseball game or the San Diego County Fair.

  2. Head Down Memory Lane: Every dad can appreciate a trip down memory lane, especially for Father’s Day. Break out some old photos and create a short movie full of memories. This is the perfect project for tweens and teens. For younger kids, get photos printed and have them create a poster of memories. Give him the chance to tell stories about who he was as a kid.

  3. Finish a Project: Most dads have a project they started and never got around to finishing. Work together to help him finish the project. Whether it’s building the shelves he needs or planting the garden he dreams of, working together makes the project even sweeter.

  4. Compete: This can be as crazy as you want it to be. Think outdoor races, a bake-off, a game of basketball or chess. Plan a fun challenge for friendly competition and quality time together.

  5. Service with a Smile: We’re not talking about a coupon for help in the yard or washing his car. We’re saying actually do 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. 

  6. Explore a Favorite Spot: Does Dad love a particular hiking trail or beach? Maybe there’s a bookstore he never has time to meander through or a hardware store he loves. Even a coffee shop that makes his favorite latte. Find a place you know he enjoys and get him there. Suggest he go on his own if he likes time to himself or make it a family affair. No matter how it’s done, be sure it’s one of his favorite places.

  7. Discover Something New: It’s easy to get so caught up in day-to-day schedules that there’s no time to discover new places. Give Dad the gift of exploration. Start with Out & About with Kids, San Diego County’s family adventure guide, for ideas. Discover a new hike, restaurant, hidden gem, park, frozen treat and more. Visit www.sandiegofamily.com/things-to-do/out-about

  8. Make a Summer Bucket List (Dad Edition): Even Dad has a list of things he’d love to do, but sometimes it gets buried under work, baseball practice and goodnight stories. Father’s Day is the perfect time to dust it off.

  9. Ask him what he wants to do before summer is over. It can’t be only yardwork or household tasks. Make sure he includes fun outings like going to his favorite ice cream shop, boogie boarding, reading or seeing a movie. Use markers to put the list on a poster or create a shared family list on your phone. The only requirement: Make time for the things on his list! Putting them on the calendar is key to making them happen.

  10. Indulge: From sunup to sundown, fill the day with Dad’s favorite foods. Does he love a Caffè Americano and donuts? Maybe a smoothie or protein shake from that place across town? How about sushi, kung pao chicken or a burger and fries for lunch? Whatever it is, the day isn’t about what the kids want; it’s a chance for Dad to enjoy the things he loves without sharing.

  11. Get Away: The fun doesn’t have to last only one day. Get away for an overnight or weekend Dad would love. No need to choose something far away or expensive (although that resort or theme park he’s dreamed about is a great idea). What makes him happy? If he loves being outdoors, maybe plan a campout (even in the backyard). Does he appreciate the arts? Plan an overnight to visit an art installation or attend a concert. The best part is spending time together.

Rebecca Hastings is a freelance writer.

Looking for gift ideas? Read our list of 119 dad-approved gifts

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