It seems only fitting that since us moms got the month of May, we give the month of June to the dads of the world. Shh, don’t tell them their month has one less day than ours! These guys oftentimes do the heavy lifting yet that hard work frequently goes unappreciated, at least I know it does in my house. So let’s carve some time out of our busy schedules during June to remember dads – the guys who chase away the boogey man, carried us on their shoulders, taught us to throw a ball or were our first date. While a new coffee mug or new tie all too often seem to be our Father’s Day gift of choice, I encourage you to branch out this year. Instead of trying to find the perfect thing, find the perfect experience for him. There are new studies every day, like this one, or this one, that suggest people are happier and more satisfied when they invest in experiences instead of material things. So ditch the gifts this year and treat the dads in your life to an outing with you and the family that will stay with them long after that coffee mug has broken or that tie has gone out of style.
Not really sure what to do for the man in your life this Father’s Day? Take a look at these 7 great Father’s Day activities that any dad is sure to love, and be sure to grab some Softy wipes because with dads, things are sure to get messy.
Nothing fancy needed here! Even if you are are more of a glamper, than a camper – you can make this experience one for dad to remember. It can be as simple as setting up camp in your backyard, or local state park. This is a great time for dad to teach the kiddos the importance of a perfectly toasted marshmallow, share ghost stories with the older crowd or teach the lost art of campfire building. Just be sure to bring along plenty of s’mores supplies, a good sleeping bag (and maybe an air mattress) and a cold beer for all the hard work they’ll do getting camp set up.
Time in the Garage
Ahh – the original man cave! Long before people dreamed up the idea of having a whole room in their house for a man, the men of the world already had their sanctuary – the garage. Many men still seek refuge here, I know my husband mysteriously disappears to the garage whenever we’re getting ready for a party and I could use his help making potato salad or washing dishes! Whether he longs for an engine to tinker on or just some general puttering around, encourage him to teach the little ones about the fine art of working with one’s hands. Encourage him to teach them how an engine works, why it’s important to get an oil change or how to change a tire.
The Ball Park
Take me out to the ballgame is not only a perfect 7th inning stretch, but also another great experience for you and pops. Whether you are lucky enough to live in Chicago and experience a game at the friendly confines of the 1st place Cubs (as of writing time!), or have to travel a bit – this one is definitely a heavy hitter in the gift department. With so many amazing ball parks around our country – make a weekend trip out of it! Check out the Green Monster and have some chowder in Boston or visit Busch Stadium and treat dad to a cold Budweiser and some St. Louis ribs.
Just coming off the Memorial Day weekend, it may seem as if men across America are in need of a grilling break. But by June 19th, they’ll all have their propane tanks filled or charcoal grills stacked and be ready to tackle that next grilling adventure. Even if your man isn’t the grill master, taking time this Father’s Day to gather the family around for a backyard barbecue is a great way to slow down the clock, relax a bit and share a meal built with dad in mind.
Yes, it’s true not all men are fishermen, but if your man cherishes his time in nature, this is a great one to check out. Just be aware that if you have younger kiddos like we do, this may not be the relaxing fishing trip he has in mind. But when he gets that hook baited and watches his little one squeal with delight upon feeling a tug on their line, he’s sure to forget the serenity he usually seeks out on the lake. Use this Father’s Day weekend as a time for the whole family to discover something new – a new lake, a new hobby, or a new fisherman in the making.
The possibilities really go far beyond 120 minutes of sitting next to your old man, in silence, in a dark theater. Today, with such awesome movie going venues such as iPic, you can treat dad to a game of pool, dinner, a movie and a nightcap, all in the same spot! Hey, if dad gets hungry, he can order food during the show. Or, if he’s like my husband and gets sleepy, your theater might even give him a blanket and reclining chair so he can snooze through your chick flick.
Run A Race
Take the weekend off from Crossfit or spin classes and spend some time hitting the pavement with dad. If dad is a sporty guy and wants to work off his barbecue dinner before he even saddles up to the grill, why not register to run a race with him. Don’t tell him, but this one is also a gift for you. You both get a workout in, get to spend time together and most races have some sort of treat at the end – that’s a win win any way I look at it!
Hopefully these ideas have encouraged you to think past simply grabbing a card on the way to your parents’ house, but don’t stress out if they aren’t a perfect fit for the father in your life. If all else fails and like me, you have 3 kids chasing you around, laundry up to your ears and a dog who won’t stop chasing the UPS man, be sure to take time on June 19th to say “thanks”. I know I’ll be finding time to tell my dad and my husband thanks for being the father figures I want my son to grow into! Don’t forget to grab some Softy wipes and keep the whole family germ-free this Father’s Day.
Happy Father’s Day, dads of the world!
Melissa Larson is a Softy contributor and mom of 3 young kiddos, 1 crazy dog and a bean counter husband. Whenever those three things aren’t keeping her busy and she’s not buried under piles of laundry and legos, she finds time to volunteer as a mother’s support group leader, read late into the night on her Kindle, and discover the latest and greatest wines that Costco has to offer. Check her out on instagram @mklarson or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org