A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

60 Father’s Day Ideas Dad Will Have a Blast Doing

Updated: Jun. 16, 2024

Looking for the perfect activity for the big day? From sentimental to silly, these fun Father’s Day ideas will become memories he treasures forever.

Dad hugging kids
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Celebrate Dad with these creative Father’s Day ideas

You’ve gotten Dad the perfect Father’s Day gift and Father’s Day card, but what should you do on Father’s Day itself? Father’s Day is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday in June (which falls on June 16 in 2024) and usually brings nice weather and plenty of opportunities for family fun. But what Father’s Day ideas will he really love?

Whether you want to spend some quality time with Dad by yourself or get the whole family involved, we’ve got you covered with ideas for every type of dad. Ahead, you’ll find 60 of the best Father’s Day activities for you and your favorite guy.

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parent and daughter enjoy making tie dye clothes at home
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Tie-dye a tie or T-shirt

A boring tie gets a fun Father’s Day upgrade with a little arts-and-crafts session. All you need is a tie-dye kit, a white tie and some creativity. Kids of all ages will love making a custom-designed tie that Dad can wear with pride on Father’s Day and beyond. If your dad isn’t the tie-wearing type, create matching tie-dyed items that you can wear with your dad—like a tie-dyed T-shirt, sweatshirt, hat or socks. Pro tip: Make sure your items are 100% cotton for best results.

Movie night in backyard
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Set up an outdoor movie

Movie night becomes a lot more fun and special when you do it outside! Pick a blank side of your home to hang a white sheet, and then set up a Wi-Fi projector and bring out the lawn chairs or blankets. Add twinkle lights for ambience. Pop some popcorn, and put on a Father’s Day flick or another favorite for a night of magical memories.

Dad setting up ropes for his daughter to rock climb
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Go rock climbing

Get that mountain high while bonding over a rock-climbing family adventure. After all, who do you trust more with your life than your pop? Or leave it to the pros and head to an indoor rock-climbing gym—you don’t need any experience to start. You’ll have fun and feel accomplished, all while cheering each other on.

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Sign up for a fun run

Running doesn’t have to be serious! There’s a type of fun run to suit every type of dad—think bubbles, foam, neon, adventure courses, zombies, movie themes, historical tours, and costumes. These fun runs are so entertaining that you and your dad will forget you’re exercising. Plus, the pictures from this Father’s Day activity will provide great family memories for years to come.

Gourmet Cupcakes
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Decorate cupcakes

Why limit yourself to just one cake on Father’s Day when you can have a variety of little ones? Make or buy a few different flavors of cupcakes, round up dad’s favorite icing and decorations, and get creative. Little ones will love doing this with Dad, and everyone ends up with a treat at the end.

Father and Daughter using a Laptop
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Watch a digital slideshow

If you’re looking for Father’s Day ideas that will mean a lot to him, you’ll love this one. Round up pictures of Dad with the kids and create a digital slideshow, movie or presentation. You can focus on memories from the past year, or get more creative with a theme like “Dad’s funniest moments,” “When Dad was a kid” or “Favorite things to do with Dad.” Add in meaningful quotes, sentimental memories or funny Father’s Day captions, and you’ll have a treasured keepsake that he’ll cherish and watch again and again.

Creativity takes courage
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Draw portraits of Dad—while blindfolded

Small children love to draw pictures of their dad for Father’s Day (especially the kind where his arms come directly out of his neck). And older kids and adults can draw or paint their own portraits of him too. But for an unexpected twist, make everyone do it blindfolded. Dad will have just as much fun watching everyone try to capture his likeness as he will listening to the explanation of why they drew him that way. Add a sweet Father’s Day message on the back, and you have a lovely Father’s Day memento.

Lgbt parents on beach, men and child holding hands in summer, walking and island holiday together. Love, happiness and sun, gay couple on tropical ocean vacation with daughter on piggy back mockup.
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Hit the beach

Father’s Day is right at the beginning of prime beach season. Take advantage of this by spending the day together swimming, surfing, snacking or snoozing in the sand. Even if you don’t live on the coast, many places have lakes or reservoirs with beaches that aren’t too far away. Or lay out your towels in the backyard, turn on the sprinklers and make your own beach. Wherever you go, don’t forget to bring his favorite drink in an ice-cold cooler!

Father and daughter playing video games at home
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Play his favorite childhood video game

Did your dad grow up playing the original Nintendo? Or perhaps he was into a particular computer game. (Oregon Trail, anyone?) Find out what his first gaming love was and bring it out for a nostalgic surprise. If you can’t find one of the original gaming consoles or games, most have simulations or copies you can play online or on modern gaming systems. He’ll be excited to play and share one of his favorite childhood memories with his own kids.

Little girl putting at mini golf. It’s in the Hole
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Go mini-golfing

Miniature golf is the perfect Father’s Day activity for families with a wide range of ages: Everyone from grandparents to preschoolers can play. And who doesn’t enjoy whacking a ball into a windmill or through a pirate ship? There will be plenty of laughing, chatting and telling funny golf jokes, not to mention some friendly competition. Just make sure to let Dad pick his ball color first. It is his day, after all.

Various potted spice plants on terrace
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Plant an herb garden

If your pop has a green thumb, offer to spend an afternoon helping him weed, hoe or plant in his garden. It’s a great way to learn more about one of his favorite hobbies and spend time together. If he doesn’t have a garden, plant a small herb garden together indoors using small pots and sprouts or seeds. Children can help him choose which flowers or herbs he’d like to grow, decorate the pots with paint or markers, fill them with soil and plant the seeds. Every time he sees them growing, it will remind him of how much he is loved … and how fast kids grow!

colorful puzzle pieces on a wooden background
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Put together a mystery puzzle

Dads who love puzzles of all types will adore these two-in-one games. You start with a mystery to solve, and as you put together the puzzle pieces, you get more clues to help your sleuthing. By the end, you have completed a puzzle and solved the mystery. These gifts will please even the pickiest guy and come in themes to suit any father—from murder cases to jewel heists to historical mysteries.

View from above of father with small son making pizza at home, cooking.
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Bake personal pizzas

Pizza is a classic dad dish. Put a Father’s Day spin on it by getting the dough, sauces and toppings beforehand and then making individual pizzas so Dad can have exactly what he wants. And it doesn’t have to just be meat and cheese. Think outside of the (pizza) box by making fruit pizzas on a sugar-cookie crust or brownie pizzas.

Production of pralines in a factory for the food industry - conveyor belt worker with chocolate
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Take a factory tour

Dads are just boys grown up! So if your dad used to love watching big machines as a kid, chances are he’ll get a big kick out of seeing some in action now. From breweries and grocery distributors to candy stores and construction companies, many local factories and businesses offer tours if you just ask. Google “[your city] factory tours,” and see how many fun options there are. If there’s a place you know your dad loves, call and ask if they offer tours to the public.

Asian old man shoulder pain, sitting on sofa , son massaging father shoulder.
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Give him a massage

Kids can brush Dad’s hair, give him a shoulder massage or foot rub, or walk on his back. A partner can do an at-home massage with lotion and candles. These little physical acts of service don’t just feel nice—they also convey love in a powerful way. Or you can always book a day at the spa for him so he can really relax.

Jar with roas heart and rolled up notes
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Make a coupon jar

Father’s Day is just one day out of the year, but dads need love every day. Sit down with him, and ask him what his favorite things are, which activities he’d most enjoy doing and the tasks he needs done. (Think: cleaning out the garage, buying his favorite ice cream, watching a game together, giving him a compliment or a hug, telling him a dad joke or running an errand.) Then write them out on little strips of paper. Make the list together, and tell him he can pull out a “coupon” anytime he needs a little dad-love. Just make sure you follow through on those promises!

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Build a Lego castle

No one really ever outgrows Legos, which makes this a perfect father-child Father’s Day activity. You can buy a Lego or K’NEX kit—bonus points for getting one that represents one of your dad’s favorite hobbies or movie franchises—or you can get out the giant box of loose pieces and see where your creativity takes you.

Father and daughters celebrating Fathers day together
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Make him breakfast in bed

Breakfast in bed doesn’t have to be just for moms! Make Dad feel special by waking him up with some of his favorite foods on a well-appointed tray. You can also make a morning of it by giving him his gifts while he feasts—though this will set the bar high for Father’s Day activities for the rest of the day! You can even write one of these funny Father’s Day quotes on his napkin to make him laugh.

father and son fishing on fathers day
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Go fishing

Fishing is a classic Father’s Day activity for a reason. When else do you get to stand side by side and catch up on life while you enjoy the outdoors? To impress your dad, try this neat fishing trick: Spray WD-40 on your lures. It attracts fish and masks human odor that can scare them off.

Father and Daughter Riding in Go Kart on Father's Day
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Race each other in go-karts

Forget another gift of golf shirts or ties. Take Dad for a thrill ride by setting him up with a speedway, a go-kart and a helmet, and putting the pedal to the metal. You’ll have the time of your life and end up smiling from ear to ear.

Paintball on father's day
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Challenge him to an epic paintball battle

Unleash Dad’s inner warrior—and yours—on the paintball field. After all, nothing says “I love you” like a friendly battle of the generations. Make a reservation at a paintball facility in advance (Father’s Day fills up fast), and wear long sleeves and pants that you don’t mind getting paint on. If paintball is a little too aggressive or there are young kids in the mix, try airsoft, laser tag or a water-balloon fight—basically any activity where you get to “attack” each other.

Father and son toasting and drinking beer in the pub
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Plan a beer-tasting day

Make your dad or stepdad’s day by toasting him at a local beer- or wine-tasting event. There’s even a no-brainer built-in gift he’ll love: Bring home some of the day’s best bottles so you can continue the festivities at future get-togethers.

father and son riding roller coaster on Father's Day
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Hit the amusement park

You likely put your dad through a roller coaster of emotions growing up, so pay him back by treating him to a more fun type of roller coaster! Thrilling rides, funnel cake, tacky souvenirs—that’s just some of what you’ll get to experience at a theme park. Whether you go to a small local fave or something big like Disney World, if that’s in your proverbial backyard, you’ll both feel like kids again and totally rejuvenated by the end of the day.

Golfer on the professional golf course. Golfer with golf club hitting the ball for the perfect shot.
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Practice your swing

They say golf is a good walk spoiled, but not when you spend 18 holes worth of quality time with Dad. You can hire a PGA instructor for a series of golf lessons for you and your dad—a great excuse to hang out together, pick up tips from a pro and improve your game. And the possibilities for golf-related Father’s Day ideas or last-minute Father’s Day gifts don’t stop there; you can head to the driving range or play some mini golf if that’s more your (or his) speed.

father and daughter doing crafts on fathers day
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Make him a custom craft

This Father’s Day idea is great for the pint-size set. Set up the kids with some art supplies, and let them go to town with the glitter, googly eyes and glue to make a one-of-a-kind Father’s Day craft. Dads and grandpas will truly cherish these kid creations forever—and thank you for facilitating these sweet gifts.

Father and son building birdhouse outdoor
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Build something

If Dad is handy, get out the nails, sander and paint, and tackle a construction project together. We’re not talking about run-of-the-mill home-improvement projects, unless you and your dad love doing stuff like that, of course! If not, try building a birdhouse (or if you want to go really big, a tree house!), or paint a piece of furniture a cool color to give new life to an old piece.

Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees
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Catch a ballgame

Tickets to his favorite sporting event are pretty much always a winning idea. Many stadiums have Father’s Day deals, so check to see if your local teams are offering discounted tickets. Just be sure to get two tickets so you can spend the time together. Want to be the favorite child? Surprise Dad by splurging on season tickets.

Father and daughter enjoying campfire at seaside campsite at sunset
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Go on an overnight camping trip

This year, start a family camping tradition. Pitch a tent, kindle a campfire and swap memories about growing up—it’s bonding at its best. Look for a campground near you, pack your camping gear and go wild (literally). Bonus: The tech-free time translates to more opportunities to have meaningful conversations and create new memories.

Barber using a razor to trim a customer's beard in a barber shop
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Get him a fancy shave

Dads enjoy getting pampered too! Book him a haircut and professional shave at a nice salon. For the perfect themed gift, give him an old-fashioned shaving kit—complete with luxe shaving brush, shaving creams and a wooden shaving stand. You can also DIY a spa day at home with face masks, a bubble bath and a foot soak, but we suggest leaving the razors in his capable hands.

Father and children at a car show from above
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Take in a car show

Is your dad an absolute car nut? Contact local car clubs to find a nearby show featuring vintage hot rods or the latest electric car. Bond over stories of what it was like for him to drive his first car—or laugh over what he went through to teach you how to drive. (Enough time has elapsed since that traumatic experience … probably.)

Hermann Oberth Space Museum
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Learn something new

Got a dad who’s a history or science buff? Take him to a free day at a local museum. Check with your local library or historical society, and ask if tours are available in their stacks and archives. Many organizations will also be happy to show you a behind-the-scenes look at your town’s history, and it’s always fun to play tourist in your hometown or a nearby city.

Father and son playing checkers while sitting on carpet at home
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Play board games

Here’s another Father’s Day idea to tap into his competitive side, but without the risk of personal injury. (Sorry, he’s not 25 anymore, and you might not be either!) Plus, board games exercise that all-important mental muscle, and you can pick something fun from his top category, whether it’s a strategy board game or a classic. One idea: Find out what his favorite game was growing up and see if he’s still got it.

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Get tickets to a concert

Outdoor concerts are particularly fun at this time of year, so check local listings for his favorite band, a tribute band playing faves from his teen years or an outdoor music festival. Find one with food trucks and make a night of it, or bring snacks, a cooler and a picnic blanket. Or just head to a great local restaurant with live music. Earn extra brownie points by including the tickets in a Father’s Day gift basket made specially for him.

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Get artsy

Many local art museums have dad-friendly works to look at, or you can find a specialized collection or gallery that he might find more interesting. You can also check out cool art installations in a nearby city (think: murals or sculptures) or go on a “graffiti tour” for a neat alternative to a more traditional museum—and a fun adventure.

Young father and daughter cooking together at home
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Take a cooking class

You can treat Dad to dinner anytime, but getting in the kitchen together opens up the possibilities for a different sort of bonding—and noshing. Sur La Table, local restaurants and culinary schools are all good places to start your search. The best part of Father’s Day ideas like this? At the end of your chef session, you’ll get to enjoy the meal you created together … and replicate it for many meals to come.

Father buckling daughter (2-3) in car seat
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Embark on a road trip

From the coast of Maine to Florida’s Key West, or wherever you’re based, June is a great month to get away—especially if you live in an area where it’s just starting to feel like summer. Pack up the car, buy some snacks, put together a Father’s Day playlist (so you can both agree on the tunes!) and get ready for some serious bonding. Throw in a well-timed “Are we there yet?” to hearken back to the good ol’ days of family road trips.

father and son picking up garbage on the beach
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Volunteer together

He’s given you so much—now it’s time for both of you to give back. If he’s a community-minded guy, turn Father’s Day into an even more meaningful day by helping those in your community. Consider a Habitat for Humanity build, a Red Cross blood donation or a volunteer shift at a food bank. Here are some other creative ways to volunteer.

Beautiful bright ice cream with different flavors in the hands of a couple
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Grab some ice cream

Sometimes the basics are the best. Just like when you were a kid, your dad will love indulging in some sweet treats with you, and with this Father’s Day activity, he’ll get two of his favorite things: dessert and spending time with his favorite person. Go ahead and indulge in the hot-fudge sundae with all the fixings.

Ethnic young guide man driving a red generic car convertible
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Rent his favorite car

Has your dad always dreamed of driving a Ferrari? Or maybe a Lamborghini? Fulfill his fantasy by renting his dream car for a couple hours and taking a spin together. Talk about what kind of car you’d design if you had unlimited funds—or maybe plan an EV road trip in a scenic spot like the California coast for next year’s Father’s Day activities!

Father and Daughter Mountain Bikers Enjoy Summer Mountaintop View, California
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Go on a bike ride

Remember when he patiently taught you how to ride your bike in your driveway, then around the block and eventually on your own without those training wheels? This is a fun throwback activity, with an adult twist, especially if he loves being outside. Take him to his favorite park, or try a trail neither of you has been to before and go exploring. Get him a new helmet as a present, and consider making this a regular father-child date.

Man listening to a vinyl record and looking at the record cover on a couch at home
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Listen to old records

Vinyl is back in style, so you should be able to find a vintage record player. Find out what your dad’s favorite records were, or check the basement to see if he’s still got some lying around. He’ll feel nostalgic dusting off his records and listening to his old favorites. Even better, he’ll love sharing his past with his children. It may even spark some stories that will help you get to know your dad on a deeper level. This is also a terrific Father’s Day idea for Grandpa.

Tween girl examining ancient kettle in quest room
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Solve an escape room

Escape rooms are one of the hottest activities right now, and for good reason—these life-size puzzles offer mental and physical challenges in a fun themed setting. You’ll have to work together as a team to escape in time, making it a great family bonding activity. Take a picture at the end to commemorate your great escape … even if you don’t actually escape.

Allan Gardens
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Take him to a garden show

If gardening or landscaping is more of a passion than a chore for your dad, treat him to tickets to a garden show, a walk around botanical gardens or just a trip to your local nursery. Or you can build your own DIY hydroponic garden together.

Macho Kid Mows Lawn with Lawnmower
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Knock out something on his chore list

Chances are, your pop has a list of things he’s been meaning to get done around the house but hasn’t had the time or energy to do yet. Find a big project that needs doing and offer to help, or if you’re able, do it yourself and take it off his plate. Think of things like changing the oil in the car, clearing out the attic, cleaning out the dryer vents, painting, filling holes in the walls or tilling the garden. He’ll be so appreciative!

Skydivers in indoor wind tunnel, free fall simulator
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Go skydiving

Dads who love a good adrenaline rush will enjoy spending an afternoon at an indoor skydiving facility. You can jump, flip and fly (safely) to your heart’s delight, and you’ll get some great pictures. If you have a little extra money to spend, are feeling extra brave and want a Father’s Day experience of a lifetime, book a real skydiving trip.

Asian LGBTQ guy painting self-made pottery at home studio.
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Paint pottery

It’s a two-for-one Father’s Day gift, since the work of art you create together will become a precious souvenir. Book a time slot at a local painting or pottery studio, choose what type of project you’d like to make and then have fun making it beautiful (or silly) together. And yes, this can be an excellent adult Father’s Day activity (some facilities even have paint-and-sip sessions), but you can also give it a kid-friendly twist by bringing along the grandkids.

Mixologist making refreshing cocktail with hard seltzer at home
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Create a signature cocktail for him

Having a signature drink is a badge of honor! Not only is creating a custom cocktail a fun way to celebrate the day and a unique take on a personalized Father’s Day gift, but it can also become a tradition for future Father’s Days. Treat Dad to a trip to a local speakeasy or cocktail lounge. (Call ahead to see if they do custom drinks, and expect to pay and tip more for this service.) You could also look up interesting recipes online, or take a mixology class together, and have fun creating your cocktail of choice at home.

Cool Father and Son at Home Beach
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Treat him to a relaxing staycation

Use the holiday as an excuse to fully disconnect and escape daily life—either with the family or on his own if he needs some time to himself. If you don’t have the time or money to splurge on a vacation, these staycation ideas are perfect for an affordable treat close to home.

Close up of happy father embracing little girl after coming home from work on Fathers day, focus on child holding letter for dad,
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Read him your “Top 10” dad list

Dads don’t get enough credit for being sentimental, but even the toughest fathers are often softies at heart. Before the big day, write a “Top 10” list for your dad. It could be the 10 things you love about him, your 10 favorite memories of him, the 10 best things you’ve done with him, 10 things he said to you that you’ll always remember or any variation on those themes. Then read him the list … and watch him melt.

Father Carries Son On Hike Through Forest Trail in Pacific Northwest
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Take a hike

There’s nothing better than heading outdoors to take in one of Mother Nature’s grand displays. Do it together to check out the sunrise over the mountains or the sunset at the beach. Take him on one of his favorite hikes, or choose a new one from our list of the best hiking trails in every state.

Filipino girl singing karaoke in living room
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Sing karaoke

Regardless of whether your dad has always secretly wanted to be an opera star or he sings like a cat in a tin bucket, karaoke is fun for all skill levels. In fact, karaoke at home or a local bar just may be the secret to happiness. You’ll laugh, you’ll bond and you’ll make some serious memories while singing his favorite tunes.

Mature Adult Male Playing Pickle Ball Photo Series
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Play pickleball

Pickleball is America’s fastest-growing sport, and it’s easy to see why—it combines the skills of tennis, the fun of badminton and the whimsy of Wiffle ball. If he’s a newbie, you can take a lesson together, or if he’s played before, grab your gear and head to the nearest court. Just remember to stay out of the kitchen! (Yep, it’s a pickleball thing!)

Stand Up Comedy Show
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Take him to a comedy show

Laughter really is the best medicine! Check your local comedy clubs for father-themed shows around Father’s Day, take him to a local bar for open-mic night or go to an improv show. And if Dad feels like staying in, you can watch comedy specials online. Don’t forget to buy a funny Father’s Day gift to go with this activity.

African-American girl, father on water park lazy river
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Hit up a water park

From the local pool to the community center to an epic water park, there are so many ways to have fun in the sun with your dad and the rest of the family. Make sure to pack your sunscreen, towels and snacks—and be prepared for a lot of water fights (and happy memories).

Young woman geocaching
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Go geocaching

Maps, hiking, the great outdoors, a hunt, cool tech and a prize—geocaching incorporates all the dad favorites. Known as the “world’s largest treasure hunt,” geocaching uses GPS-enabled devices to locate hidden containers called “caches.” People hide these caches all over the world, then post the locations on geocaching sites online for others to try and find. They are often cleverly hidden and contain fun notes and prizes. Download an app or look up geocaches in your area, and then take Dad on an adventure.

Happy little Asian girl and young Asian father having fun outdoors, running around on lawn. Father is giving his hand to daughter. Enjoying nature and Summer days in urban park. Family love lifestyle. Trust and support concept
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Play capture-the-flag (or capture-the-dad)

Capture-the-flag and other outdoor games are perfect for extended families that like to celebrate Father’s Day all together. To play, divide into two teams (dads vs. kids?), mark off the playing area and tell each team to set their flag. For a fun twist, have a dad hold each flag. The goal is to “kidnap” the other team’s dad and get him back across the dividing line! Whoever gets the other team’s flag first wins bragging rights for next year.

International family on a picnic in the background of nature.
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Take him on a picnic

Pack up all your dad’s favorite foods and drinks, and head outdoors for a celebratory picnic. Pancakes, pizza and liverwurst? It doesn’t matter if the foods go together. In fact, it’s even more fun when they don’t. Remember: The best Father’s Day ideas don’t have to be expensive or posh—they just have to be fun!

Man doing research on family members. Holding old photograph and postcard in his hands, close-up
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Connect him to all the dads in his family line

Where is your dad’s family from? What is his heritage? Use a genealogy website, like Ancestry.com or Family Search, to look up your dad’s relatives—and yours! There are millions of records already online, and some families have records dating back centuries. You can find pictures, stories, recipes and other historical goodies to share together.

Watching TV Together
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Have a Star Wars marathon

Dedicate the day to watching your dad’s favorite movie franchise. Whether he’s into Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Marvel movies, you’ll have a blast rewatching his favorites. Bonus points if you watch them all in order! Or watch one of the greatest sports movies of all time.

Family preparing meal in backyard on barbecue grill
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Barbecue

Is it even Father’s Day if you don’t grill something? Keep it simple with hot dogs or burgers, get fancy with delicious grill recipes, or get creative with things you never knew you could grill (but totally should). If you have a dad who’s a grill chef, just be sure to ask first if he’d like to do the cooking or if he’d prefer to have the day off to celebrate and let you take the reins instead.

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