Father's Day is right around the corner, and it's a weekend to celebrate all the dads in our lives in some awesome ways. Dads play an essential role in the development of children. Research shows that a healthy relationship with Dad positively impacts a child's health, behavior, educational achievement and socialization skills.
Dads bring a lot to the table, and we should celebrate them for all they do. Let's celebrate all the father figures in our lives.
Before diving into awesome ways to celebrate Dad, let's lay some ground rules. Here are a few do's and don'ts to keep in mind for Father's Day.
— Do ask Dad what he wants.
— Do celebrate him as a husband, father and mentor.
— Do make sure he feels fully appreciated.
— Don't say, "But we celebrate Dad every day."
— Don't buy him something he won't use.
Now, let's talk about some awesome ways to celebrate Father's Day.
1. Make Dad a card. I love the cards my kids make. Their personality shines through their creativity.
2. Kick the day off with his favorite breakfast.
3. Play video games as a family. Go old school and play games he grew up playing.
4. What's his favorite sporting event? Go to a game together or buy tickets for a future event. Many sports venues offer Father's Day specials as well.
5. Go for a family hike. Mountains, state parks or nature trails are great places to explore.
6. Play sports as a family. Play his favorite sport together.
7. Rent his dream car and go for a ride. Every guy has a dream car. Many specialty rental companies can help Dad drive the car of his dreams.
8. Do a project together. Does Dad like woodworking? Or painting?
9. Go for a family bike ride.
10. Camp out together. Are there state parks or national parks nearby? Camping in the backyard is a fun experience, too.
11. Plan an outdoor movie night. Grab a sheet and a projector, and enjoy a movie under the stars.
12. Go fishing. I have so many memories of fishing with my dad and granddad. Create those memories for your kids.
13. Host a beer or wine tasting. If Dad is a fan of either, treat him to a tasting. Get an assortment from local breweries or wineries. You might just help him find a new favorite.
14. Go geocaching. If you're not familiar with it, geocaching is like a real-life scavenger hunt using an app on your phone. Download one and explore your city.
15. Take him go-kart racing. If Dad has a need for speed, there's no better way to enjoy it as a family.
16. Visit a museum. If Dad is a history buff or art enthusiast, take him to a local museum. If neither of those is his thing, look for an interactive museum the whole family can enjoy.
17. Take a road trip. Whether one day or the weekend, pick a destination, crank up the tunes, roll the windows down and hit the road.
18. Take care of his household chores for him. Give Dad a weekend to relax. Take on whatever he regularly does.
19. Participate in a family fun run, mud run or color run together. If running is what he enjoys, look for an opportunity to enjoy it with him.
20. Treat him to a cooking class. If Dad loves to cook, sign him up for a cooking class so he can sharpen his skills.
21. Get out on the water. Boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, swimming, or skiing are all good ideas. Enjoy the water together.
22. Have a movie marathon weekend. Let him pick a genre or movie series, load up on the snacks and chill.
23. Hit up an arcade. Go to a local game room and let his inner child out.
24. Grill out. If Dad loves to cook outdoors, get his favorite meat and grill out as a family.
25. Take him shopping. Shopping? I don't mean just clothes shopping (unless that's what he wants to do, which is totally cool). Think about what he loves to shop for, and take him there. Maybe it's an outdoors store, a home improvement store or an athletic store.
26. Host a family game night. Indoor or outdoor games are fun for the whole family. Play games he enjoys.
27. Take him to his favorite restaurant. Here's a secret: Often as dads, we choose a restaurant that the whole family will enjoy and one that will minimize any drama. Take him out to a Father's Day dinner at his favorite place.
28. Solve an escape-room mystery. Is he a crime solver? Help him channel that inner detective and solve a mystery.
No matter how you celebrate the dad in your life this Father's Day, make it a day about him. Dads do a lot for us and don't often get the appreciation they deserve. Do some detective work, and find out what he wants to do. Then celebrate him big. Happy Father's Day!
Mitchell Qualls is vice president of operations at family advocacy nonprofit First Things First. Email him at email@example.com.
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