15+ Truly Legit Father's Day Activities (Voted by Dads)

Father’s Day: It’s been happening every year for over 100 years, but it still manages to sneak up on you. So unless you want another tie or coffee mug — both nice but maybe not the best options — it might do you well to supply your loving family with some ideas on what would make this Father’s Day memorable and extra special.

We polled hundreds of our Instagram followers (and dads) to find out how they’d like to spend the day. We heard everything from the heartwarming — brunch with the kids or “anything, as long as it’s with family” — to the comical — hitting a cigar bar or “anything, as long as it’s alone.” So, we figured you could use some inspiration and help on the best ways to spend Father’s Day.

Drop hints, print this article and leave it on the kitchen table, or just outright tell them know how you’d like to spend your day. Father’s Day is one to honor all of the things you do for your family, so you should definitely have a say in how you spend it.

Here are some ideas, including a few with naps, to get you started.

Free Things To Do For Father’s Day

Father’s Day doesn’t have to take a bite out of your budget. There are plenty of things you can do for free or almost free.

  • Subject your fam to “classic films” from your youth: If staying in and relaxing is your idea of fun, take your kids on a walk down memory lane by streaming all of your old favorite movies. They may not be ready for The Breakfast Club, but you can’t go wrong with Space Jam, The Sandlot or the original Jumanji.
  • Hang outdoors: Weather permitting, pack up the frisbee and a picnic and spend the day outdoors. More than three-quarters (76%) of our Instagram respondents said they’d prefer to take a nap on Father’s Day, and we can’t think of a better place to get some zzz’s than on a blanket in the park.
  • Cook together (or just run the kitchen from your favorite chair, drink-in-hand): You have a favorite meal, maybe even one you normally get at your favorite restaurant — try to recreate it at home with your family. Or pick out a recipe for them to cook for you and relax while you wait.

Practical Things To Do For Father’s Day

Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean things won’t get done. Use your family’s giving spirit to tackle projects on your to-do list, and start the day after with fewer tasks on your mind.

  • Beautify your yard: Trim the hedges, weed the garden, plant some flowers — working outside may get some initial groans from the kids, but hey, it’s your holiday, right?
  • Clean-up your hood: Hit your neighborhood or a local park with trash bags and do your part to keep things beautiful. Make sure to lay ground rules before turning the kids loose — depending on where you live, the park could turn up some dangerous (or just gross) litter.
  • Clean your ride(s):  Detailing your car doesn’t take long with more than two hands. Assign tasks and bring out the water balloons to celebrate a job well done.

Creative Things To Do For Father’s Day

Maybe you (or your family) like to mix things up and do non- traditional activities. Skipping the standard meal-out for fun activities can make lasting memories.

  • Give back to the community: Make a difference this Father’s Day by volunteering at a local food pantry or passing out toiletries or warm blankets to the local homeless population.
  • Get artsy: Vision boards, watercolor painting, or a pottery class — artsy activities lend themselves to memories and souvenirs!
  • Stargaze: See the stars by visiting a local planetarium or setting up a telescope in the backyard.
  • Indulge in local culture/history: Depending on where you live, there are likely local museums and historic sites you’ve left unexplored. Get to know the history and culture of your area with a tour or day pass.

Romantic or Special Things To Do For Father’s Day

Maybe the kids are tied up and you’ve got the day (or evening) to yourselves. Celebrate how you work your tail off for your family by unwinding with your partner.

  • Dine out, for adults only: Pick a restaurant you wouldn’t take the kids too — a low-lit romantic one or rowdy bar, your choice.
  • Picnic under the stars: Late night snacks and a bottle of wine under the stars will make a memorable and relaxing Father’s Day.
  • Picnic in the living room: Maybe the weather isn’t cooperating or you’d rather just stay in — set up your romantic meal on the living room floor, complete with music or your favorite binge-worthy series.
  • Brave the wild: Camping is a great way to get away from it all and a great way to spend an adventurous Fathers Day.

Adventurous and Fun Things To Do For Father’s Day

Have an adventurous streak? Some of us lose that when we grow up, have kids, and fail to make time for fun hobbies. Here are some fun ways to spend Father’s Day that may help get the adrenaline going.

  • Beat your family on the race track. Go karts aren’t what they used to be. It’s not unusual to find a place to go kart complete with video games, craft beer, decent food, and karts fast enough you need a helmet. Buckle up.
  • See the sights from above. If you’re near some scenic geography, you’re likely near a ziplining company. Activities like this shouldn’t require a vacation.
  • Rent a boat. If there’s a lake or a river nearby, you can probably rent a boat for the day. Take your poles and a cooler to make the most of it, and consider pooling resources with another family to reduce the costs.

Best Things To Do For Father’s Day

The best thing you can do for Father’s Day is spend it how you want. When we polled our Instagram followers, we found many preferred the traditional:

  • 62% preferred seeing movies over a kid-free dinner (38%)
  • Over half (54%) would opt for a day trip over time at the pool (46%)
  • About equal numbers wanted to play new games (51%) or do creative activities (49%)

By far, if given some time for solo activity, most dads just wanted a nap (76%). So schedule a day that will reward you for all of the work you do, and whether you’re taking a road trip or planning a camp out, reward yourself with some downtime and relaxation — three-fourths of surveyed dads would agree: You deserve it.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.