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Though every child knows that it's the thought that counts when it comes to celebrating Father's Day, deciding exactly what makes a thoughtful party isn't always straightforward. Perhaps you find celebrating Mom more simple—after all, she loves her annual bouquet of roses and breakfast in bed. "While flowers and femme décor are de rigueur for Mother's Day, landing on a method to show your appreciation for a father can be a bit trickier," says Liz Curtis, an entertaining expert and founder of Table and Teaspoon. But by making your party plans based on the guest of honor's favorite foods, pastimes, and hobbies, you can put together a perfectly personalized Father's Day celebration—here's how.
Take it outside.
Whether your sports-loving dad likes playing full-court basketball or sipping a beer at the ballpark, choose a location where the whole family can share his love of the game. "As we navigate the early stages of a post-pandemic world, the great outdoors still reign supreme for the location of your Father's Day celebration," says Curtis. "Host your dad for games in your backyard if you have one, or pick an activity you know he'll love, like mini-golf, flag football in the neighborhood park, or pickle ball at your local tennis courts."
Design a menu just for him.
Personalize your Father's Day meal, whether it's a backyard cookout, post-18-holes sit-down at the club, or dinner for the whole family, by incorporating his most-loved treats—even the hard-to-find childhood classics. "Pack a picnic with all of his favorite foods," recommends Curtis. "This is where you can let your internet skills shine by ordering his childhood caramels from his hometown candy shop or using Goldbelly to fly in his go-to bagel order from his college days in New York."
Decorate with Dad in mind.
It's easy to go all-out on flowers and an Instagram-inspired brunch table, but you should plan your décor with a focus on what your pops will appreciate. "Keep things authentic by making sure that you only include elements that your dad will be comfortable with at his celebration," says Curtis. "No need to pull out all the stops with Pinterest-worthy decorations and an elaborate meal—unless those are things he loves. A simple foil balloon display lettering 'DAD' or your father figure's name will go a long way."
Honor the father figures that mean the most to you.
Not every father-child relationship is one for celebrating—but you can expand the holiday to include a nod toward any paternal figure that has influenced your life. "Father's Day is a celebration of our father figures," says Curtis. "You should feel free to honor whoever this is to you, be that your biological dad, your grandfather, your brother, or even your mom, who masterfully wears both parental hats."