Looking for Fun Things to Do on Father's Day? Here Are 15 Affordable, Family-Friendly Ideas

man talking with adult son sitting by lake in backyard
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Falling right on the cusp of summer, Father's Day (June 16) is the perfect opportunity to blend celebration and relaxation. Instead of letting the day unfold without any agenda under the guise of "giving Dad the day off," taking the time to plan family-friendly Father's Day activities will make him feel extra special and loved. And we know that a generous stack of Father's Day gifts will, too!

These ideas are easy, low-key, and make the most of the approaching summertime season while centering on Dad's interests. Whether he's happiest watching sports on the outdoor TV, keeping his hands busy with a project, or simply soaking up the sun, having his favorite people around (that includes you!) will only make whatever you're doing that much better.

So, give a proper toast to the man who would do just about anything for his family. Let him know that his dad-ly duties are appreciated by planning one of these fun Father's Day activities this year.

Hang Out on the Water

Pack up and head to the nearest beach, lake, river, or pool to take advantage of the weather that he's been waiting for months to enjoy. Whether Dad is a surfer, swimmer, paddleboarder, crabber, fisherman, or aquatic enthusiast, he'll be happy to get some time in or around the water for Father's Day.

Enjoy a Lazy Sunday at the Biergarten

There's something about hanging out at a biergarten that makes for a great Father's Day activity: the large, airy space, long picnic-style tables, the BYO-food policy or comforting pub grub, easy access to lawn games like cornhole, and numerous outdoor TVs to satisfy every sports fan. If your local biergarten is a family-friendly spot (some have a curfew for those under 21), consider this your ideal Sunday brunch destination for Father's Day.

Attend an Outdoor Concert

Once Memorial Day has come and gone, outdoor concerts are back in full swing. If your local park or town green holds live music performances, pack a picnic for the fam and park yourselves on the grass for a low-key afternoon or evening of music-listening. Treating Dad to a comfy new camping chair is a good way to make this a Father's Day activity and gift in one.

Have Dad Plan the Dinner Menu

Since Grillmaster Dad may be used to executing the dinner menu, but not necessarily planning it, why don't you flip the script by cooking his dream Father's Day meal? You could turn it into a family collaboration... unless you're concerned about too much chaos in the kitchen.

Visit a Pick-Your-Own Farm

Did somebody say strawberries?! If Dad's happy place is in the garden, visiting a local pick-your-own farm makes for a fun family field trip (and gift for gardeners). Prepare to take home an impressive bounty of berries.

Take Him Out to the Ballgame

Even for dads who aren't sports fans, there's something so quintessentially summertime about visiting a ballpark. Catching a local Minor League Baseball (MiLB) game is a low-stakes, family-friendly, and affordable Father's Day activity that brings the family together for an afternoon of rooting for the home team. Tickets for each team are available on the MiLB's website.

Fly a Kite (or Drone) Outdoors

This Father's Day activity is all about getting out of the house for some fresh air! Choose your wind-borne accoutrement for the day: a kite for the kids at heart or a drone for the tech-loving Dad. Just make sure you and Dad are well aware of the recreational fliers' guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration before you prepare your drone for lift-off.

Do a "Dad Chore" for Him

This Father's Day activity is for the guy who works hard and deserves to kick back. Cross one big to-do off Dad's list by tackling a chore that he'd ordinarily be spending his Sunday doing. This could be pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house, washing the car, or (yes) cleaning the bathrooms.

Watch a Favorite Show From Way Back When

In a perfect world, the sun would be shining during your Father's Day activities, but perhaps this June 16 is a washout. Enjoy your indoor day together by firing up your streaming devices and watching a favorite show of Dad's. Whether he's a Seinfeld or a Mystery Science Theater 3000 guy, you know there's more than enough content out there for you all to enjoy.

Work on a Puzzle Together

Another Father's Day activity that's perfect for The Great Indoors is tackling that 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle or LEGO set that's been lingering in the closet since the holidays. As Dad always reminds you, many hands make light work, so who knows? You might complete it in a single afternoon.

Take a Hike

Grab your binoculars (and plenty of tick repellent) and head for the nearest hiking trail. An especially good Father's Day activity if you and Dad spend the majority of your days staring at computer screens, this will get you moving around, exploring nature, and swapping Instagram for iNaturalist for a few hours.

Challenge Him to a Pickleball Match

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. for the third consecutive year, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, so if Dad's been jonesing to get on the court to see if his backhand still holds up, now's a perfect time. Depending on where you live, you may be able to rent or borrow a racquet set for the afternoon. However, to prevent any injuries from using an ill-suited racquet, consider investing in high-quality pickleball accessories for your future matches together.

Have an Outdoor Fire

It doesn't matter whether building an outdoor fire at home requires logs and kindling or nothing more than a push of a button on the fire pit! Sitting around a crackling fire making s'mores and being silly together makes for a timeless Father's Day activity to enjoy as the sun sets.

Go Backyard Stargazing

If the night sky is clear, break out the telescope (or the Starwalk 2 app) and head for the driveway or backyard to check out the stars. While Father's Day is a little earlier than the Boötids meteor shower that's supposed to peak on June 27, hopefully you'll still be able to see some lights in the sky (or at least some fireflies!).

Record His Stories

Some dads are known to spin an impressive yarn, but even those without the gift of gab deserve to have their stories recorded for posterity. Set aside an hour or two to interview Dad, asking him about his childhood, proudest moments, hardest lessons, and of course, about the day you came into his life. Both Apple and Google have proprietary audio recorder apps that you can download for free — but you could also use a paid service like Remento or Storyworth to guide your conversation and help you edit the recording afterward into a keepsake.

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