Now that you’ve probably finalized your Mother’s Day plans, it’s time to start planning a special day for your other favourite parent, your father! But let’s not forget that the other ‘dads’ in our lives—grandfathers, husbands and the like—should be celebrated too. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas this year, remember that it’s best to keep plans simple—most dads don’t really ask for much!

Gift your dad with an experience

Oftentimes, the most thoughtful gifts we can give someone are experiences, rather than material goods. Classic Father’s Day gifts like luxury watches, shaving kits, neckties, power tools and sleek gadgets are, of course, time-tested ideas. But they’re also items that dads can go out and buy for themselves any other day of the year. Quality time spent with the family, however, is a priceless gift that any loving parent would prefer—no refunds or exchanges required.

fathers day ideas
A celebration of fatherhood involving different generations can add even more meaning to Father’s Day.

Tip: Dads and their children shouldn’t be the only ones to celebrate Father’s Day. Make it a family affair by inviting Grandpa along. If you plan on taking the entire family on a trip, consider getting family insurance, even if you’re travelling within Canada.

Father’s Day activity ideas to help get you started

1. “Play catch” with dad

One of the most enduring symbols of the bond between a father and his child is the pastime of playing catch, so why not dust off those old mitts? If neither of you are actually baseball fans, you can of course, take him fishing, golfing, hiking, bowling, canoeing, kayaking, or any other activity he enjoys.

And while not all men are big on sports, there’s something equally valuable about fathers teaching their children how to make or do things by hand. You don’t need to possess hidden whittling or cabinetmaking skills, but think about his hobbies for a second and see what you can work on together. Or why not reverse your roles and teach him something new instead?

craft beer activities fathers day
A celebration of fatherhood involving different generations can add even more meaning to Father’s Day. 

2. Indulge him

It’s not too hard to please dads—keep them fed, hand them a cold beer or their favourite drink, and make sure they’re entertained. He might not know how to enjoy a day at the spa (unless of course, it’s a guilty pleasure of his), but he’ll probably have a good time at a local brewery or BBQ joint, or even on a shopping spree at a big hardware store. Whatever it is, use your imagination to spoil him!

3. Plan an outing

Some unrelated local events might conveniently fall on Father’s Day this year, so check your community calendar to see if there are any festivals, concerts, shows, fairs or other special gatherings in town that weekend.

Better yet, take him on an excursion outside of the city. If you don’t have access to your own transportation, you can still get around with a rental car. A pre-planned, all-expenses-paid weekend or day trip might just be what he needs to unwind—all he’ll have to do then is sit in the passenger’s seat and enjoy the ride!

fathers day family album
Looking through old family albums can be a nostalgic and meaningful activity to partake in with your dad.

4. Introduce some nostalgia

Because the day celebrates the father figure in your family, make it truly about him. It should involve any number of things that speak to his identity, though less as a father and more as an individual:

  • explore his personal and family history by flipping through old photos or yearbooks
  • literally take him on a trip down memory lane by revisiting his childhood home or hometown
  • help him reconnect with old friends and acquaintances he hasn’t seen in a while
  • engage in activities you haven’t done together in some time

It’s not always easy to pull off a perfect Father’s Day celebration for your loved one when you take things like logistics into consideration. You might live halfway across the world from your dad, or your schedules might not match up at all this year. But sometimes, reaching out with a simple phone call or sending a care package by mail is just as meaningful of a gesture.

Whatever it is you end up doing for your father, grandfather or husband, keep in mind that showing your appreciation will both acknowledge and celebrate all the responsibilities, demands and joys of fatherhood just the same!

Happy Father’s Day,

Justin

4 Meaningful Experiences to Gift Dad This Father’s Day

May 2 2018