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Dads may be known for grilling, pampering their cars, wearing ties, always telling you to go ask your mom, reading the newspaper, mowing the lawn, and of course, the dad joke:
“Today, my son asked, ‘Can I have a bookmark?’ and I burst into tears. Eleven years old and he still doesn’t know my name is Brian.”
All kidding aside, your dad may not be that stereotypical dad wearing socks and sandals on the front of a greeting card, but your dad is surely many other things. He may sometimes be your chauffeur, your bank, your confidant, your biggest supporter, and your best friend. Father’s Day is a time of celebration of dads and the many roles they play in our lives.
Here are a few ways you can show appreciation of your dad on Father’s Day that won’t put a big dent in your wallet.
1. A Big Family Breakfast
The whole family can help make Dad a breakfast feast fit for a king! Be sure to shop ahead of time, so you have everything you need to make his favorite breakfast foods. Even younger kids can help by pouring the orange juice or stirring the pancake batter. Don’t forget, Dad gets to relax after his big meal, so make sure you do all the dishes and cleaning up.
2. Backyard Barbecue
Everyone loves a cookout. Again, make sure you have all the fixings to make some of his favorites. If your dad likes to be at the helm, let him man the grill, but he may prefer relaxing in a hammock or floating in a pool if they’re available. Plan some backyard fun such as horseshoes, badminton, or volleyball. Your dad will love a fun afternoon with his family.
3. Give Him the Day Off
Dads work hard, and it doesn’t stop when they get home from work. Let Dad chill out or do what he wants while you wait on him and do chores that he may usually do, such as taking out the trash, yard work, or washing the car. Don’t let him lift a finger all day!
4. Do Some Binge-watching
Fire up the popcorn maker and buy movie candy and snacks. For a movie-theater experience, hang blankets over the windows to darken the room. Go ahead and order pizza for the intermission if you like. Choose his favorite movies or ones he’s wanted to see, or binge-watch a show on Netflix or Hulu. During your intermission, you can also go for a neighborhood walk to stretch your legs.
5. Family Picnic in the Park
If weather permits, organize a family picnic at your local park. Bring a blanket big enough for everyone to sit on or bring several and pack a basket or cooler with Dad’s favorite picnic food. Bring a Frisbee, football, soccer ball, or some other outdoor activity that he likes. Check your local park for activities that might coincide with Father’s Day.
6. Beach Day
Take Dad to the lake or the ocean. Bring a beach umbrella and a comfortable chair for him as well as some fun beach games. Pack a cooler with his favorite snacks and drinks. Don’t forget some buckets and shovels for an epic sandcastle-building contest.
7. Visit a Museum
Museums are a fun way to spend an afternoon, and many communities have small, unique museums and art galleries. Look for discounts through sites such as Groupon. Better yet, visit your local library for free or discounted passes to specific museums. Some libraries even have interesting collections and exhibits on location.
Botanical gardens often have events throughout the spring and summer months, so check your local one to see if any fun Father’s Day events are in the works. Bring along snacks and drinks and spend the afternoon amongst the flowers.
8. Local Sporting Event
If your father enjoys sports, take him to see a game or match nearby. If you live near a college or university, you may be able to catch a game there or check out a minor league team nearby that’s playing. They’re generally cheaper, and they’re just as exciting as major league games.
9. Go Fishing
Does your dad like to fish? Take the whole family on a fishing outing. He can show you his favorite fishing spot, or you can help him find a new one. Bring along a picnic and find a serene place to enjoy it together. If he’s a true angler, he’ll love to tell you his story of the big one that got away.
10. Have a Game Day
Plan a board game marathon with the whole family. Make it a competition. Choose games that don’t take too long to complete, and give a prize to the person who gets the most points. Top it off with a Father’s Day cake for Dad with an UNO card on it that says, “Dad, you’re numero uno” or some equally fun board game pun.
Father’s Day is a day to show Dad how much you love and appreciate all he’s done for you. Your thoughtfulness is more important to him than how much money you spent, although there’s a ton of ways to make gift buying affordable too. This year, make Father’s Day great for your dad and your wallet.