Categories: Holidays

Father’s Day Activities So You Can Bond With Your Dad

Whether your relationship with your dad is as close as can be or as distant as the end of the pandemic still feels, it’s never a bad time to bond with him. Here are some ideas for fun Father’s Day Activities that you can (safely) do with your pops. Are you simply looking for a few ways to spend time with your favorite patriarch? Are you trying to get him to acknowledge your existence? Are you trying to progress from liquid nitrogen levels of coldness to at least Leo DiCaprio at the end of “The Titanic?” Continue reading. 

1. Hey Dad, You Want To Have A Catch?

I didn’t see “Field Of Dreams.” It’s about ghost corn, right? Regardless, there are few bonding opportunities quite like playing catch with your dad, assuming you have any sort of relationship with baseball at all.

There’s a romanticism inherent in baseball that dads everywhere must have made up. It’s the only thing that explains why so many kids are forced to play such a boring sport that they have no business playing. That six-year-old keeps getting hit in the face with the ball? Rub some dirt on it.

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If you’re a grown adult, chances are you haven’t had a catch with dad in a long time. Bring back those memories of vicarious failures, or make new ones entirely. If your father doesn’t care about baseball at all, then find a football to throw or a soccer ball to kick. If you don’t get anything serious out of the experience, you can at least find common ground over the absurdity. There’s no crying in Father’s Day activities.

2. Indulge His Favorite Band

It seems like a very “dad” thing to do to have one or two favorite bands that he’s been gushing over incessantly for your entire life. After all, music these days just isn’t the same. There’s no heart. There’s no soul. There’s no talent.

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Indulge his toxic fandom that he doesn’t realize exists. Sit down with him and watch some YouTube videos, or maybe his favorite live DVD he probably owns. Even if his most cherished group is now just a bunch of geriatrics dangerously puttering around on a stage that’s way too big for them, you should act at least a little bit impressed. Let him have his moment. After all, we don’t know how much longer his favorite artist has. If this sort of thing doesn’t apply to your dad, congratulations. No one lives forever, though.

3. Go To A Bar (Safely)

By the time June rolls around, we can all hope that we’re living in a fully vaccinated utopia where we can just go around coughing in each other’s faces with impunity, but that might be unrealistic. It’s critical to stay safe and socially distant. You don’t want to hand dear old dad the shovel with which he’ll dig his own grave, do you?

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Spiteful disclaimers aside, getting hydrated with your progenitor could be a great way of getting to know him better, if that’s possible for you. Spill secrets and beer. Vomit together. Share an Uber. 

4. Watch His Favorite Movie Together

Ask your dad what his favorite movie of all time is and watch it with him. If he says “Blazing Saddles,” you might need to have an uncomfortable conversation. Still, watching a person’s most revered film with them reveals so much about who they are and requires so little effort on your part. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy a cinematic classic through the lens of your dad’s inevitable spoilers. Father’s Day activities don’t need to be a pain. 

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5. Trek Through The Great Outdoors Together

Not all hikes are created equal. If you’re both the nature-loving type, finding the nicest, longest trail nearby can be a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. Achieve inner peace and oneness with nature alongside your father. Revel in the beauty of the natural world as a team. Observe the local fauna and appreciate how we share this world with so many other living beings.

Or, if a long walk in the silence of the outdoors sounds torturous to your knees and painfully awkward to your social sensibilities, find the shortest trail you can. The best part of going hiking is stopping hiking, so why delay that gratification? Check that nature box off quickly and painlessly. Just don’t trip over a fallen log, or the divots in your relationship.

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6. Write Some Dad Jokes Together

Sometimes the best Father’s Day activities require you to embrace corniness, and the collective consciousness of corny dads needs new material. If I had a dollar for every time a middle-aged dude replied to the question “What can I get for you?” with “A million dollars” I might actually have that million dollars to not give him.

Fresh dad jokes are more difficult to write than you might think. A lot of time and effort goes into generating punchlines that are so eye-rolling they could be considered weapons of psychological warfare. Do dads tell dad jokes to other dads? Is there a secret society of hackneyed quipsters that wear socks with sandals?

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7. Grill-Off

Speaking of wearing socks with sandals, is there a more “dad” pastime than grilling? It’s pretty hilarious when you consider that grilling is such a quintessential dad thing because it’s generally considered to be the most masculine modern method of cooking, but that’s a topic for another time.

Chances are that if you try to grill for your dad on Father’s Day, he’ll probably start giving you unsolicited tips and start waving a pair of oversized tongs in your direction. It’s possible that he even brought the tongs to your place just in case. Challenge him. Show him that the apprentice has become the master. Who says Father’s Day activities shouldn’t be competitive?

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8. Game Night

Here’s a classic idea with many potential applications. What Father’s Day activities does he like? What kinds of games is he into? Is he a board game kind of guy? Does he play video games? Does he have a gambling addiction he’s been trying to hide from the family? Whatever his vice is, having a game night with the family can be a fun, laid-back way to spend his special day. Just make sure to come prepared. Don’t bring Shoots And Ladders if he’s more of a Candyland kind of guy.

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9. Take Him Shopping

One intrinsic quality of fatherhood is perpetual uncoolness. How many people out there would genuinely call their dads cool? The only people who can really say that are, like, babies of NBA players, assuming Mr. Freeze is impotent. See that? I threw in a dad joke when you weren’t expecting it.

Wordplay aside, it can be a really great experience to take your dad out for a wardrobe update. You know he’ll never wear what you picked out for him ever again, but it’s nice to play pretend together.

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10. Zoom With Grandpa

We have so much to learn from the older generations, yet so much to teach them as well. What a safe and enriching way to spend the day, in a multi-generational online call. Grandpa can impart on you all kinds of wisdom, and you can teach him how to unmute his mic. Ask him what your father was like when he was a kid. 

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11. Golfing (Mini Or Otherwise)

Is there a simpler, more wholesome family activity than mini-golfing? Surely there is, but that’s not important. What is important is spending some time in the great outdoors where windmills are a greater problem than anywhere else in society and a hole-in-one isn’t just for professionals.

If the miniature aspect is a little too childish for your tastes, or if you grew up wealthy and feel comfortable dressed for a Backstreet Boys video, maxi-golf might be the move. 

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When you think about it, good Father’s Day activities are like dad jokes; your father loves them and it’s best if you just play along. What activities are you looking forward to doing with your father? Let us know!

Images via Universal Pictures
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Brian Beushausen

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