When I was growing up, Father’s Day often meant making my dad one of his favorite meals — like Mom’s insanely good cheesy tuna casserole she learned from summers spent in Texas and coconut ice cream covered in Corn Flakes as dessert. Music would play in the background and we’d sit around a bonfire outside and share stories.
My dad’s a simple guy and as my siblings and I got older, roles shifted a bit and all he wanted was to spend Father’s Day with all us kids in one place, barbecuing burgers, going for an afternoon dip in the ocean, or venturing on a walk through the grove to see his new banana plants.
Just as mothers are honored on their special day in May, fathers deserve an equally thoughtful time spent enjoying what they love with the people they love. Whether it’s some sort of outdoor activity, something to do with barbecue or ice cream, gardening, or cooking, the most important thing is that it’s a memorable day of appreciation and time together. Here are just a few ideas to help you plan a way to honor your father that he will enjoy and be grateful for.
Plan an Outdoor Exploration
If your dad’s the outdoorsy type, consider partaking in a fun outdoor adventure with the family. White water rafting is a good workout—and a good laugh. Kayaking is a good activity if you’re looking to try something new. If your dad prefers a slower pace, fishing is always meditative and mellow. A cleansing swim in a body of water—whether a lake, river or ocean, is always a refreshing option, too.
Host a Beer and Grilled Sausage Pairing
There are, perhaps, no better two items paired together in the entire world for fathers than beer and sausage. Many dads I know are famous for popping open a cold brew while they turn sausages on the coal-fired barbecue outdoors. To make for a memorable Father’s Day event, try a beer and grilled sausage pairing, a unique activity a friend once told me about. Here are a couple of her family’s favorites:
<> Smooth Lager with Spicy Italian Sausage
<> Farmhouse Ale with Bratwurst
<> Stout with Chicken Feta & Herb Sausage
Have one of the kids in the family hook up their speakers and help make a playlist for the background. This type of festive outdoor event is one that can go on well into the evening, and with music and some patio lights or tiki torches, the atmosphere will be laid-back and fun.
Have an Ice Cream Sundae Social
When I was growing up, every Sunday meant sundaes. We’d buy big square cartons of Thrifty’s peach or coconut ice cream, slice it, and top it with any cereal we had on hand, from Rice Krispies to Corn Flakes, while we piled onto Mom and Dad’s bed to watch American Dreams. Today, the idea of bonding and spending time together over ice cream is just as special to me.
To set up a fun ice cream sundae social for your pop, start with the basics—three different base flavors of ice cream (make sure to include his favorites!). Then, put out your toppings, like chocolate chips, nuts, marshmallows, and fruit. Add your caramel and chocolate sauce—and you’re all set for a Father’s Day ice cream party of epic proportions. Kids and grown-ups alike will love making their own unique creations.
Try an Elevated Sporting Event
The idea of starting a tradition for “elevated sporting events” came from a few friends of ours in San Francisco, whose families would all gather for a pre- or post-game potluck before every sporting event they attended. It’s a fun bonding idea that I always thought would be perfect for a Father’s Day event. If you’re looking to turn your day into one focused around a sporting event, whether live or on the TV—make an event out of it by bringing the family together to share a meal before or after the game.
Going to a Giant’s game? Try a hosted family hot dog bar with all the fixings. Is watching a Warrior’s game at home more your dad’s style? Order his favorite pizza or make it yourself. Into catching the waves of Ocean Beach like my dad is? Try a beach-themed luau for something exotically different while allowing him to participate in his favorite activity during the party itself.
Get Green with Green Thumb Gardening
Given the time of year that Father’s Day falls, there’s always room for some green thumb gardening. An avocado farmer and enthusiastic pineapple grower, my dad has studied botany his entire life. So, when it comes to feel-good Father’s Day activities, this one definitely ranks high for us.
Surprise your dad by visiting the local nursery to see what they have available—from flowers to blueberry bushes. The possibilities are endless (my niece even got my dad a coffee plant for his birthday this year). Whatever you choose, rest assured that gardening together as a family is a therapeutic and meditative activity that Dad will enjoy. The soil, the sun, and the appreciation for Earth’s bounty is something that never goes out of style on Father’s Day.
Attend a Creative Cooking Class
Attending a cooking class together as a family is an incredible way to bond and learn. And what better day to do it, than Father’s Day? Research around your area to see what is offered—from homemade pasta classes to perfecting the art of a perfectly roasted chicken, there’s bound to be something for everyone (specifically, for Dad). And, at the end of the day, when all is tested and perfected—the family can come together to create a Father’s Day tradition of cooking something special that may stick for years to come.
Plan a Getaway for the Entire Family
When I was a kid, we’d spend a couple days each year staying at a place on the bay, where we’d feed the ducks and ride bikes through the lush green landscapes. Today, it’s harder to get everyone together for getaways like this—but when they happen, it’s magical and able to produce memories that will last a lifetime. When it comes to finding those destinations that bring the family together for all things Father’s Day—from barbecues to fantastic food to traditional games—all-inclusive venues like Kennolyn in the Bay Area are one of the most wonderful ways to go.
At Kennolyn, we offer a peaceful and private escape for your family—complete with just the right environment for grilling some sausages and sharing cheer with those you love. You can give your dad the spirit of summer camp and all its activities with an overnight or weekend celebration on our beautiful grounds.
Whether you’re planning an outdoor adventure or signing up for a cooking class, planning the perfect Father’s Day is all about celebrating the very person who gives all that special meaning to the word dad.
Our quiet retreat in the mountains above the Bay Area is beautiful in the springtime. Join us for a visit and discover why a day or a weekend at Kennolyn may be just what the fathers in your life have been needing. Contact us today for more information