Ask most fathers what they want on their special day and they’ll modestly tell you they don’t need anything. These fun ideas help you make a fuss over dad without – well – making a fuss. There are also plenty of opportunities to spend quality time with dad at area attractions, some locations even let dad in for free!

Events

Free for dads: 

Children’s Museum of Atlanta

The Museum is  having a Father’s Day Celebration with a Father’s Day photo booth, dad Olympics and parade, “I Love My Dad” storytime and picture frame decorating on June 17 and 18. Dads get in free on June 18.

Zoo Atlanta

It’s Father’s Day at the Zoo at on June 18, and dads get free admission with purchase of any regularly-priced child’s or adult’s general admission ticket.

Stone Mountain Park

A Father’s Day Car Show will be held in the park featuring vintage Camaros, Mustangs, Chevys from the 1950s and more. In honor of Father’s Day, families receive one free Adventure Pass for dad on June 18.

The College Football Hall of Fame

The hall will give dads free admission on  June 18.

Free for the family: 

The Atlanta History Center

The Center will have free admission on June 17 and 18 for its annual Juneteenth celebration, a two-day family program that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The center will have special family activities, performances and crafts.

Oakland Cemetery

The Cemetery will host  events commemorating Juneteenth on June 17, 9 a.m.-noon, with guided walking tours of the cemetery’s African American grounds, storytelling, a headstone cleaning workshop, a kids’ guided walking tour, a kids’ scavenger hunt and more.

The Atlanta Fatherhood Expo

The event will celebrate all fathers with a children’s entertainment area, giveaways, presentations and resources for fathers, and more. Admission is free for families. June 17, 1-5 p.m., at Greenbriar Mall.

For sports-minded dads: 

Atlanta Braves Baseball 

Another idea for spending the day with Dad: Take him out to a ball game with the Atlanta Braves, who will be playing the Marlins at 1:30 p.m. on June
18. Buy inexpensive seats for the whole family or splurge for Father’s Day Catch on the Field (tickets are $101 each for Diamond Infield seats and include $30 to
spend on concessions, and Dad gets to participate in a postgame catch on the field).

Father’s Day Paddle 

Dads who love the outdoors would enjoy a Father’s Day Paddle afternoon canoe trip with the family, offered at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, June 18. 1-4 p.m. Water squirters will be distributed to beat the heat. Tickets are $30 each (children must be age 6 or older); register by June 15.

Race Car Driver for a Day

Dads who gave up their sports cars for a family van would be thrilled with a day at the Porsche Experience Center behind the wheel of a Porsche or with the driving experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway (driving or riding in a NASCAR race car). Prices vary by experience: The Porsche Experience starts at $350, and Speedway thrills start at $109.

Go Golfing 

On Father’s Day, go play a round at Topgolf, the arcade-like golf center. Reservations are $115 per bay and include two hours of Topgolf gameplay. For Father’s Day, if you reserve bays for the first time slot of the day, reservations are $75 per bay. Up to six guests per bay are allowed, so the whole family can play.

Crafts

LEGO Cuff Links 

Little boys love LEGOs. But so do big boys. Make this simple pair of cuff links that will remind dad of his kids and keep his playful spirit alive.
You’ll need:

  • Blank cuff links (can purchase at Etsy or Ebay – search “cuff link blanks”)
  • Two LEGOs (four dot thin ones preferable)Silver spray paint (optional)
  • Glue

If you want, paint your LEGOs first, then cover with a fine coat of spray polyurethane in satin. Allow to dry. Glue the LEGOs to the cuff links. (Make sure you ordered silver blanks or sprayed them to match if you painted your LEGOs). If you want to use a heavy duty bonding agent,this is definitely a task for an adult. Let dry well.

Dad’s Favorite Treats 

This gift couldn’t be easier. Take an empty mason jar and fill with roasted peanuts in the shell (or if dad has another favorite … say pistachios … those will work as well). Make a label that says “I’m NUTS about you, Dad!” or use the free printable available here. A second version uses an empty candy jar that you fill with father’s favorite sweets. A “Dad’s Stache” printable also available here. 

Give Dad a Hand 

Fold a sheet of colored card stock in half and trace your child’s hands on one side. With card folded, cut out the hand so you end up with two identical hand shapes. On the top hand, you can write or use transfer letters to spell out “I love you …” Next, cut a strip of card stock. Fold it accordion style until you have 12 spaces and write the words “this much!” on the strip (the first and last squares should be left blank, and the message will take up the remainder.) Write a personal message on the outside of the second hand then glue the blank accordion squares to the blank side of the two hands.

Is Dad a Golfer?

Get some old/recycled golf balls and let the kids decorate them using colored Sharpies. Save the expensive balls for the course, but these are great fun for practice.

The Word is Father 

Whether you have a computer or a box of crayons, this heartfelt gift is easy to pull off. With your kids, brainstorm adjectives and nouns that describe dad and have letters found in the word “FATHER.” Once you have a workable list write down six words that when correctly aligned, will spell “FATHER” vertically. If you’re a crafter you can cut out the letters and put colored paper behind the openings. Got mad design skills? Use a design program on your computer and print out the results on card stock. Want to go low tech? Let the kids draw and color the words, then put the finished product in a frame for dad’s wall or desk

Advertise Your Dad

Websites like cafepress.com and redbubble.com (though there are others) have plenty of T-shirts and mugs (often funny) that honor a swell dad. Most will give you a discount on your first purchase if you sign up for email alerts.

Video Surprise

Make a “World’s Best Dad” video that he’ll treasure for years to come. Put on your brainstorming cap for your own ideas, or try some of these. On videotape, share special memories of your dad, sing to him, read him a poem, or do skits. Get the whole family involved and conduct interviews with each other with Dad as the main topic. Don’t forget your props such as a banner or collection of his prized possessions including sports trophies or equipment that tell who he is. Finally, be sure to let him know just how much he means to you.

Other Ideas

King for the Day

It isn’t everyday that dad is waited on hand and foot. Offer to be his loyal servant for the day, and bring him coffee and toast in bed; fetch his newspaper; lay out his clothes, bath towel, and mat; be host or hostess and serve his beverages and snacks; clean up after him and anything else to give him the royal treatment.

Memories of Dad

Purchase a scrapbook and create a record of memories about your father and you. Include photos of special outings, events, and holidays you’ve had together and other memorabilia from family vacations and activities such as concert or sporting event ticket stubs, postcards and brochures. Next to each photo or item, describe your memories of those times together with your father.

A Man to Remember

Get your creative juices flowing and write a poem for your dad. You need not be a poet to come up with a few thoughtful words to say how much he means. Describe the impact he’s had on your life, how he’s helped you to become the person you are today, and what he is to you. Then print it on stationary, matte and frame it.

Musical Moment

Take your father to see his favorite band or performing artist, enjoy a jazz or blues festival, or pack up some lawn chairs and enjoy a local concert in the park.

Togetherness Takes Two

Has your dad been putting off the dreaded task of cleaning out his attic, basement or garage? Give him a gift of shelving materials and brackets, wall racks and ceiling hooks, and storage crates. Then spend the day helping him to get it organized while catching up on old times.

World’s Greatest

Let dad know that he’s the greatest 365 days a year! Give him a “World’s Greatest Dad” coffee mug, t-shirt, book cover, book marker, wallet card, or other trinket that he’ll see or use regularly.

Sports Buff’s Surprise

Take your dad for a sporting good time. Play a game of golf, tennis, or basketball, go fishing at the river’s edge, or enjoy a paddle around a lake. If being a spectator is his thing, purchase tickets to his favorite sporting event such as a baseball or soccer game, boxing match, or auto race.

Weekend Getaway

Get in touch with nature and each other on a camping trip for two. Either rough it in a tent or rent a mini cabin at a state park, and spend your weekend enjoying nature hikes, sight seeing, fishing, boating, playing cards, and taking it easy together.

Father’s Day Feast

As the old adage goes; the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So, treat dad to a mouth-watering meal on the barbecue. Fix him his favorite: steak, ribs, chicken, burgers, or chops for starters, and don’t forget the grilled potatoes or squash, garlic bread or rolls, fresh green beans or asparagus, sweet corn, potato salad, and last but not least, his favorite dessert.

Take a Stroll

Enjoy a peaceful walk together in the park or the country. Better yet, gather your bikes or roller blades, hit a scenic bike path, and enjoy the summer breeze.

Certificates of Appreciation

Show Dad you appreciate his hard work by returning the favor. Make coupons that say: “In appreciation for all that you do, Dad, please redeem this certificate for a hassle-free car wash by me!” Other favors include sweeping out the garage, mowing the lawn, or any other task for which he normally takes responsibility.

Catch a Flick … or two

Treat your dad to a movie fest. Rent a couple newly released videos or some of his long time favorites, or head to the cinemas for a double feature. Whether you take the movies in at home or the theatre, don’t forget the hot, buttered popcorn, candy and soft drinks.

A Gift of Giving

Does your dad have a favorite cause or charity such as the Humane Society, the Nature Conservancy, or American Cancer Society? If so, why not give him a membership or make a donation in his name? Remember that small donations add up and are always appreciated.

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