When I thought about writing this Father’s Day article, I thought back to the popular folk song by Harry Chapin, “Cats in the Cradle”. The tale of this song is about a busy father who never seemed to have enough time to spend with his son. As the song progresses, so does the age of the son and father. As the father’s life slowed down, the son’s life became similar to his father’s earlier days…too busy. This role reversal is very common, with many kids growing up and establishing their own life with a career and kids of their own.
To me, it certainly seems like ‘life’ is much busier than it ever used to be. Perhaps it’s because careers are more demanding, in addition to supporting and nurturing a family. Or, maybe…I’m not any busier than he was, and simply need to make the time, rather than wait for something that will never come on its own.
With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I am going to share 12 ideas of what you can do with your dad…a gift he will certainly treasure, and that’s time…with you.
12 Fun Activities To Do With Dad
1. Go Fishing
If your budget allows for it, get away for the weekend together to cast a line, sit back, and catch up on what is going on in each other’s life. You might be able to get some great advice for your own life, while making your father feel needed again. For something less expensive, but just as meaningful, catch some fish on a local lake or river, then come back to the home, clean it, and cook it for a nice dinner together.
2. Buy Me some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks
Take your dad out to the ballpark for a good old fashioned baseball game. Buy all the souvenirs…yes, even the foam #1 finger. Cheer on your favorite team together and bring back old memories, while creating a new one.
3. Picnic in the Park
Get the entire family together for a family barbecue in the park. Plan some games such as volleyball, horseshoes, or even cards. Growing up, we had some great family reunions. For no explainable reason, when the older generations started leaving us, the reunions stopped. However, our parents brought these together, providing great times and memories for us. So, if you have the opportunity to return that favor to your parents, it would probably be a welcomed and cherished gift.
4. Spend Time on the Water
Boating, kayaking, and tubing are all great activities on the water. If you have the opportunity, and your dad enjoys the water, plan a day to be out on it. Even if you don’t have a boat, you could charter one, or grab some tubes to float down the river. They make disposable, waterproof cameras. Make sure to pick one up to capture the memory.
5. Start a Family Tree Together
If your dad does not necessarily enjoy the outdoors, try an indoor project. A great family project to do together is to create a family tree. There are various software programs that make it easy to do. It’s a great way to learn more about your heritage, and create a bond with your dad at the same time.
6. Create a Man Cave
Spend a day or two working on a space that is created just for your dad. If he likes gaming, think ‘retro’ with a 30th anniversary Pac-Man theme. Here are a few other themeideas you can share with your dad, depending on his interests: Sports, Classic Cars, and Music. Bring your ideas, plan it out, and help to put it together. It will give him a space to unwind, as well as a place to spend time with in the future.
7. Rent a Ride Together
Did you know that you can rent a luxury car for the day? Yes, you and your dad can cruise in a grand vehicle such as a Lamborghini, Lotus Elise, or a Ferrari for a day. If he appreciates high-end vehicles, this could turn out to be a great time together. Imagine pulling up to a friend’s house to see the expression on their face.
8. Trip Down Memory Lane
Take an afternoon, or weekend to take a tour. Visit old childhood places such as schools, and homes that you grew up in, or where you visited the grandparents. It will most likely bring with it some great conversations, and stories you hear for the first time.
9. Take a Class Together
If your father has an interest in something specific, and could benefit from a class or two, join him. For example, take a couple photography classes, or a karate course. A second language is another option, and one from his heritage would make it special.
10. Charity Begins at Home
Consider spending some time volunteering at a charity event that is meaningful to your dad. If you don’t know what charity that is, ask him. It might be the local soup kitchen, and you could go together to help serve the public. Or, it might be a walk for cancer, especially if you know of someone who has been effected by cancer.
11. A Real BREWhaha
A tasty cold beer together can always be fun. But, what if you actually brewed the beer…together. Pick up a home brew kit, all the ingredients and tools, then plan some time when you can brew it with your dad. Keep in mind, it’s a multiple step process. So, if you can’t be there for all the steps, make sure he’s able to do them on his own.
12. In Honor Of
Perhaps you are unable to spend actual time with your dad, because he has passed on. The first couple years after my dad was gone, I wanted to sleep through Father’s Day…and not face his empty chair. However, after a while, I realized that I can honor him on Father’s Day. If there is something your dad really enjoyed doing, do it. For me, my dad loved to sing. He was in a quartet and sang southern gospel songs every week, for years. So, I often listen to his favorites in honor of him. It could also be that your dad loved to bowl. Take your own family out for a few games of bowling and talk to your own kids about the great memories you have of him.
For most dads, the actual event isn’t nearly as important as the actual time spent together. Whatever you do…don’t wait for the Harry Chapin song to rewind. It won’t. Make the time now, before it’s too late.
Guest post by Melissa Cameron who is currently writing on a series of articles on Father’s Day, inspired when researching information on football wall murals for a room for her husband. As a freelance writer, she enjoys writing on topics such as medical, family, cooking, and more. When Melissa is not writing, she enjoys spending time with husband and kids traveling, boating, cooking, and playing baseball in the yard.