Enough with the ties. Unless dad specifically asks for one, there are probably a million other more useful and meaningful ways to commemorate Father’s Day, which began in the early 1900s as a companion holiday to Mother’s Day. Here are five ideas to honor dad on his day.
Take the train: A ride to a favorite day-trip destination—or even to nowhere and back—allows dad to let go of the steering wheel, kick back and enjoy the sights. Have a cocktail and/or a meal in the dining car, and bring along a game that you both can enjoy. Maybe even let dad win. Look to your regional transportation system or Amtrak for inspiration.
Make an escape: Escape rooms are the new murder-mystery parties. For an hour or so, you, dad, and select family and friends can groupthink clues and use your powers of deduction to solve the riddles presented and let yourself out of a locked room, step by step. (Also know that there’s a panic button in case anyone gets claustrophobic or if you just want to get out and eat dinner already.)
Get a laugh: Take dad out to a comedy club. Do a little research beforehand to make sure that the headliner will jibe with his style of humor, and get reservations if there’s any chance the show will be sold out. Nothing much happening that weekend near you? Try a classic comedy film fest at home; check out IMDB’s “100 Funniest Movies of All Time” list.
Be buzzworthy: Local breweries and wineries often give tours and samples of their wares. Bring dad to sample his favorite beverage or discover new ones. Offer to be the designated driver, or even better, hire a cab or rideshare service so that everyone can take a few sips—or more.
Give back: Research shows that giving makes us feel better than getting. Team up with dad to volunteer time and talent in the community. Sign up for a shift at a community kitchen, find a building project at Habitat for Humanity or even take some furry friends for a walk at a local animal shelter. Log in to Volunteer Match to find the perfect thing to do.
Keep in mind that the best gift you can give is your time and love—even if it’s just sitting at home and doing a crossword puzzle together.