Is your husband’s closet overflowing with ties and shirts that he never wears? Are his cabinets stuffed with DVDs or CDs already?
On this Father’s Day, express some appreciation for your Prince Charming with an experience that will create a memory for a lifetime, instead of an ordinary gift. Your “happily ever after” is noisy and littered with sippy cups, but at least your husband understands that you’re a lovely maiden, not a maid. So, take the time to thank the man who rescues you from dragons (your 2-year-old, who has a fiery temper) and kisses you even when you feel like a frog by choosing a unique adventure that will make him the envy of all the other knights around the water cooler.
Here are 8 ideas for celebrating Father’s Day in style. From Free to Fancy, there are lots of great options to choose from. The added bonus: no gift-wrapping required—just the magical experience of family togetherness.
1) Spend time together at a festival or family activity
This is a great option for anyone on a budget who is looking for a fun family activity.
Dad Fest is an annual event that creates a forum for Dads and their family to gather together to celebrate their lives, their health, and their importance to the American family. It is sponsored by the Urology Foundation (http://www.urologyfoundation.org). This year, their 17th Annual event will be on June 12 in Richardson at Galatyn Park. Celebrate Dad’s abilities by registering him in Dad’s Day 5K; other fun events include the “Diaper Dash,” where crawling babies compete on a padded track and a Dad and child look-alike contest. For more info, go to www.dadfest.com. (Picture taken by Jerry Glover Photography at DadFest 2009).
- On Father’s Day, try “Real Men Cook,” an event that invites men to cook their favorite dish and sample recipes (http://www.realmencook.com/Dallas.html).
- If your husband is more into aesthetics than the oven, The Dallas Museum of Art’s Friday late nights falls on Father’s Day Weekend (Friday, June 18th). These special evenings include outdoor films, music, and kids activities. Tickets cost $10 (http://www.dallasmuseumofart.org/Events/LateNights/AboutLateNights/index.htm).
2) Relax with a drink together
Is your husband a wine connoisseur? You don’t need to go to Napa Valley to cater to his interests by touring a winery and sampling award-winning wines. Tours are generally free, with a small fee for wine-tasting. One of our favorites is Delaney Vineyards in Grapevine (http://www.delaneyvineyards.com/tour_tasting/tour.htm). If he’s more of a beer-kinda-guy, Dallas-Ft. Worth has options for him, too. Try a tour at Rahr & Sons, on South Main Street in Fort Worth. They give free tours on Saturdays from 1-3pm, which often include live music, a BBQ and of course, cold beer (http://www.rahrbrewery.com/brewery).
3) Experience his favorite sport – from behind the stands
Does the dad in your life love sports? Many local teams offer tours of their stadiums. The brand-new Cowboy’s Stadium in Arlington offers both a VIP guided tour or self-guided tour of the facility, which include stops in both the Cowboys locker room as well as the cheerleader’s locker room. It also gives you all the information you’ll ever want to know about the world’s largest domed structure for just $27.50 (VIP) or $17.50 (self-guided). American Airlines Center offers tours that teach you the behind-the-scenes working of the center, including event conversion. In the tour, you will visit the press box, a luxury suite, party rooms, as well as other facilities in the building and, if scheduling permits, a team locker room. Tours are $5/adults, $3/kids and are offered on non-event Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:30am.
4) Get dirty together (the kind with mud)
Many of the Dads I know are really little boys forced to dress up and work in an office all week. And all the little boys I know (including my own sons) live for playing in the mud and digging in dirt. Take Dad out for an afternoon to have some grown-up muddy fun at DFW Adventure Park (www.dfwap.com) just northwest of Grapevine/Southlake in Roanoke. For a taste of adventure, he can play an infrared combat game or paintball. They also have an ATV club and motorcross track on site.
5) Fulfill his need for speed
Does the sight of a dirty diaper send Dad speeding away? Or does he stick around to help? Reward him with the chance to drive a race car on the Texas Motor Speedway. At Texas Driving Experience, prices start at $75 for a 5-lap drive in a Z06 Yellow Corvette (http://www.texasdrivingexperience.com/). A friend of mine got the 10-lap combo ($355) for her husband one year, which gave him the chance to drive one of the cool Corvette’s 10 laps, then ride shotgun with a real race car driver at the wheel for 5 more. She says, “It was seriously one of the coolest experiences we’ve ever had, and a memory we’ll have forever.” You can see all their programs, including teen driving school and corporate team-building, on their home page. ***Plus, the CEO of the company is a woman, Dawn Stokes. You go, girl!!
6) Ride a Warbird
This is the perfect choice for a dad who loves airplanes, history or the military! At the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, you can fly on one of two real WWII fighter planes, either a N2S-4 Stearman or an AT-6 Texas. The Stearman is an open-cockpit biplane and the AT-6 Texan was the last plane a fighter pilot trained in before getting to fly in battle. Flights are 30 minutes (flying time), and cost between $195 and $275. http://www.cavanaughflightmuseum.com/warbird_rides.htm
7) See Dallas from a hot air balloon
Looking for a more relaxing, “uplifting” experience? Try riding in a hot air balloon. Flights usually last 45 minutes to one hour and cost approximately $200 per person. http://www.texasballooning.com/
8) Let Dad “Drive His Dream”
For a real splurge, try the ‘drive your dream’ tour that lets Dad drive 5 luxury cars (Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Corvettes and more!) for an afternoon (http://www.dfwdriveyourdream.com). They tour several Texas cities with their fleet, so check the website for actual available dates (sadly, the actual day of Father’s Day is not one of them). Tours allowing Dad to drive all 5 cars are (gulp!) $697. You can also rent one of their luxury cars for the day, check prices on website.
Article written by Naomi Goldberg for MomsOutLoud.com, before we became DFWMama.com. Naomi is a Dallas-based freelance writer who enjoys writing on parenting topics. She had written for several national publications, including ePregnancy and Mothering Magazine. Naomi enjoys reading, writing and taking long, leisurely strolls. This last hobby has been modified since the arrival of her three sons—ages 6, 3 and 1.