Dads are great. They’re protectors, they’re providers, they’re stand-up comedians and advice-givers and darn good grill masters all rolled up into a single person. With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s never too soon to start planning what you want to do with your dad on the one day a year dedicated to him.
Your dad may tell you he doesn’t care what you guys do for Father’s Day so long as you’re together, but that’s the only sort of true. The truth is, he’d probably much rather actually do something than just spend another Sunday sitting at home.
If you want to treat dad to something fun this Father’s Day but aren’t sure what that should be, check out our list below for some inspiration.
If Your Dad is Outdoorsy
1. June is the perfect time of year to head to the beach—it’s starting to feel like summer without the heat being unbearable. Why not head to one of the fine beaches our state has to offer? Better yet, head to Silver Sands and take a stroll out to Charles Island when the tide is out for a little Father’s Day adventure!
2. If your dad is the kind of guy who likes to prove that he can still kick it with the young bucks, treat him to a challenging hike up Bear Mountain, Connecticut’s tallest peak.
3. Not quite up to a hike that tough? No problem. Head out to Sleeping Giant State Park for an easy to moderate hike, or check out one of these top dog-friendly hiking trails if your dad can’t be separated from his best friend for the day.
4. He may enjoy exploring Watertown’s famous Leatherman’s Cave. Hiking around this mysterious cave can help you relive the tails of your childhood when you heard about the Leatherman’s travels.
5. You could even check out the Southford Falls. This waterfall has been a well-kept secret of CT for ages. If you both need some fresh air, take a ride and explore the Southford State Park in all its beauty.
6. Find a campground near you and take your dad camping for the weekend. Invite the siblings and any grandkids and you’ve got the start of an amazing Father’s Day tradition.
7. If your dad is a fan of the water, head out for a day of kayaking in one of CT’s rivers.
If Your Dad Likes Beer
8. Most dad’s like beer. If your dad fits into the archetype of a beer-loving dad, why not bring him to one of these tried-and-true favorite CT breweries?
9. Pay a visit to Bad Sons Beer Company in Derby. Bad Sons got their name by combining the first letter of each town in the “Valley”. If you want to spend quality time with your Dad, do it in a place that unites not just people, but entire towns!
10. If your dad likes a beer that’s a little different from the rest—maybe with a little more character or pizazz—spend the day with him checking out these fun and unique CT microbreweries, which craft unique brews like a cannoli beer.
11. Stop by Maltose Express and buy a DIY beer-making kit so that you and your dad can spend the day crafting your very own specialty brew. The process takes time, though, and the beer won’t be ready for a few weeks, so make sure you get some ready-made beer to enjoy with him in the meantime.
12. Take your Dad to the best beer bar in CT voted by Connecticut Magazine. The Hops Company, in Derby, is a castle of endless beer opportunities. If you are looking to test out new beers with your Dad, The Hops Company can get the job done.
13. Buy your dad a hammock, help him set it up, and let him sit back and relax with a few cold ones while you take care of all of the yard work that he hasn’t had the time to get around to.
14. Okay, so, unfortunately, there are no beer festivals actually happening on Father’s Day. But you don’t necessarily need to limit the celebrations to one particular day. Why not treat dad to one of the fun beer-based events happening in CT in June?
If Your Dad is a Sports Junky
15. Okay, you might not consider golf to be a sport, but your dad does. Treat him to a day out on his favorite course, or let him blow off some steam at a driving range near you.
16. If your dad is more of a fisherman, take him out for the day to one of these CT fishing holes. You might even save yourselves some money by catching dinner!
17. Grab a game with one of CT’s favorite home baseball teams: The Bridgeport Bluefish, Hartford Yard Goats, or the New Britain Bees.
18. Paintball might not be in the Olympics, but it’s a fun way to pass an afternoon. Get together your dad and your siblings for a family-bonding experience you won’t soon forget. Try Yankee Paintball in Oxford, a favorite of CT Weekender staff.
19. Speaking of paintball, let’s not forget about other extreme sports that you can treat dad to. If he’s an adrenaline junkie, you can always go out for a day of mountain biking or rock climbing.
20. Show your Dad that you got skills and battle him on the racetrack as Naskart. Their all-electric powered go-karts move about 40 MPH, plenty of speed for your father-son competition.
21. If you’re looking for a challenge both physically and mentally, then check out these ropes courses. You can spend the day one-upping each other on every obstacle.
22. Challenge your Dad to a game of bowling. Grab some bar food and a pitcher of beer’s from the concession at Bowlero, in Milford.
23. Give your whole body a workout and take Dad to Central Rock Gym in Glastonbury. This rock gym has a bunch of top rope walls, bouldering walls, and a small workout space for you to get a full day of exercise while spending quality time with Dad.
If Your Dad is a Man of Culture and Taste
24. If your dad is more of a wine snob than beer guzzler, you’re still in luck. CT is chock-full of amazing wineries—just the place for a dad of culture!
25. “Culture” includes food. Bring dad on a culinary road trip through the state where he can have a taste of all of the amazing treats that CT has to offer. Between amazing pizza, top-notch burgers, and a world-class ethnic food scene, there’s plenty to keep him guessing.
27. Try out a fun, high-class and unique bar, like The Ordinary or The Owl Shop in New Haven, that are enough to make Ron Burgundy himself jealous.
28. From the Florence Griswold Museum to the Mark Twain House to the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Connecticut has more than enough museums to keep you and dad happy and learning the whole day. Head to an old favorite or find a new one to spend a couple quiet hours with your dad this Father’s Day.
29. Bring your dad to Oak Haven for top-shelf whiskey creations. The food won’t disappoint either, you can find things like duck leg on their menu.
30. Take Dad to the Auto Show put on by the New England Auto Museum. He will appreciate the fine craftsmen ship of each vehicle and can talk your ear off about all of the cars he used to own when he was growing up.
If all else fails, just bring him to his favorite bar and indulge him by laughing at his jokes and stories over a drink. He changed your diapers as a baby; you owe him at least that much.