Ideas to Make Father’s Day Extra Awesome for Dads (2023)

Show your ❤️ for dad this weekend!


Dads’ big day is coming up this weekend, and if you’re still looking for ways for the whole fam to celebrate it, you’ve got lots of options.  This round-up has a great mix of suggestions — with something to suit every honoree. Happy Father’s Day!

Take Dad Out to the Ballgame
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront & Shaw, DC
When: June 16-19
Admission: Ticket prices vary

For Dads who are Nats fans, take them to the ballpark for a game against the Marlins. They are playing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so if the actual Father’s Day doesn’t work, you’ve got other options — and there are special promos and activities on some of them, including a Racing President’s bobblehead giveaway on Saturday.

Awesome Con
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon, DC
When: June 16-18
Admission: Starts at $45/day for adult, $15/kid, free/2 & under free

For dads who really dig pop culture, this is the event for them! The mid-Atlantic’s premier pop culture convention brings a three-day celebration of television, movies, comic books, science, technology and more to DC for the weekend. All kinds of cool programs, an impressive lineup of special guests, and exciting activities for fans are in store. Geek dads of all ages can enjoy events including a Lord of the Rings panel with Elijah Wood, Sean Austin, and Andy Serkis; video and tabletop gaming; a whole cosplay area, and so much more!

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the day and dad on the trail.  Tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, try to spot wild creatures, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hit the trail with kids.

Hike & Sip (or Feast)
Where: Around the DC area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by place

These specific recommendations for hikes are great if you want to extend the day to include food and drinks to celebrate, too.  A few awesome combos for that:  Patuxent River State Park and Waredaca Brewery (how we celebrated last year), Sky Meadows State Park and Barrel Oak WinerySugarloaf Mountain and The Comus Inn or Sugarloaf Mountain VineyardGreat Falls (MD side) and The Old Angler’s InnPatapsco Valley State Park and the Guinness Brewery.

Father’s Day Fish-a- Rama
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: June 18
Admission: $15/child, $17/adult

Treat Dad to a fun-filled day with BBQ and catch-and-release fishing. Guests can compete in the Fish-a-Rama contest, fishing for catfish, bass, and blue gill in the stocked ponds, and prizes are on the line for the largest fish hooked. Bring your own pole and gear to fish (no drag hooks). GCF has worms for purchase in the country store. The amusement continues on the five-acre farm-style playground featuring the Giant Jumping Pillow, Triple Threat slide, corn bin, animal barnyard, and loads more fun for all.

Meal for the Man of the Hour
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Cost of your meal

You really can’t go wrong with plans focused around food and drink, and there are plenty of restaurants around DC to go out for a good, fun meal with the fam.  Here are a few of my recs:  Ivy City Smokehouse, All Purpose PizzeriaHank’s Oyster Bar, Martin’s Tavern, Cactus Cantina, Farmers Fishers Bakers, and Tabard Inn. Be sure to make reservations.

United with Dad
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: June 17, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $29 (look for a discount)

For dads who are fútbol fans, a DC United match is great way to celebrate. They’re hosting Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening, so you can catch the soccer action and also enjoy some fun on Sunday. Plan on dinner before the game or some fun after to make it even more special for dad — there are plenty of places for it in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. For a family meal, I recommend The Salt Line, All Purpose Pizza, El Bebe, Agua 301, and Due South. If you make it an adult outing and go for drinks after, try Dacha Beer Garden or Solace Outpost.

Tee Up
Where: Top Golf | National Harbor & Gaithersburg, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Starts at $27/bay
For dads who like to golf, plan a swing session for the whole fam that doesn’t require you to play all 9 or 18 holes, that’s also in a sheltered space, so you don’t have to worry about weather  At Top Golf, you drive balls from climate controlled sheltered bays, so you can still enjoy fresh air and be comfy.  Plus, there ’s a full service restaurant and bar (for parents, obvi) to make a full experience of it.  Be sure to reserve ahead as they likely weill fill up for Father’s Day.  And if you can’t snag a bay, think about giving a session there as a gift!

Axe Throwing
Where: Kick Axe Throwing | Northeast DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $33/hour per person, $45/1.5 hour

For another kind game, how about axe throwing? Kids ages 8 and up can get in on the fun, so you can celebrate dad with a unique outing for the whole crew. And Kick Axe throwing is, well, throwing in treats for the man of the hour — a free beer and hot dog off the grill. Plus, there also will be drink special and other throw-back games like Connect4, card games, and more. Be sure to reserve in advance!

Juneteenth Celebrations
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout Father’s Day weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Father’s Day is one day before Juneteenth, and the weekend will be filled with events to commemorate the holiday, many of them great ways to celebrate dad. This round-up has details on where and when they are happening.

Fun in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: Ongoing
Admission: Starts at $48

For adventurous dads who love the outdoors, particularly being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — it is hands down the best aerial ropes course in the area.  There are still some tickets available for Sunday, but if you can’t score them for that day, think Father’s Day gift and reserve for another day! Read more about the Adventure Park  here.

Take Dad Out to the Minors
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Bowie, MD
When: Throughout Father’s Day weekend
Admission: Starts at $16

The Nats aren’t the only team in town for some Father’s Day baseball. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the Richmond Flying Squirrels all weekend, and there’s extra fun and special promos to enjoy — post-game fireworks, packages especially for Father’s Day, and giveaways among them.

Go With the Flow
Where: Around the DC area
Admission: Varies by locale

Spend quality time with the man of the hour on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go.   The Wharf is a great starting place for a paddling excursion.  Quiet Waters Park showcases beautiful nature in Annapolis that you can view from the South River. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent for a great all-day deal.  And if you want to go a little bigger, consider a Solomons Island pontoon boat rental (the post is about a Mother’s Day excursion, but can obvi be for Father’s Day, too).  For even more recommendations, see this round-up of places for recreation on the water.

Disc Golfin’
Where: Parks Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale (usually FREE)

Celebrate the day by hitting the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a day outdoors with the fam.  This post has info about our favorite in College Park, and there are also great courses at Patapsco Valey State Park in MD,  Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA,  Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, MD, and Burke Lake Park in Burke, VA. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses are set up in pretty parks with opportunities for more recreation at all of them. Bring along a picnic for lunch in the fresh air, too.

A Grand Feast
Where: Crab houses around the area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Cost of your meal

Steamed crabs, cold beer, scenic views… that’s a recipe for a great Father’s Day for at least one dad I know. The 2023 Summer Guide has several suggestions on where to feast on Maryland’s best dish. I recommend making reservations if possible — this is always a popular way to celebrate.

***Gift Ideas***
* Fun mug
* Great board game
* Summer sandals
* Whiskey making kit
* A nice daypack
* Tickets to see Messi play!

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