Thinking Beyond the Tie for Father’s Day


Young family playing diceIt can be tough to find the perfect Father’s Day gift. A guy can only wear so many ties, right? This year, why not try an experiential gift? Research shows that enjoyable experiences actually make people happier in the long run than material goods.

In particular, try to focus on Father’s Day experiences that involve the whole family. Studies have shown that when Dad is involved in leisurely family activities, the well-being and functioning of the entire family improves, so it’s a win all around! Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Have a Dad-friendly movie day.  Rent a couple of Dad’s favorite action movies, make popcorn, have sodas, and enjoy a day at the cinema in the comfort of your own home.

2. Breakfast in bed.  Let Dad sleep in on Father’s Day and spoil him with his favorite breakfast foods.  Have all the kids pile on the bed and share breakfast.

3. Pretend you’re a racing family.  Head to the local go-cart speedway and spend the day racing each other around the track. Dad can pretend he is Mario Andretti!

4. Paintball adventure.  Let Dad be a warrior and have a fun day of family competition at your nearest paintball park.  Dress in camouflage and team up against Dad, then share your war stories afterward over some ice cream.

5. Amusement park thriller.  Enjoy funnel cakes, tacky souvenirs, and roller coaster rides.  Make it a day to try new rides and make new memories.

6. Camping.  If Dad loves the outdoors, start a tradition of camping each Father’s Day.  Pitch a tent and tell stories around the campfire while making s’mores.

7. Music Festival.  Summer is the perfect time to enjoy music.  Many parks offer local music festivals. Pack a blanket and picnic and enjoy an afternoon of music.

This Father’s Day, ditch the #1 Dad mug and spend the day doing fun, experiential family activities that will create lasting memories. The above Father’s Day activity ideas are sure to become a yearly tradition!

Jim Hjort, LCSW helps people overcome roadblocks to self-actualization as a psychotherapist, Right Life Coach, and mindfulness meditation instructor. He founded the Right Life Project to help you understand how to handle the different dimensions of your life (psychological, social, physical, and vocational) in ways that enable you to be happier and more fulfilled, and to reach your full potential.


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