If you’re in search of a way to make this Father’s Day special, but you don’t want to resort to the typical “#1 Dad” T-shirts and coffee cups, then you’ve come to the right place. Father’s Day is right around the corner, and if your military dad is nearby for the holiday, then it’s the perfect time to make some unforgettable memories.
Here are 10 ways to celebrate Father’s Day that are sure to make any military dad feel loved and appreciated.
1. Play a Family Sports Game
Surprise your military dad with a jersey for his favorite team or player, then gather up some family members or friends for a pickup game. No matter the sport, spending time with your dad doing an activity he loves is a great way to show you care and bond this Father’s Day.
2. Schedule a Joy Ride
Is your dad an auto-enthusiast that has resigned himself to the practicality of a family minivan or SUV? If so, you can rent a classic car or a sports car for the day and go for a ride. Be sure to blast his favorite music and roll the windows down!
3. Compile Old Home Movies
Make this Father’s Day memorable by taking your dad on a trip down memory lane. Collect your family’s old home movies (or smartphone videos) and cut them together to make it easy for your dad to relieve those moments again and again.
You can even add in new footage of you and other family members and friends thanking your military dad for his service and wishing him a happy Father’s Day.
4. Face Off at Game Night
Bonding with your dad doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Think of some of your favorite memories growing up — many are probably of the two of you just spending time together, watching TV or playing games as a family. Pull out a few of his favorite board or card games and challenge him to some good-natured competition to make even more fun memories together.
5. Cook a Meal Together
What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than at a dinner table full of delicious favorite foods? If your dad is a good cook himself, ask him to teach you his all-time favorite recipes so you can learn how to duplicate them for future generations. Or, take a stab at creating some of his favorite dishes and enjoy a feast together that he’s sure to love.
6. Host a Barbecue
You can’t go wrong with a good cookout. Grab your dad’s grill essentials, make some killer side dishes, and don’t forget his drink of choice. Head outside for some classic family cookout time and consider adding in backyard games like badminton, cornhole, or even volleyball. You can even make it a potluck and invite over family and friends to share in the fun.
7. Write a Letter
You can always pick up a Father’s Day card from the store, but how much more meaningful would it be to jot down a few honest lines from the heart? Take a little time to show your dad you really appreciate him and everything he’s done for you and your family.
8. Hit the Links
If your dad has a favorite golfing spot, reserve a tee time on his preferred green and give him the morning or afternoon to enjoy by himself or together — if you can keep up. You can try mini golf if you want a slightly less competitive activity, or if you have young children in the family who want to join you.
9. Go Fishing or Boating
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity to occupy the day, plan a lake or beach trip where you can get out on the water to fish, kayak, or swim.
If there isn’t a local fishing spot closeby, consider taking a small road trip and camping or renting out a cabin near the water.
10. Create a Photo Album
An old-fashioned family photo album is a great gift if you’re hoping to give your military dad something a bit more sentimental this Father’s Day. For the more technologically-savvy dad, you can even gift him a digital photo album that automatically updates with new images from your smartphone so they never miss out on new memories.
However you choose to honor your military dad, just be sure to make one thing clear this Father’s Day: you love and appreciate him. How are you celebrating Father’s Day this year? Share your pictures and stories on the SpouseLink Facebook page!