8 Ideas to Celebrate Father’s Day at Home: Quality Time and Small Personal Gestures

By Chris Wagner|9 - 10 mins| June 18, 2020

Are the Coronavirus restrictions in your part of the world easing or tightening up? Either way, this Father’s Day, why risk going out when you can put together a memorable Father’s Day at home that keeps everyone safe?

We recently celebrated Mother’s Day at home and had a blast. Check out my blog to see how we did it. We found that staying at home with a planned schedule was just as fun. Celebrating at home also brought us closer together, with fewer distractions, making the day one we won’t soon forget.

Here are 8 ideas to help you plan a memorable day that dad and the family will love.

Things to Do on Father’s Day – 8 Best Father’s Day Ideas

Plan Father’s Day with the Kids

My six-year-old daughter and I had so much fun planning Mother’s Day together. I’m still processing how much she enjoyed doing this with me, but here are a few of the reasons why I think it was so successful:

  • First, kids relish an opportunity to plan an event with a parent.
  • Second, it is important for kids to share an idea, have that idea accepted, and then implement that idea.
  • Third, kids absolutely love having an opportunity to express not only their love and appreciation for a parent, but to do something for us.
  • Last, kids love keeping a secret. If possible, make the event or some part of the event, a secret. Trust me, they’ll be in your ear the entire time up to the event itself.

If you do go this route, here are a few tips I learned from planning the surprise Mother’s Day with my daughter:

  • First, don’t be afraid to edit. Once our daughter gets going, it’s a stream of consciousness list of ideas. No super parent can do them all. This was a good learning opportunity for us to make a list and then stick to that list as we implemented our plan.
  • Second, compromise. When my daughter starts rolling with ideas, I try to let her roll until she catches her breath, and I suggest we pick three of her ideas. Some of our kid’s ideas are more doable than others. Mom loves a bouncy house, but… This is an excellent learning opportunity to narrow their ideas to a few feasible options, then letting them further narrow down the options for your plan.
  • Three, don’t worry if you don’t think there’s enough to do. At least half our fun was planning and putting together the breakfast in bed, a spa day, and dinner + movie activities before Mother’s Day. This included sharing with my wife what we were up to when she in the other room on her work calls.

This was my biggest take-away from celebrating Mother’s Day at home this year. This is one of those positive lessons and experience our family will look back on after the lockdown that could very well become part of our family tradition.

Dads, Help Out However You’re Needed

One last tip when planning Father’s Day at home (for Dads): support your partner in planning the event. I’m not suggesting you can’t have a secret activity or two, but you know what, it’s their day. What would you like to do on your day? The same goes if we’re organizing a Mother’s Day or birthday at home during the lockdown. And because this might be a new experience, we aren’t merely going out to dinner or to the movies, the organizing parent may need a bit of help coming up with ideas. I found being able to bounce ideas off my wife a great help in planning her special day.

You Can’t Go Wrong with Breakfast in Bed

This is the one activity I’m including from my How to Celebrate Mother’s Day at Home in 2020 blog because it’s just fun and a great way to start the day. This idea started with our daughter and has become a family tradition for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and birthdays. Make it a surprise and serve his, or your kid’s favorite breakfast, or take dad’s order. As I said, you can’t go wrong!  

Plan an Activity the Family Can Do Together

Depending on their ages and interests, if you have more than one child, you could also plan more than one activity you can do together as a family and individually with dad. One on one time with dad is the best.

While dad’s likes, interests, and talents are primarily important here, also consider what each kid loves to do with dad.

While we want to find activities that keep everyone safe, if you have the space to practice social distancing, consider going outside for a bike ride, or a park for a picnic. Do you enjoy kicking the soccer ball or throwing the baseball back and forth?

Does dad like to grill? Buy him his favorite grill-food and let him teach you how to grill!

Completing a puzzle, putting together a model airplane, even completing a DIY project at home together, while we are looking for activities both dad and our child can do together that they both enjoy, the big idea here is the “hangout together time” that means the most.

What’s Your Dad Into?

When planning with the kid, it’s helpful to ask, what does Dad like to do?

If Dad likes to watch sports and has been despondent because his favorite sports team’s seasons have been canceled or delayed, find a historical game from his favorite team on YouTube. Set dad up with his favorite junk- food and hang out with him while you watch. Ask him why he loves this sport, this team, did he play as a kid, did he go to many games as a kid? Some of my best moments with my own dad is talking to him while watching our favorite baseball team play on TV.

Does your dad love music? Consider finding on YouTube a concert of his favorite musician. Is your dad a history buff, considering finding a video or movie about his favorite historical period? Cars, nature, science, chances are you can find a corresponding documentary, YouTube video, or movie that fits his interest.

The big idea here is to make it an experience. And while his preferred snacks are a great addition, the most essential part of this activity is hanging out and learning from dad why he loves this subject.

Last, whatever topic or video you choose, consider buying a small gift like a book, piece of art, or ticket to a future event after the lockdown that corresponds with what dad loves. For example, my dad loves the baseball team, the Texas Rangers. A great gift to give after watching a historical game would be a book about the team, a framed poster of his favorite player, or a ticket to a future game.

Make Something

Nothing wrong with making a Father’s Day card. Google “DIY Fathers Day” or “handmade gifts for dad on Father’s Day” and check out your options. Everything from a homemade key chain made with your child’s handprint, to personalized coffee mugs and t-shirts are just waiting to be customized by the kids. How about creating a personalized picture frame with a picture of dad with the family? Give Google 15 minutes– the possibilities are endless!

Write a Letter

I love this idea, and I think I will be doing this one for my dad this year.

Now that I’m a dad I can say that it’s not the thing, though there are a lot of things like a new laptop or scooter I’d love to have, but the story, the memory, the unique things your kids or spouse know about you that makes Father’s and Mother’s Day gifts memorable.

For older kids, consider seeing if they want to write a letter to dad. Not necessarily how much they love him or tolerate him (ha-ha), but the specific, memorable experiences they’ve shared with dad. Help them with a few examples if they need it. It can be anything from activities they’ve done together, providing financial support, and being there for them during a tough time in their life. Everything from joyous, to serious, is on the table.

In turn, for younger kids, have them draw pictures of their favorite experiences with dad. It’s these kinds of gifts, and not necessarily the traditional Father’s Day tie or cologne gift that dads will hold onto.

What is Your Kid Passionate About?

Like writing a letter, while we can adapt this activity for younger kids, this is another great activity for tweens and teens.

Connect your kid’s passion and talents to the gift. If your kid loves to write, how about a poem or short story or a dramatic scene that represents what their dad means to them. An artist? Suggest they choose their favorite medium and create a piece of art that symbolizes how they feel about their dad. Go the extra mile and have the piece of art framed. A budding film director could create a short movie or montage of images that encapsulate an important experience they share with their dad. A musician can write a song, a chef can create a favorite dish, a computer scientist can create a website.

Provide your kid with a few examples if they need help, otherwise, just be there if they want any feedback.

Quality Time and Small Personal Gestures

The golden rule as you plan to celebrate any day, birthday, accomplishment, or holiday at home is to remember that quality time and small personal gestures are all you need.

Sure, as kids, I judged how well my Christmas was based on the presents I received. And during the lockdown, when we couldn’t get to a store and Amazon wasn’t delivering, meeting our kids’ expectations was tough. The same goes for their expectations of Father’s Day. But even then, with a little help, ideas, and creativity, there’s a lot we can do once we get over the fact that our normal activities aren’t available. For birthdays, check out a previous birthday blog.

For most of us parents, there’s absolutely nothing better than small and memorable gestures. Happy Father’s Day, dads!

Please share any ideas, tips, or examples of how you celebrate important days like Father’s Day at home in the comment section below.


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About The Author:

Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner is a dad, artist, Buddhist, blogger, and content writer. Originally from Texas, he previously worked in the education, youth development, and nonprofit/NGO sectors. For the past 3 years, Chris, along with his wife and 5-year-old daughter, live in Delhi, India. #stayathomedad

Last Updated: Thu Jun 18 2020

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