Throwback Father's Day ideas that remind your dad of when you were a kid
May we suggest actively re-living your quality moments as the best way to make new ones this weekend.
Remember the time your dad taught you to play that instrument, or sport, or took you (just you) out to get a cone on a hot summer evening? He will too, when you dig out that memory and reinvent it as the ultimate Father's Day gift. Not only will you be able to take a trip down memory lane with him when you say, "remember when you did this for me?" or you "took me to this place one year?", you'll get to relive an indelible moment together while making a new one. Sniff.
Here are some thought starters...
Take him to a concert, because he inspired your music collection
In the seventies I had no idea how cool my dad's music collection was. David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Bread, Bee Gees, Alice Cooper, The Beatles — they made up the soundtrack of my childhood. In one particularly vivid memory, the whole family is cruising across the border to the USA on our way to spend the day at Fantasy Island. Lounging in the expansive back seat of our Delta '88 Royale convertible, sun beating down on us and Boz Scaggs' "Georgia" blasting from the 8-track. This will forever be one of my favourite dad moments. So for one Father's Day in recent memory, it made sense to take him to a Boz Scaggs concert with my sister. We drank, we sang, we danced and the best part was that we didn't have to get mushy about why it meant so much to us because the music did all the work. If your dad's musical taste had an impact on you, take him to a concert and let the music do the talking.
Head to his place early to make him coffee in his brand new coffee maker
In my first ever attempt at making coffee, I snuck into the kitchen while my parents were still asleep, poured the cold water left over in the kettle into a cup (because I wasn't allowed to use the appliances, nor did I necessarily know how), added a ton of instant coffee and a tea bag for good measure and stirred the whole thing up. I may or may not have added milk and sugar. Regardless, my dad drank the Father's Day cup of... whatever… with great (feigned) pride. I think I owe him one. For that — and every other thing he ever drank, ate, wore and put on his desk because I decided I wanted to make it.
If your dad taught you how to actually make a great cup of coffee and/or supported your early culinary misadventures, surprise him with an upgrade to his own java routine. Select a beautiful maker, be it a Le Creuset coffee press or a Keurig brewer with a bunch of fun-flavoured pods — whatever best suits his daily routine and the way he likes it. My dad is big on dipping, so I will present my offering with some gourmet biscotti. Then I'll let him finally tell me what he thought of my very first attempt.
DIY a memento based on one of your first ever DIYs
I think one reason I doodle a little every night is that I was pretty mesmerized when my father brought a funny character to life on the page. I can remember him trying to make me laugh by sketching a face with an exaggerated pout to rival mine at the moment, and it worked. His faces, animals — and accompanying sound effects — were ridiculous, and I would retrace and replicate them, forgetting whatever brought on my bad mood. I don't think he's ever seen any of my sketches and I know I would like to see his after all of these years. Maybe we can work on some sort of collab on Father's Day, on two pieces of cardstock, and each have one to keep when we're done. Your idea might be to record something together if you still play an instrument because of your dad, shoot some photos together, or co-cook (definitely document it too) an unforgettable meal.
Take him on a trip to a place he made you love
My dad worked for a Canadian airline for many, many years and most of my fondest memories of being a child is all the vacations we'd take. From vacations down south to Barbados to across the U.S., including Tampa and Memphis, to visiting his home and family in Scotland, it really harboured my interest in travel which continues to today. One of my favourite trips (which I get judged for) was — and is still — Las Vegas. Though it's not necessarily thought of as a family spot, the fanfare captured my fascination to this day. Bonus, now I get to gamble.
If travel is in your family blood, take your dad on a vacation to your favourite destination. It doesn't even need to be out of province. Just a quick getaway a few hours away, or if you are adventurous do it up big and create more memories that will last a lifetime.
Bring back the Sunday drive
I come from a family that loves a "Sunday drive." If my dad could get in the car and drive around for an entire day with no real destination in mind, taking as many back roads as possible, he'd be entirely content. Growing up, Father's Day was dad's day and he could pick whatever activity he wanted to do as a family — and the answer was always "go for a drive." One particular mid-June Sunday in the late nineties involved a two-hour drive to Cape D'or and then the exact same two-hour drive home. In the eyes of an eight year old, is there anything besides some rocks and a lighthouse out there? No. Was it a riveting way to spend an afternoon bickering with my sister in the back seat? Not entirely. Was it one of the days we still talk about as a family? Absolutely.
Now that I live three provinces away from my dad, I often find myself wishing we could take up our Sundays of exploring rural Nova Scotia. So for Father's Day, my suggestion is to take your dad on a drive. You should drive though — not because he can't, but so that he can gawk at the scenery… and deer. Actually make an effort to spend the whole afternoon together. Invite your siblings. Pack a picnic, or stop into a local spot that's been on his list. You can plan the route if you must, but I'm all for a bit of exploring and aimlessly wandering.
Take him to play the sport he taught you to be great at
I resent my father for focusing solely on my brother's sports life (though it made me really good at reading... and waiting). But I'm really grateful that he eventually taught me how to play tennis. It remains one of the sports I can play with confidence — a confidence born out of hours of dad calmly chasing my fly balls all over the court and beyond. Whether it's taking him out for a match — perhaps with a surprise new racket — or setting up a family softball session, your dad would probably really enjoy playing the sport he loved enough to have patiently taught it to you. Plus, you can settle any old grudges now that you're older and really, really good.