16 Ways to Rock Father’s Day with Dad

Dad loves the homemade card the kiddos made for him and sleeping in is always a bonus gift, but this year you can wow dad with a plan to celebrate him in style. From picnics to pirates to a play on top of a mountain, we’ve rounded up 16 ways for you to rock Father’s Day with your number one guy: Dad!

father and kids picnic Photo credit: JerPhotography Twentyten via Flickr Creative Commons

Off the Grid Picnic in the Presidio
Unfold your blanket for Father’s Day and enjoy live music and free games. Over 25 food trucks will be in attendance, offering up tasty food cart nibbles.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m
Cost: Free

Main Post Lawn
Lincoln Blvd. and Anza St.
San Francisco, Ca 94129
Online: offthegridsf.com

sf zoo bike about Photo courtesy SF Zoo 

Father’s Day BikeAbout at the SF Zoo
Take Dad on an adventure this Father’s Day with a docent-led bike tour of the SF Zoo. Not only do you get to cruise around the zoo before it opens to the general public, the early morning is a time when the animals are active so you’ll likely see some tiger stretches and monkeys swinging! Advance registration required. All ages.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Cost: $25, members; $30 non-members (per bike)

SF Zoo
Sloat Blvd. at the Great Hwy.
San Francisco, Ca 94132
Online: sfzoo.org

Father’s Day Beer Brunch Cruise
Gather the whole family for Hornblower’s Father’s Day Beer Brunch Cruise. Treat dad to an enticing buffet, free-flowing beer and a keepsake pint glass on this two hour yacht cruise. There’s also champagne and mimosas, soda, OJ, coffee and tea along with the brunch, live entertainment, and breathtaking SF views. Seats are assigned and you even get a keepsake photo.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $83/adult; $74.70/senior (55 and up) or military with ID; $49.80/child 4-12; children 3 and under are free

Departs from Pier 3
Embarcadero at Washington St.
San Francisco, Ca 94111
Online: hornblower.com

East Bay

Father and Son Pirate Fest 2013 (2) (439x640)Photo courtesy Norcal Pirate Festival 

Northern California Pirate Festival
Let Dad be captain for the day, at the Northern California Pirate Festival. Dress in your scallywagging best and ship off to enjoy pirate encampments, gourmet food, four stages of continuous entertainment and a special kid’s area complete with a School of Piracy and a 30 ft. slide. Plus you just gave him carte blanche to eat a turkey leg while gazing at mermaids. Epic win, pirate style. All ages.

Date/Time: Sat. & Sun., June 20 and 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $10/general admission; free for children 11 and under

Vallejo Waterfront Park
298 Mare Island Way
Vallejo, Ca 94590
Online: events.redtri/norcalpiratefestival



Spend Father’s Day weekend in the biggest pirate playground around and yo ho ho it over to Vallejo for the 9th Annual Northern California Pirate Festival. Don your patches and explore pirate encampments, cannon battles, nautical handicrafts, and maritime music.


Daddy & Me Father's Day Tea

Dads and Jazz at the Historic Dunsmuir-Hellman Estate
Dad can put one of those annual neckties to good use at this swanky jazz concert located on a beautiful, historic estate. Be sure and tour the mansion after the concert, and take in the beautiful grounds. This event encourages families with father figures of all kinds—stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, big brothers—so book your spot and enjoy a day with dad. Seating provided, and food and drinks for sale. This year the concert is held at the South Pond. All ages.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, 2-6 p.m.
Cost: $20/adults; $10/children 10 and under

Dunsmuir Hellman Estate
2960 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, Ca 94605
Online: dunsmuir-hellman.com/events

Father’s Day Weekend at Playland Not-at-the-Beach
Head with Dad into Pinball Alley for his special day where he can play all the pinball he wants. Let him win at skee-ball, arcade games or Fascination or treat him to peeks in the Penny Arcade. Dad not only gets $2 dollars off admission this weekend, he can bring in the worst neck tie he has and win prizes! All ages.

Date/Time: Sat. & Sun., June 20 and 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $15/adult; $10/child

Playland Not-at-the-Beach
10979 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, Ca 94530
Online: playland-not-at-the-beach.org

Father's Day Mini Sessions at Dina Uretski PhotographyPhoto credit: Dina Uretski Photography

Eats, Beats, and Brews
Head to downtown Berkeley for a Salsa Sunday this Father’s Day. Dad can enjoy music by Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Armonia, food from around the world, and an outdoor beer garden from Drakes Brewing. Street vendors and a no-car zone make it a happy, hopping place for the whole family. Plus it’s right across the street from the Downtown Berkeley BART so it’s easy to arrive by public transit. All ages.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, noon-6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Downtown Berkeley
Center Street between Shattuck Ave. and Oxford St.
Berkeley, Ca 94704
Online: downtownberkeley.com/eats-beats-brews

We Rock the Spectrum’s Father’s Day BBQ
Head east to this 1st Annual Summer Solstice and Father’s Day BBQ festival. Food, face painting, music, games, and more; this is a great way for Dad (and Mom) to relax while the kids enjoy the gym. Ages 0-12.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21,10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $12/child; $10/siblings

We Rock the Spectrum Berkeley
2920 Seventh St.
Berkeley, Ca 94710
Online: werockthespectrumberkeley.com


4hillermuseum-cc-maria ly-flickrPhoto credit: maria ly via Flickr Creative Commons

Celebrate Dad at the Hiller Aviation Museum
Treat your family’s number one maverick to a day of jets, flight and all things air transport at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, where this weekend through Red Tricycle only, Dads can enjoy free admission. Climb in a cockpit, explore more than forty unique and innovative aircraft on display, plus get busy with interactive games, models and even a Flight Sim where Dad can pilot across the Bay. Bomber jackets not included. Buy your tickets here to get the special admission. All ages.

Date/Time: Sat. & Sun., June 20 and 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $14/adult; $9/child 5-17 or seniors 65+; children 4 and under are free.
Dad admission is free also! Limit one per family.

Hiller Aviation Museum
601 Skyway Rd
San Carlos, Ca 94070
Online: events.redtri.com/hilleraviationmuseum



Treat your family’s number one maverick to a day of jets, flight and all things air transport at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, where this weekend Dads enjoy free admission.


father's day-markPhoto by Kristina Allen Moy

Palo Alto World Music Day
Take dad on a trip around the world without leaving the Peninsula! Check out musical acts and performers from across genres and around the world at the 7th Annual Palo Alto World Music Day. University Avenue and King Plaza are filled with the sounds of jazz, blues, classical, pop, rock, klezmer, Greek, Balkan, Indian, World Music, choral, dance, and more. And musicians of all ages and levels are invited to join in.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, 3-7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

King Plaza
250 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, Ca 94301
Online: pamusicday.org

A Kid's Sunday morning at the Beach!!Photo credit: Sudanshu Goyal via Flickr Creative Commons 

Pontoon Safari at Elkhorn Slough
Looking for something as adventurous as it is thoughtful? Sign the family up to go on an excursion on a pontoon boat. Join the Marine Science Institute on an Elkhorn Slough Safari to learn first-hand about one of California’s most spectacular estuaries: it’s a migratory bird flyway, otter and seal habitat and home to thousands of other plant and animals. A great way to celebrate Dad a day early. Ages 3 and up.

Date/Time: Sat., June 20, 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Cost: $40/adult; $30/child (3-10).

Elkhorn Slough
81 Sandholdt Rd.
Moss Landing, Ca 95039
Online: sfbaymsi.org

Join us at Stanford on Sunday, June 21 (Father's Day) for the 5th annual Summer Scamper 5k, 10k, and kids’ fun run, benefiting patients and families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Run or walk the 5k/10k on the Stanford campus. Kids 3-10 can also participate in the kids' fun run on Cobb Track. Register to race, join a team, volunteer, or donate today at SummerScamper.org.Photo credit: Summer Scamper

Summer Scamper 5k, 10k and Kids Fun Run for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Spend Father’s Day in the fresh air doing something fun and fit, and give something back to the patients and families at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Run or walk the 5k/10k on the Stanford campus, and kids 3-10 can also participate in the kids’ fun run on Cobb Track.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, 8-11 a.m.
Cost: $40/10k; $35/5k; $15/kid’s fun run

Stanford Campus
270 Galvez St.
Stanford, Ca 94305
Online: summerscamper.org

South Bay

3fatherson-cc-smabs-sputzer-flickr (1)Photo credit: Smabs Sputzer via Flickr Creative Commons

Historic Transportation Day at History Park
Let Dad bring out his inner child for this fun day at San Jose’s History Park. Take a ride on a historic trolley and an antique Horse Car, pump a railroad car by hand, and take part in a pony-express really around the plaza. Play with a steam engine and toy train exhibit, and then hop in the covered wagon perfect for photo ops. There will be arts and crafts for the kiddos, live music, lots of demos including a printing press, and delicious eats from Sonia’s Hot Dogs and O’Brien’s Candy Store & Ice Cream Parlor. And since activities begin at noon, Dad can even sleep in! All ages.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, noon-4 p.m.
Cost: $5; free for HSJ members and children 2 and under

History Park
1650 Senter Rd. between Phelan & Keyes
San Jose, Ca 95112
Online: historysanjose.org/events

1app-gilroygardens-cc-dave parker-flickr (1)Photo by Dave Parker via Flickr Creative Commons

Father’s Day Overnight Camp at Gilroy Gardens
Grab your tent and sleeping bags and drive down to Gilroy Gardens for an overnight camp with Dad. Arrive at the Gardens Saturday afternoon, enjoy dinner in the picnic grove, stroll the grounds in the evening, and then spend the next day romping around the park. Price includes three meals (Saturday dinner and breakfast and lunch on Sunday) and unlimited soft drinks and water, a docent tour and education activities on Sunday morning, and access to the theme park. Win! All ages.

Bonus: If the overnight isn’t your style, just head down to the gardens. Purchase tickets through this link and you’ll save $8 per ticket online and $17 vs. the gate price.

Date/Time: Sat., June 20, 4 p.m.-Sun., June 21, 3 p.m.
Cost: $55/person

Gilroy Gardens
3050 Hecker Pass Rd.
Gilroy, Ca 95020
Online: gilroygardens.org

Marin County


2mountainplaymarin-cc-nate-bolt-flickr (1)Photo credit: Nate Bolt via Flickr Creative Commons

VIP Package to Mt. Play’s Peter Pan
Turns out, the second star to the right leads right to the top of Mt. Tamalpais, at least this year, where you can spoil dad with a trip to the Mountain Play’s production of Peter Pan. Treat Dad to this lively play in an epic outdoor amphitheater carved at the top of the mountain where stunning views, wine, and a day of fun with his own little Darlings will let him know he’s got you hooked. Pixie dust not needed: we’ve even arranged the transit. Price includes a picnic lunch, bottle of wine, special surprises, transit to and from the mountain in a luxe mini bus, and tickets for a family of 4 to the play. Ages 4 and up.

Date/Time: Sun., June 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $375/package

The Cushing Memorial Amphitheater
801 Panoramic Hwy.
Mill Valley, Ca 94941
Online: events.redtri.com/mt.playfathersday

father son fishing Photo credit: Don DeBold via Flickr Creative Commons

Father’s Day Weekend Fishing Derby
Tell Dad to grab his fishing pole and then head over to Paradise Beach Park for a fishing contest. Park rangers will help judge and award prizes for the first fish, the biggest fish, and the heaviest fish. There will be a limited number of fishing poles and bait provided on a first-come, first-served basis but if you have your own pole you can bring that. If you want to fish from the shore you’ll need to get a valid California fishing license but if you fish from the pier, no license required.

Date/Time: Sat., June 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: Free

Paradise Beach Park
3450 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, Ca 94920
Online: marincountyparks.org

What’s your plan with Dad this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!