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Celebrate Dad: 10 Awesome Activities Dad Will Love

Whether dad is an outdoorsy kind of guy or he’d rather tinker around on electronic gadgets, we’ve found a bunch of activities that feed into all of dad’s favorite “guy things.” We even made sure to include a few picks that are great for families, so everyone can celebrate all of the things that make dad awesome. Psst! If you’re still looking for that perfect Father’s Day gift, check our our 2013 gift guide here.

The 59th Annual North Beach Festival
A poignant saying goes: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Dad can eat and drink his fill through San Francisco’s Little Italy at the annual North Beach Festival, where over 20 gourmet food booths join multiple beer gardens alongside fun activities for the whole family including: chalk art drawing, blessing of the animals, arts and crafts booths, and street painting. June 15th and 16th, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Columbus Avenue in North Beach, San Francisco, Free. 

The Pirate Festival in Vallejo
Dad may be a captain of industry during the week, but on Father’s Day he can be a pirate. The Pirate Festival in Vallejo invites you and dad to have a swashbucklin’ good time as the Vallejo waterfront is transformed into Pirate Town. Admission is free and you’ll find musicians, singers, swordfighters, craftspeople and of course, pirates. Kids will love the hilarious Captain Jack Spareribs, with his mix of extreme juggling and ventriloquism. Aaaaarrr!  June 15th and 16th, the Vallejo Waterfront, a few steps west of the Vallejo Ferry Terminal, $10.


Bike About at the Zoo
Take dad to see the zoo in a totally cool new way–by bike! Get in before the zoo opens up to the public and follow a docent-led tour of the park while cruising around on two wheels. Watch the animals chow down on their morning meals then have some breakfast with dad after the ride. After your zoo tour, head down to the beach or into Golden Gate Park for a family picnic. June 16, 8:30 am – 11:00 am, San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco, $30 Non-member, $25 Members.

Father’s Day BBQ at Marin Country Mart
Beers and BBQ? Need we say more? Treat dad to a good ol’ fashioned cookout at the Marin Country Mart, where they’re serving up the perfect storm of summer foods. He’ll sink his teeth into Belcampo Meat Co’s grass fed grilled burgers and steaks, smack his lips at the fresh micro brewed ales from Marin Brewing Company, and lick his lips sampling the homemade pie from Three Babes Bakeshop. June 15, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Marin Country Mart, Free. 

Father Son Camp Over
There’s nothing quite like a little father-son bonding time to really get dad in the Father’s Day spirit. Have a boys night out complete with a BBQ, fun games, and a chance to fall asleep under the stars. Dads will love the chance to camp out without worrying about having to pack up the car for a wilderness excursion. June 14, 6:30 pm – June 15, 10:00 am, Corte Madera Town Park, Corte Madera, $25/Person sleeping over. $11/Person if not sleeping over.

West Point Inn Pancake Breakfast
Everyone likes pancakes in bed, but why not add a family-friendly hike up scenic Mt. Tam, where pancakes are waiting for you, hot off the griddle. The West Point Inn’s Pancake Breakfasts are legendary. Occurring only six times a year, Bay Area insiders love the challenge of the hike in-only location with spectacular bay views. There are a variety of routes to the top, from serious climbs to more easy ambles. After working up a sweat, you can carbo-load, guilt-free. June 16th, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, West Point Inn on Mt. Tamalpais, $10.00 adults, $5.00 kids.


Dads and Jazz
Have a classy Father’s Day celebration at the historic Dunsmuir-Hellman estate in the East Bay with a swanky jazz concert. Take in the beautiful grounds that surround the mansion while enjoying some smooth jazz that dad will love. After the concert, tour the mansion and check out the rest of the estate. Leave the lawn chairs and snacks at home–seating will be provided and they’ll have food and drinks for sale. June 16, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate, Oakland. $20 adults, $10 kids (12 & under).

Be a Science Geek with Dad
Does dad have a bit of a geeky side? Embrace your inner geek and celebrate the next generation of science and engineering fanatics with a special dad’s day at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Feed his wild side at the Great White Shark 3D film, then tap into his inventive side and create something in the Design Quest exhibit. The rest of the museum is teeming with hands-on interaction too, from animal encounters to space exploration. June 16, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley. Free with museum admission.


King of the County BBQ Challenge
Dad already fancies himself a master griller, and now he’ll get the chance to show off his top chef skills at this weekend BBQ challenge. While dad’s sweating over the coals, the rest of the fam can explore the dozens of arts and crafts vendors and booths set up throughout the park or catch a free concert. Dad will earn ultimate bragging rights as well as the undisputed title of “King of the County.” June 15 and 16, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Martinez Waterfront Park, Free.

Father’s Day Parents’ Night Out
Celebrate Father’s Day a little early with a special evening out just for two. Drop the kids off for a few hours and forget about keeping them entertained while you the two of you take an evening to yourselves. With the kids taken care of, let dad pick what he wants to do which is, after all, the best gift a dad could ask for. June 16, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, Habitot Children’s Museum, Berkeley. $35 for one child, $25 per additional sibling.

How will you and your kids be celebrating Father’s Day this year? Let us know in the comment section below!

photos courtesy of The Lawrence Hall of Science facebook page, Northern California Pirate Festival facebook page, & jocelynsart via flickr


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