Dad, dadda, daddy, papa or old man, however he’s known around your digs, your partner and other-half certainly deserves to be celebrated on Father’s Day. This year, skip the tie and bbq tools in favor of sending pops out for an unforgettable experience. Create memories that will be talked about for years to come by booking one of these adventures.

photo: The Barrel Run

For the thirsty pops

Whether dad prefers to throw back a few brews or sip bourbon, The Barrel Run offers one of the most unique ways to tour breweries and distilleries.  Sign up for a tour and get a trip to 3 locations, several samples to keep the thirst quenched and travel in style in a Barrel Bus.

The Barrel Run
Tours stop and start at 600 N. Clark St., River North
For more info, call 312-718-3295 or visit

For the fisherman

Pack a cooler and send a group of your favorite dads out for a day on the lake. Keep your fingers crossed they’ll come back with fresh catch for dinner. If dad wants to bring along his mini-me, Angler Charters has a great reputation for making a memorable day for all ages.

Angler Charters
Belmont Harbor, 2 W. Belmont Harbor Dr., Lakeview
For more info, call 708-738-6155 or visit

photo: Nascar Racing Experience

For the speed demon

Encourage dad to put the pedal to the metal with a Nascar Racing Experience.  After training with a crew chief, dads will step behind the wheel of a real NASCAR race car and whiz around the Chicagoland Speedway at lighting fast speeds for an unforgettable experience.

NASCAR Racing Experience
Chicagoland Speedway, 500 Speedway Blvd., Joliet
For more info, call 704-886-2400 or visit

photo: Go Ape

For the adventure seeker

Send dad just west of the city to soar through the forest on over 2,800 feet of ziplines in the Bemis Woods Forest Preserve. On this GoApe journey the adventure brings you higher and higher through the trees on a two-to-three hour tour that includes rope ladders, obstacles and a Tarzan swing. Anyone brave enough and older than 10 can join dad for the fun.

Bemis Woods-South
1100 Ogden Ave., Western Springs
For more info, call 800-971-8271 or visit

photo: The Chopping Block

For the grillmaster in training

Send your partner to a class at The Chopping Block where he can refine his grilling skills and learn how to prepare a special meal for the family.  Whether you choose a basic class for dad and his little dude or a weekend long bootcamp, dads will have a blast as they cook a meal under the guidance of a professional chef while enjoying a drink or two.

The Chopping Block
The Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. 107, River North
4747 N. Lincoln, Lincoln Square
For more info, call 773-472-6700 or visit

For the aspiring comedian

If more than your kids laugh at their dad’s jokes, sure he’d enjoy a trip to see a Second City show, but why not sign him up for a class so he gets a series of nights out and builds on his dad-joke skills? Whether he wants to push his limits with an improv class, perfect his public speaking in a standup class or stay off stage and focus on writing, the Second City Training Center has a variety of classes that will feed his inner comedian, but also leave him more confident.

Second City Training Center
230 W. North Ave., Old Town
For more info, call 312-664-3959 or visit

photo: The Aviary

For the cocktail connoisseur

Book a table at The Aviary for a truly remarkable cocktail experience.  While delicious, the drinks at this swanky lounge more closely resemble a work of art than a typical gin and tonic. Treat your favorite dad to the chance to experience the magic of chef Grant Achatz . . . and see if you can tag along as his plus one for a great date night.

The Aviary
955 W. Fulton Market, West Loop
For more info, call 312-226-0868 or visit

photo: Chicago Helicopter Experience

For the guy who enjoys a view

Send dad flying on a helicopter high above the city and he’ll come back with an image he’ll never forget.  Book a tour with the Chicago Helicopter Experience and dad will zip off from their private helipad in Bridgeport, learning a bit about the history of this awesome city.  Tours are available day and night.  You can even coordinate a trip during the Navy Pier Fireworks.

Chicago Helicopter Experience
2420 S. Halsted St., Bridgeport
For more info, call 312-967-8687 or visit

photo: Guaranteed Rate Field

For the White Sox superfan

There’s a lot that money can’t buy, but it sure can buy a lot of unique experiences to get your favorite dad up close and personal to his favorite baseball team. Whether you treat him to watching batting practice from the dugout or keep him busy announcing the opening of the field, the White Sox Fan Experiences will be the topic of conversation for years to come.

Guaranteed Rate Field
333 W. 35th St., Bridgeport
For more info, call 312-674-5396 or visit

photo: Watson Adventures

For the sleuthing sire

Send dad and up to five friends on a scavenger hunt through one of Chicago’s finest museums or favorite neighborhoods.  He might race around the Art Institute attempting to solve a murder, explore a submarine at the Museum of Science and Industry or find himself digging up clues at Cloud Gate. The possibilities are endless. 

Watson’s Adventures
Location varies based on scavenger hunt
For more info, call 877-9-GO-HUNT  or visit

For ideas on ways to make dad feel special all Father’s Day weekend, check out our story Super Fun Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day.

—Maria Chambers & Lisa Snart


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