It’s Father’s Day weekend and we’ve got the most original ways to make sure your #1 Dad has a blast. For the adventurer: challenge the fam to Escape from Central Park. For the music lover: pack a picnic and enjoy an evening in Prospect Park with live music from the New York Philharmonic. And for the food lover: put on your chefs hats and make delicious pizzas together or swing by a food festival filled with egg rolls, egg creams and empanadas. Read on for even more ways to entertain Dad this weekend. Happy Father’s Day!
Ice Cream Garden Social
Explore a uniquely early 19th Century New York City past time, Ice Cream Gardens. Enjoy a historical afternoon making (and of course enjoying) your own ice cream making, period toys, games, and historical tunes in the garden. Sat. 1-3 p.m. Upper East Side. $15/adult; children under 12 are free. All ages. Event details.
(RED) Desserts and Mocktails
This is a delicious way to give to charity, all proceed go to fight AIDS with (RED). Your ticket pays for your dessert box of RED desserts (red velvet cupcakes, red velvet dogs and sugar cookies), light appetizers, and a mocktail. There will be other savory menu items for purchase. Let’s #86AIDS. EAT (RED) SAVE LIVES. Sat. 1-6:30 p.m. Harlem. $20/person. All ages. Event details.
Escape from Central Park
Part orienteering, part Escape Room, part treasure hunt! Use a detailed of map of Central Park to locate clues that will help your team solve the puzzle on where to exit the park. Like any Escape Game, you must find clues (in statues, in monuments and in live “animals” (people). First 500 to escape get a special gift and awards for the first place team and first place team with kids on it. Sun. 1-4 p.m. Central Park. $25/team. Ages 7 and up. Event details.
Father’s Day Pizza Party
Calling all Dads and their Budding Chefs, it’s time to whip up a delicious family favorite meal, pizza. You’ll start with making the perfect crust, with the help of some yeast, whole wheat and honey. And it just keeps getting better and better from there, all the way to fresh basil on top. This is a great meal you can do together again and again at home. Happy Father’s Day! Sat. 9-10 a.m. Chelsea. $40/child, father pair. Ages 2-5.; Sun. 9-10 a.m. $50/child, father pair. Ages 5-8. Event details.
Annual Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival
Where else can your family listen to Chinese opera, learn to salsa dance, take a yiddish lesson, all while snacking on empanadas? At this annual festival, the Lower East Side celebrates the Chinese, Jewish and Puerto Rican cultures that make up the neighborhood with food, music and art. Enjoy a day outside at this lively block party, and make sure your family comes with an appetite! Sun. Noon-4 p.m. Lower East Side. Free. All ages. Event details.
Make Unique Gifts With or Without Dad
What can you get the dad that has it all? CMA has the answer with a slew of great craft projects sure to bring a smile to any dad’s face. Kids can create a family photo album, DIY ties, animate a message for Dad in the Media Lab, make dot marker Father’s Day cards in the WEE Arts Studio and more. Make your gift a surprise or bring Dad along for a day of family fun. Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Soho. Free with museum admission; Dads get free admission; All ages. Event details.
Watch the New York Philharmonic in the Park
Enjoy a free outdoor concert from the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert. Pack a picnic and listen to the tunes under the stars on Prospect Park’s Long Meadow. Fri. 8 p.m. Prospect Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
Bring your little superheroes to BCM where they can explore creatures of the sea like Aquaman, use their spidey science senses to build a sticky spiral web, explore kryptonite and other radical rocks, and of course embellish your superhero costume or make a new one with a range of everyday and recycled art materials. Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Crown Heights. Free with museum admission ($11/person; children under 1 are free). All ages. Event details.
34th Annual Mermaid Parade
The Mermaid Parade is more than just a Coney Island freak fest. It’s now a full-fledged family event, populated with plenty of merkids and adorable merbabies celebrating the individual spirit of New York. The parade marchers and motorized floats praise all things nautical as long they’re shiny, glittery, mythological and wacky-looking. Be forewarned though, that some of the Mermaids and Mermen are scantily clad. Sat. 1 p.m. Coney Island. Free. All ages. Event details.
Opening Weekend: Brick Fest
Here’s an entire event built around the little blocks your kids love so much. Help create block cities, build and even race a LEGO derby car, or design art out of the blocks. At the end of the day hit the store to buy your little builder some special new LEGOs to add to the collection. And be sure to check out five amazing sculptures created by Cody Wells of C3Brix. The Great Hall, a 4-foot-long sculpture of NYSCI’s World’s Fair building that is made from 73,486 LEGO bricks, the Starship Enterprise, a 24 inch by 30 inch by 19 inch sculpture made from 1,933 LEGO bricks, the Ghost Busters Fire House Collection, made from 5,780 LEGO bricks, the Smurf Village, made from 734 LEGO bricks a and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sewer System, made from 2,431 LEGO bricks. Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Corona. Free with admission ($15/adult; $12/child age 2-17; children under 2 are free). All ages. Event details.
Take Dad to an Old School Ball Game
Test how far back Dad’s baseball knowledge goes. Does he know how the game was played in the 1800’s? Better brush up on the rules because at this ball game, the New York Mutuals play with 1864 rules, balls, bats and uniforms. For starters, this means no helmets and gloves. Come early for free tours of the Bartow-Pell Mansion and enter a raffle to win the game ball. Stay after so your little all stars can play a game of rounders with the team. Please register in advance at either (718) 885-1461 or info@ . Sun. 1-3 p.m. Pelham Bay Park. $10/adult; $5/child age 12 and under. All ages. Event details.
How will your family enjoy the weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.