We’re not sure where the idea that a tie makes a great Father’s Day gift came from, especially when there are so many great ways to celebrate dads around the Emerald City. Skip the usual in favor of themed Father’s Day gift ideas coupled with exciting things to do with dad to make him feel extra special. No matter what his interest, we’ve got suggestions so you can start planning. Read on!

photo: Pixabay

The Trail-Blazing Dad Trek

Some dads just want to check in with nature from time to time. Start with giving him a Dad Hoodie. On the outside it looks like a regular hoodie, but on the inside, it features seven pockets meant to hold everything from disposable diapers to bottles of milk. It's one of many dad accessories that make adventuring with kids a cinch. Then, pack a picnic lunch stocked full of the things he likes, but maybe doesn’t eat on a regular basis (hello, junk food!) and take him on a nearby hike in the city.

photo: Jeffrey Totey

The Golf-Lover Dad Day

If Dad is serious about his golf game, consider giving him a Mini Evaluation gift certificate from Seattle Golf Fitness. For $50, they’ll break down his golf swing into 20 micro movements to pinpoint exactly which parts of his body are holding him back. For the day, we recommend setting up a tee time at one of the area’s most beautiful miniature golf courses. On the top of our list? King Mini Golf Park because the course features challenging ramps, obstacles, water hazards and more. Plus, when you reserve your tee time online, you can receive a $5 arcade gift card to use when King Family Fun Center reopens!

photo: Jeffrey Totey

The Thrill-Seeking Dad Adventure

We bet Dad didn’t know that the largest ropes course in the Greater Seattle area was in Everett. Thanks to easing restrictions on COVID-19, High Trek Adventures is open for business. In addition to over 50 different obstacles and ziplines throughout three levels at the park, High Trek also offers axe throwing, mini golf and high-tech laser tag played outdoors in direct sunlight! (Psst...remember to make reservations online. Because of COVID-19 safety measures, the number of people they allow in is restricted, so don’t wait too long to sign up.) Give dad a backpack filled with things he’ll need for the day like bottled water, snacks, facemask, sun screen and a handmade card.

photo: Jeffrey Totey

The Doughnuts & Coffee Dad Cruise

Surprise dad with a tour of Lake Union like no other, aboard the U.S.S. Glazed or Sprinkles. These Seattle Doughnut Boat Company’s boats are so easy to operate, no skipper is required, and they will actually seat up to six people quite comfortably. Make your reservation ahead of time and the friendly crew can get you and your party aboard and sailing away within ten minutes. Since you can pack along your own food and drink, make a stop at Top Pot Doughnuts (there is one at 609 Summit Ave. E.) for dozen and a coffee. Order your gift of coffee ahead of time from Seattle-based BeanBox.com and give to dad while sailing.

The Chocolate-Loving Dad’s Walking Tour

Here is a genius way for Dad to get what he loves while still getting in his steps. Take a chocolate tour around Green Lake! Order your gift ahead of time at Chocolate Vitale that features a fantastic selection of craft chocolates from Arte, Baiani, Crow + Moss, Dick Taylor, Fresco and Siamaya. Arrange to pick it up at the end of your tour. Try to park near 75h St. and start your journey at Chocolati for some delicious drinking chocolate or an iced mocha espresso. Head west around the lake giving the antioxidants time to do their job and get dad's blood pumping. Near the end of your trip, stop at Zoeyogurt for some chocolate yogurt (flavors rotate between Cable Car, Classic and Milk Chocolate) topped with all kinds of fresh fruit, candies and more. Load everyone back in the car and head on over to Chocolate Vitale to pick up Dad’s gift, sometime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Let Dad nap on the way home.

photo: Northwest Trek

The Animal-Lover Dad Drive Thru

While Northwest Trek is mostly closed, they have come up with an alternative to their usual tram tours of the animal park so families can still experience the wonder of the park while social distancing. The Wild Ride Tour is an awesome experience you take as a family. Imagine the awe of seeing a moose or newborn bison calf from the comfort and safety of your own car. Follow up your excursion with lunch at the Cruiser Café. Treat Dad to a Varsity Burger and beer or any of many items available. A kid’s menu is available too. Plus, write a review of one of the restaurant’s menu items and you just might win $500.

The Iron Chef Dad Challenge

Does Dad like to cook? Does he like a good challenge? Create for him his own Iron Chef competition. You can plan a game between him and the kids or set up a Zoom meeting with your in-laws and have him be challenged by one of his brothers or friends! Order special ingredients from Pike Place Market. Then swing by for their curbside pickup. When at home, place random items under a box and tell him he has one hour to prepare something wonderful. Pair it with a cookbook by a local chef to help him find inspiration, like the Pike Place Market Recipe book or Feeding the Whole Family.

photo: Blue Fox Drive In

The Old School Dinner & a Movie Dad Excursion

Consider taking Pops to the Blue Fox Drive-In for dinner and a movie. Just $10 a carload! Although, Father's Day weekend movies haven't been planned yet, you can count on a family-friendly movie to start off the double-features. (Don’t forget to pack the kids’ jammies!) Dinner's the easy part. Although outside food and drink aren't allowed, you can help a local business by purchasing dinner from the drive-in’s snack bar. Pizza, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, nachos, hand-cut curly fries, mac-n-cheese bites, gourmet popcorn and ice cream should keep dad (and the kids happy) as everyone enjoys a blockbuster on the big screen. Remember to make reservations as soon as you're able as capacity is limited. Come early to ride the Go Carts!

photo: Jeffrey Totey

The Comic-Loving Dad Tour

Whether he is pro-Marvel or pro-DC, this walking tour is for him. Funko’s headquarters has an amazing store that really is an outing all on its own. Although you won't be able to wander the store, you can pick out something special for dad and pick it up curbside to start your day. Need inspiration? Their windows feature amazing displays. Don’t miss the legendary Karl’s Bakery right next door which usually offers some Funko-related goodies, as well as a good assortment of doughnuts and other treats. Around the corner you’ll find Everett Comics which is one of the nicest comic book stores we’ve ever been to. Here you can browse with dad and let him pick the perfect comic book to curl up with on Father's Day. For lunch, grab a slice of New York style pizza at Brooklyn Bros. Pizza and enjoy it at Clark Park, a few more blocks down the road. This is also a great place to do a little comic book reading.

The Arty Dad Waterfront Walk

If the weather is good (fingers crossed!), take dad on a leisurely stroll through Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. It's outdoors, social distancing is easy, you get a lovely view of the ocean, and as a bonus, you can’t beat the price—free! Pack up a lunch of finger foods and make numerous stops along the way to admire some of the larger-than-life work of local artists. Then, after Dad has become inspired, hand him a gift that you already picked out (and picked up curbside) at Monster. From paint-by-number kits, to paper crafts and gifts that range from socks to shower curtains, you’re bound to find something here.

photo: Stephanie McCabe via Unsplash

The Grill-Master Dad Barbecue Afternoon

It may not be fair to make dad cook on his day, but if he’s a true grillmaster, he won’t mind as long as you and the kids can whip up some side dishes. Begin the day with a stop at Double D Meats where they have a huge selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry and more. But that is just the start. They offer over 3,000 hot sauces, 1,000 barbecue sauces and over 400 marinades, steak sauces and rubs. Then run over to let Dad pick from one of the largest selections of root beer in the country at Chug's Root Beer in Lynnwood. After lunch, let Dad take a snooze on the hammock.

—Jeffrey Totey, Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla

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featured image: Hannah via pexels