With Father’s Day just around the corner, you might be starting to think about how you’ll celebrate this year. If your dad is an active guy, he might love classic activities like fishing, golfing, camping, and hiking -- and these are all great ideas if you don’t mind braving some holiday-weekend crowds.
But if you’re looking for something a little different (or you don’t want to deal with throngs of people), there are plenty of less conventional activities out there. Here are eight fun and unique ideas that will help your dad get his exercise on Father’s Day.
1. Go old-school with some croquet.
Lawn games like croquet might seem old-fashioned, but they’re a great way to get the whole family moving and spend some time outside. In fact, croquet has numerous health benefits for the body and mind -- so if you don’t already have a croquet set, it could be worth investing in one this summer.
Most people play in their yards, but if your yard is small, you can also head to a neighborhood park. Just make sure to choose an area that’s not too crowded since you’ll need some open space to play. You can just play a quick game or two, or you can start a family tournament and award a prize to the winner. It’s completely up to you!
2. Play a game of mini golf.
Tons of families go golfing for Father’s Day. Mini golf is another, often-overlooked option that can be just as fun, especially if your dad likes to practice his short game. Kids and grown-ups can enjoy playing together, and walking from hole to hole will give you some exercise.
If you live here in Denver, Hyland Hills Adventure Golf offers some of the best putt-putt golf in town. They have three 18-hole courses, each with its own theme, so there’s plenty of variety. And if you get tired of mini golfing, you can also speed around on the go-kart track or try out the ropes course.
3. Try your hand at axe-throwing.
Axe-throwing is a new craze that’s becoming popular all over the country. It might not seem like a physical activity, but according to Men’s Health, hurling axes can strengthen your core, shoulders, and lats. Your dad might also get a kick out of channeling his inner Viking.
While it may not be appropriate for young kids, families with older kids can have a blast with this unique activity. Don’t worry -- trained instructors will supervise and make sure everyone stays safe.
4. Go for a round of paintball.
Paintball can be intense (and sometimes a little painful), but the game is exciting and a lot of fun to play. It’s also an excellent full-body workout that helps build strength and endurance, and let’s be honest: pummeling the other team with paint pellets is a great stress reliever.
Similar to axe-throwing, this option is probably not suitable for little ones -- some facilities might not even allow kids under 18 -- but paintball could be the perfect Father’s Day activity for a family with teenage or adult kids.
5. Ride your bikes out to brunch.
When you head out for Father’s Day brunch, why not go on two wheels instead of four? If it’s a nice day outside and your chosen brunch spot is a reasonable distance from your house, riding bikes to the restaurant will let you spend time outdoors and get some activity in before indulging in a tasty meal. Just keep the mimosas in moderation so you’ll be safe to ride home.
6. Rent kayaks.
For a fun day on the lake or reservoir, you could rent some kayaks and spend a few hours out on the water. Kayak rentals are usually inexpensive, and each person can row their own boat (although there may be tandem kayaks for people who want to row together).
If kayaking doesn’t sound appealing, there could be options to rent canoes, stand-up paddleboards, or even jet skis (for the thrillseeking dads out there). And of course, you can always take breaks to sunbathe on the beach.
7. Go geocaching.
If you’ve never tried geocaching, you could give it a go this Father’s Day. It’s a real-world game where you use your phone’s GPS to find treasures (called “caches”) that other people have hidden. You can play anytime, anywhere -- there are caches hidden all over the world, tucked under rocks and into crevices where you’d least expect them.
You and your family can scour your area for caches, or you can drive to nearby neighborhoods to look for more there. Either way, you’ll spend plenty of time walking outside as you look for these treasures -- some of them are well-hidden and tricky to find!
8. Explore a new town on foot.
A lot of families travel for Father’s Day weekend -- but what about taking a day trip to a small town that you’ve never visited before? For those in the Denver area, mountain towns like Salida and Crested Butte are popular spots, but they can get crowded on summer weekends.
If you’re up for an adventure, you could stop in Georgetown (off of I-70) and walk around the historic downtown area. Or, head down south to Canon City, a rapidly-growing area with a charming main street and a handful of good restaurants to eat -- it’s also a short drive away from the stunning Royal Gorge Bridge.
There are as many ways to celebrate Father’s Day as there are dads in the world. But whatever you decide to do, taking the time to plan a unique activity and make your dad’s day special is a perfect way to show him your love.