28 Great Father's Day Activities and Games the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Looking for new ways to celebrate dad’s big day? These fun activities and games will have you ready for June 18.

Father's Day activities and games - things to do on Father's Day (father and child)
Photo: Getty Images

It's Father's Day—a day for celebrating Dad. While exchanging Father's Day gifts is a must-do, plan some great Father's Day activities or games for the whole family now, and you won't be scrambling for things to do on Father's Day when it finally rolls around on June 18. And there's lots of ideas to consider, depending on what kind of dad you're celebrating–whether they'd love a backyard game tournament, a twist on the classic picnic, or just a cozy mini-movie marathon of all their favorites (perfect if the weather doesn't quite cooperate with your original Father's Day activity ideas). Rain or shine, these Father's Day activities will give you plenty to do on the holiday.

Create an Epic DIY Bar

ice cream bar top view table scene on a rustic white wood background
Getty Images

Choose one of your dad's favorite dishes—nachos, pizza, ice cream, or sandwiches are ideal—and create a bar with all the fixings so everyone can create the version of their dreams.

Try Your Hand at Water Balloon Baseball

Water balloons in a bucket
Madelyn Mulvaney/Getty Images

"This is one of my favorite backyard activities. Take water balloons, fill them up and underhand toss them to your family member. It's lots of fun and messy," says Len Saunders, exercise physiologist and author of Buddy and Bea. To make it a competition, tally up each hit to see who can get the most.

Have a Wild Water Battle

Father's Day Water Fight

Digital Vision./Getty Images

Break out the water guns, hoses, and water balloons, and make a major splash for Father's Day. (You might even want to get a Super Soaker for Dad to give him an advantage.)

Plan an Epic Movie Marathon

Father and daughter watching an outdoor movie
svetikd/Getty Images

Whether the dad you're celebrating is into superhero movies, gory zombie fests, or sci-fi epics, prep some gourmet popcorn and set up the movie experience at home. If you really want to wow Dad, gift him an outdoor movie projector and a screen (or DIY your own with a white sheet), so you can have a fun and festive outdoor movie night.

See a Show

Outdoor Concert

NA/Getty Images

Check out what's on the events horizon—whether your dad loves rock bands, classical orchestras, or theater, there's likely something sort of show in town that everyone will love.

(Nothing playing near you? Two words: Talent. Show.)

Plant a Garden

A picture of a dad and daughter planting a garden together
Planting new flowers is a family favorite in a new spring season. Photo © Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

Even if you don't have space for a full-on garden, you can still plant some herbs, flowers, or other favorite plants (perhaps a few hot peppers for a spice-loving dad?) in containers for your patio or balcony.

Scope Out Some Nature

Father and son looking through telescope at dusk

stevecoleimages / Getty Images 

Take an adventure to the outdoors to go birdwatching, animal tracking, or stargazing. (Perhaps give him a related Father's Day gift, whether it's a telescope, binoculars, or a camera for documenting his finds.)

Play Ball

Family Playing Basketball

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

If he'd rather participate than spectate, gather enough players for pickleball, mini-golf, basketball, or whatever sport thrills him.

Make It Family Trivia Day

family trivia

vgajic/Getty Images

Sure, your fam may know everything about pop culture or animal facts. But can they remember Grandpa's favorite singer—or what class Dad flunked in college? It's a fun (and a little competitive) way to reconnect with everyone—and something that can be played via video chat with far-flung family members, too.

Plan a Lazy Sunday

family laying on bed

Courtesy of Getty Images

Your dad (and you) may just be craving a day to chill out and relax. It's the perfect opportunity to laze away in the hammock with a good read, or simply stay cozy in bed. (Breakfast in bed should definitely be on tap!)

Camp Out (or Camp In)

Tent Camping

Anton Petrus / Getty Images

If your dad's the outdoorsy type, a camping trip may just be the perfect getaway. If you aren't into roughing it, opt to rent a cabin or have a "camp in" at home, where you build a blanket fort or setup an indoor tent, make s'mores in an air fryer, and tell spooky stories.

Enjoy a Few Thrills

Family Amusement Park

Joe McBride/Getty Images

Head to a carnival or amusement park and get Dad on his favorite roller coasters, bumper cars, or other rides.

Send Him on a Hunt

Scavenger Hunt Sign

Gareth Webb/Getty Images

Work with your kids to set up a set of clues or must-dos on the road to a fun surprise at the end—whether it's his Father's Day gift or a great Father's Day feast.

Make It a Picnic

Photo of a happy family going for picnic
Geber86 / Getty Images

Lay down a blanket and put together the family's favorite snacks to enjoy some fun in the sun this Father's Day. For an added treat, bring personalized desserts for Dad. "I love letter-shaped donuts!" says Jacquelyn Kazas, co-owner of Beijos Events. Close to the water? Kazas suggests taking your picnic beachside with a family paddleboard outing to follow.

Get Crafty

Crafts for Father's Day

MoMo Productions/Getty Images

Hey, guys love crafts too. Find something that's right up his alley—whether you take him to a paint-and-sip get-together, build and paint a birdhouse, or just make goofy costumes for the family.

Have a Spa Day

Father's Day Spa

Artsyslik/Getty Images

Pamper your favorite dad—splurge on mud masks (or make your own), serve up spa water—and don't forget the cucumbers for the eyes.

Record Your Family History

Couple drinking red wine and looking at photographs for a scrapbook

JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

The dad that's a huge history buff will love taking a trip down memory lane. Pull out the pictures and scrapbooks to reminisce, or consider interviewing your dad about his favorite memories to capture on video or audio.

Volunteer Together

Painting a Mural to Volunteer Together

Hill Street Studios/Getty Images

There's nothing more joyful than giving your time and energy to helping others. So find a project you can do to make someone else's day a little brighter, and get the whole family in on the fun.

Build Something Epic

Building a Treehouse

Stephen Lux/Getty Images

Gather the materials for a blanket fort, an epic Lego build, or even a treehouse. No matter what you create with Dad, building it will be only half of the fun.

Take a Staycation

Family Sightseeing on Staycation

Eugenio Marongiu/Getty Images

Play tourist in your hometown, and arrange an agenda of cool stuff you know Dad will love—whether it's exploring a favorite museum or the local zoo.

Hit the Water

Happy family canoeing on lake
Hero Images Getty

It's practically summer, so no matter where you're celebrating, there's likely a way to enjoy the water. Take dad fishing, canoeing, or just lazing on the beach—or for the more adventurous dad, paddleboarding or jet skiing.

Jam Out With the Family Band

dad playing guitar with son
Morsa Images | Getty Images

Got a musical family? Get everyone in on the music making and jam out to a few favorite tunes. (Maracas or tambourines are great for letting the little ones make some noise.)

Love music but don't have the skills to jam? Try a little karaoke, or just create the perfect playlist for a dance party.

Indulge in a Tasting

Craft beer flight
zmurciuk_k / Getty Images

What's dad's favorite drink or food? Create a tasting series for him—whether it's trying out a series of Buffalo wing sauces or beers.

"We made a whiskey tasting table that we created with each liquor numbered on kraft paper so Dad can make notes of his favorites," says Seri Kertzner, founder and co-owner of Little Miss Party.

Experiment in the Kitchen

African American family cooking in kitchen


Hero Images/Getty Images

TikTok recipes are great and all, but if Dad loves to be in the kitchen, why not take the day to dream up your own secret family recipe. Consider experimenting with hot sauce, cookie, or even ice cream recipes to find your dad's perfect match.

Set Up a Daddy Relay Race

Dad Relay Race


"Lay out a pair of Dad's pants, shirt, socks, and shoes," Len Saunders says. "On 'go,' your child runs up to the pile of clothing. When they get to the clothes, they must put on every article of clothing including the shoes. Once all of Dad's clothes are on, the child has to carefully run back to the starting line. Do it for fun or just time each kid to see who does it the fastest."

Learn Something New Together

Photography Lessons

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

There are thousands of classes both in person and online to help him (and your whole crew) learn how to take better smartphone pics or make a good sourdough starter.

Create Photo Art

Father's Day Photo Art

catscandotcom/Getty Images

"We have so many photos and love nothing more than sorting through them," Kertzner says. "Pull out a box of old photos or print new shots from your computer or phone and have the kids choose their favorites. At your local craft store pick up cardboard letters that spell 'DAD' or Dad's name or initials. You'll need Mod Podge and paintbrushes too. Take the photos and paint over them with the glue, directly onto the cardboard letters, till the letters are full of photos. Dad can hang his letter memories on the wall or stand them up on his office desk."

Plan a Baseball Outing

Father with son on shoulders at an Isotopes baseball game.
Father with son on shoulders at an Isotopes baseball game. Getty Images/Ray Laskowitz

For some good old fashioned fun, take your family to the local ballpark for a day of tailgating and cheering on your favorite team. Drinks, cheese puffs, chips and salsa, and plenty of game day gear made for a fun outing for the entire family.

No ballpark near you? Make your own at-home baseball event by setting up a family game in the yard or pulling up a recording of an old favorite game and stocking all the beers, snacks, and treats you'd enjoy at the ballpark.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles