Contrary to whatever you thought back before your child(ren) crushed brain cells that not even your favorite high-ABV beer could damage, Father’s Day isn’t about what you did this year. It’s about everything you didn’t do — as in, you didn’t do a damn thing for yourself. June 21 is the one Sunday you get to pick what the whole clan does, so choose wisely. Here are 18 options where you can stuff your face, get your groove on, check out sick cars and more — and your family doesn’t get to make fun of you for any of it until Monday.
Make Music Festival
Every Summer Solstice, the Make Music Festival floods the streets of all 5 boroughs with over 1,000 free musical performances by the people who normally expect you to stuff their hat with a few dollars. Lucky for you, the Solstice falls on Father’s Day this year. Take the family for a wander and just try not to run into one of these concerts.
Tastes of Chinatown Tour ($60)
Take a guided eating tour of Peking, Shanghai, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other eastern-oriented destinations without leaving Canal St. Asian beef jerky, dim sum, Cantonese BBQ and serious heartburn are in the 2-hour plan.
Lower Manhattan Puzzling Adventure ($40 per team)
A sightseeing tour-meets-trivia contest that will have you rambling from Battery Park and City Hall trying to answer a series of questions rooted in specific locations. You won’t learn your next destination until you solve the current one, and there’s beer involved, so this could take awhile.
East Village Food, Drinks & Culture Tour ($75 per person)
Feast on delicious ethnic food at really old places, like cannoli from a 120-year-old Italian bakery and beer at the city’s oldest bar (finally, you’ll something in common with Abe Lincoln besides the top hat thing). This food tour hits everything from Japan to India to Ukraine without ever leaving the East Village.
Father’s Day Brunch & Pampering Spa (Starting at $40)
Brooklyn’s Amarachi Restaurant offers three brunch seatings (Noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm), which can be followed by your choice of manly stress-relieving services such as hydrotherapy hand massage, the “Dads Rock” hot stone and Swedish rubdown, or a deep-tissue back treatment called the “Power Drill.” Make any “happy ending” jokes with the wife before you get there with the kids.
Wings & Wheels ($15, $8 for kids under 12, free for kids under 3)
An 8-hour salute to veterans at the Teterboro airport includes a vintage car show and military aircraft display — some of which you can actually ride in. Since you’re probably not cruising in and out of here on the regular (unless you own a Gulfstream), think of it as an afternoon of acting like a rich person.
UFO Sighting Event
Sure, it’s a little weird to be in a park with a guy who says he’s a 15-year veteran of UFO “summoning.” But it’s free, you can BYO-snacks and lawn chair, and even if a little quacky, it’s a great opportunity for laughs while scaring the crap out of your kids.
Father’s Day Cupcake Event ($25)
Spend 75 minutes selflessly creating decorative cupcakes for your kids at TV chef Duff Goldman’s DIY dessert design studio. Then remind your kids that it’s Father’s Day and eat their cupcakes.
The Pasadena Chalk Festival
The world’s largest “street painting festival” features 600 artists creating ground-level murals, plus a Chalkland where kids can do their best Bart Simpson impersonation. Try not to smugly point out to anyone that you can’t technically “paint” with chalk.
Who’s Your Daddy Father’s Day Feast ($40)
Held on one of Manhattan Beach’s nicest patios, the feast features a spit-roasted whole pig and live reggae, but the real draw is care of El Segundo Brewing: 3 beers for every dad. Provided your spouse pays for the ticket, that’s 3 free beers!
Howlin’ Ray’s Hot Chicken Eating Contest
King Harbor Brewery is hosting Nashville-style hot chicken food truck Howlin’ Ray’s, which will give the first dad/dude who can finish it’s signature spicy bird (without the help of beer/beverage) a growler of their chosen King Harbor beer, plus swag. Your kids will be so proud.
Hollywood To Santa Barbara Wine Tour ($150)
Cruise through 4 wineries in a pimped out Mercedes Sprinter and learn about Napa’s less celebrated southern neighbor, where the wines and the people who drink them are a little less pretentious.
Father’s Day Brews on the Bay ($99)
Combine “Sloop John B” jokes with cracks about that cool new daycare called Alcatraz as you cruise San Francisco Bay and popping beers from Lagunitas and Anchor Steam. The organizers will even get the kids sugar drunk on root beer floats.
International Yoga Day
Join 5,000 like-minded neighbors in Marina Green Park for a celebration of the first International Yoga Day and the biggest, most badass savasana of your yoga life. Unless you bring the kids, in which case assume you’ll spend the whole savasana trying to get them to shut up.
Father’s Day Afternoon Tea
If you’re near Mission District, or just love the idea of a pleasant sit-down with the fam, hit Charles Chocolates for an afternoon of handmade pastries, artisan-breaded sandwiches, rich desserts, and several choices of loose-leaf teas or hot chocolates for the kids. It’s on you to explain how to properly extend their pinkie while drinking.
Father’s Day Tripel Play: Beer | Bluegrass | BBQ ($100 for a family of 4)
It’s not just a no-brainer because of the strong beer; it’s a simple win when you can get a meal of smoked meats (pheasant, baby back ribs, Wagyu tri-tip), a first taste of Ruhstaller’s newly released, 9.5% ABV Conrad Tripel and live bluegrass from local band Manzanita. If the kids’ mom likes beer, then they’re going to have to learn how to drive home.
Introduction to Karting
If you never matured past Super Mario, get back to the good old days, only in an actual go kart. The expert coaches at Simraceway Performance Karting Center will walk you … er, drive you through the fundamentals, including braking methods, vehicle balance, and acceleration in karts that will break 60 mph. Bring the kids, teach ’em to drive, and then go hit up the Tripel Play.
25th Annual Father’s Day Invitational Auto Show
Don’t worry, the “invitational” thing refers to the people showing their cars — including a 1928 Model A Phaeton, 57 Chevys, and vintage Porsches. Since you can’t actually drive any of them, there are hot air balloon rides if the kids get bored.