In the United States, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. If you're looking for something to honor good ol' Dad that goes beyond the boring pair of socks, wallet or gift card, then these ideas may help, whether you're planning a few hours or an entire weekend.
Family Get-Togethers for Father's Day in California
If Dad is the family get-together kinda guy, rent a vacation home and get the whole clan together, whether they're related to you by blood or just your closest friends. Try Pine Mountain Lake near Groveland and Yosemite National Park, Irish Beach just south of Mendocino, or Dillon Beach north of San Francisco.
Father's Day Weekend Getaways
If you can get away for a whole weekend to celebrate good ol' Dad, these are a few of the best places to do it:
- Catalina Island: Whether Dad wants to be active or chill out, he'll find a place to do it here. Send him ziplining down a mountain, snorkeling in the harbor, or just let him chill out on the beach.
- Morro Bay: It's one of California's most family-friendly destinations with lots of water activities, shopping - and reasonably-priced lodging. The whole family could go kayaking, or watch the sea otters in the kelp.
- Point Reyes and West Marin: An excellent getaway for an active family, with hiking, beaches, kayaking, and magnificent scenery.
- Santa Barbara: No matter how old you and your father are, you'll find something that suits you in Santa Barbara. It's an especially good place for history-loving dads, who will enjoy the old Spanish mission and the military barracks downtown.
- Yosemite: Voted one of the best places in California for family vacations by Tripsavvy readers and many other publications. Take Dad for a hike or just a walk through the valley floor.
Taking Dad Out for a Father's Day Ride
Some dads are train buffs. How about a ride on one?
- Sacramento River Train: You'll find lots of rides that Dad might enjoy, including beer rides, Wild West showdowns, and dinners.
- Yosemite Train - Sugar Pine Railroad: Families love this short train ride through the woods near Yosemite.
- Skunk Train: Mendocino's train ride is a fun run through the woods between Fort Bragg and Willits
- Napa Wine Train: You can find out about what to expect in this review, but it's a good option for anyone with limited mobility.
- Railtown Jamestown: If your dad is a serious train buff you can let him be an honorary crew member, and participate in hoisting the locomotive in their crew for a day program.
- Train-loving dads may also like the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento or Sierra Railroad in Oakdale.
Los Angeles, California Father's Day Weekend Ideas
- If you're looking for a family day out, try these ideas for LA family outings.
- Diver Dads and Ocean Lovers: The Aquarium of the Pacific is a great place to go and e it appeals to people of all ages. If Dad is a certified scuba diver, he can get into the aquarium exhibits along with the staff - or for those who'd rather keep their heads above water, try a shark encounter - it makes an excellent father-and-child experience, too.
- Car Buffs: If your father likes cars, try the LA Roadsters hot rod show in Pomona, Petersen Automotive Museum or Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance.
- Play Ball: The Los Angeles Dodgers host a Father's Day Catch, a fun chance to play catch on the field.
- Get Presidential: If Dad is a history buff or just a fan of "The Gipper," take him out to the Ronald Reagan Library.
San Diego, California Father's Day Weekend Ideas
- If you're looking for a family day out, try these ideas for San Diego family outing.
- Brewery Tour: For grown-up kids and their beer-loving dads, a trip with San Diego Brewery Tours is a fun way to spend a day.
- Snooze at the Zoo: For a Father's Day you won't forget, the San Diego Zoo offers Father's Day Campouts for fathers and their kids, aged four years and older.
San Francisco, California Father's Day Weekend Ideas
- Take a Segway Tour: If everyone is more than 12 years old, the whole family can enjoy a Segway Human Transporter ride with the Electric Tour Company that's also a guided tour.
- Indulge the Inner Engineer: Mechanically-inclined fathers may like the Cable Car Museum, a tour of City Hall, or the California Academy of Sciences.
- Disney Family Museum: If Dad's a baby-boomer who loves Disney, he might enjoy a trip to the Disney Family Museum.
- Pirate Festival: The Northern California Pirate Festival happens over Father's Day weekend in Vallejo.
- If you're looking for a family day out, try these ideas for San Francisco family outings