For some families, celebrating Father’s Day is all about dinner at a restaurant. Other families like to stay in and show dad a good time from the comfort of their own home. No matter which type of celebration you prefer, we’re here to help you make dad’s special day just that…special.
Out and About
It’s safe to say that dining out with children is never as relaxing as it was before you had kids. But there are ways to make your dining experience—especially one as important as Father’s Day—a bit more enjoyable. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Go to places that are family friendly. It may seem obvious, but taking young kids to a restaurant known for its romantic ambience isn’t a good idea for you or the other guests. You’ll probably spend the entire meal trying to keep your son or daughter quiet. That’s definitely not a great way to spend Father’s Day. Instead, try to find a place that’s a little noisy and doesn’t mind a mess on the table. You’ll be more relaxed—and happy—knowing your kids can be kids.
2. Beat the dinner rush. Since most people go out to eat after 6 p.m.—especially on weekends—make a point of arriving at the restaurant around 5 p.m. If you think the restaurant still might be crowded at that time, be sure to make reservations. You won’t wait as long to be seated and you’ll get your food quicker. And when kids are involved, you usually only have about a half hour before they start to get antsy.
3. Bring your own entertainment. Most family friendly restaurants offer crayons and placemats to keep kids occupied, but it’s also a good idea to bring some of your son or daughter’s favorite toys. Or, let your older kids play games on your cell phone. Games like Hangman can actually be fun for the whole family.
4. No snacking before going to the restaurant. If your kids ask for a snack before you go out, don’t give in! They may complain about being hungry, but that’s a good thing. After all, you’re going to the restaurant to eat.
The Inside Scoop
For the family that likes to stay home on Father’s Day, there are many ways to have fun with dad. These ideas might work for your family:
- Host your own concert. Set up a pretend stage, get a hairbrush to use as a microphone, put up some folding chairs for your audience, turn down the lights and shine a bright flashlight on the singer. Then take turns singing your favorite songs. Be sure to cheer loudest for dad, since it’s his special day.
- Host a movie night. Don’t just rent a movie and sit on the couch. Go all out to make it just like a night at the theater. Hand out tickets, set up a concession stand with fresh-popped popcorn and boxed candy, and turn down all the lights. Even though it’s dad’s day, try to pick a movie that the whole family can enjoy.
- Look at old pictures and videos. Kids love seeing old photos of themselves and watching videos from when they were younger. If you have your photos in a box, bring it to the center of the room so everyone can sit around it. Or, if all your images are in digital form, create a slideshow on your computer. For videos, the best approach is to hook up the camera to your TV. That way, everyone will be able to see the show without having to huddle around a tiny camcorder screen.
No matter how you choose to spend your Father’s Day—at a restaurant or in your home—don’t forget to tell dad just how much you love and appreciate him. That’s probably what he wants most anyway.