With Father’s Day nearly upon us, it’s time to plan a day of family fun in Boston to celebrate dad. The perfect recipe ideal activities include a balance of something guys really want to do with the rest of the family will also enjoy. Sure, you can scour our summer fun guide for ideas, but trust us (and the dads in our lives who we tapped for approval): These 20 things to do this Father’s Day in Boston are sure to make dads feel extra special and make memories for kids at the same time.
Father’s Day in Boston: 20 Things to Do
Treat Dad to some craft brews this Father’s Day. Photo courtesy of Riverwalk Brewery in Newburyport.
1. Visit a brewery or winery.
Whether dad prefers a pint or glass, there are lots of family-friendly breweries and wineries in the Boston areal Many have outdoor seating and kid-friendly menus—and some even have lawn games and entertainment to keep the kiddos busy. And of course, all feature local brews or vino for mom and dad.
2. Go for a hike.
Whether families have a baby or a teenager, there’s a hike that’s perfect in the Boston area. Stay close to home at the Middlesex Fells or Blue Hills Reservation, or venture farther out to try the Crane Beach Dunes.
3. Dine out.
While it can be fun to whip up dad’s favorite meal at home, it can be even more festive to go out (and someone else cleans up!). If the weather is great, opt for some outdoor restaurants or check out one of these places where kids can play while parents eat (and relax).
Explore the Mayflower Beach tide pools this Father’s Day. Photo courtesy of capecod.com
4. Hit the beach, lake, or pond.
Father’s Day comes right before the official start of summer, which means it’s the perfect time to hit a patch of sand and enjoy a swim. If dad prefers fresh water, head to a local lake or pond. Or go to a local beach and cap the day off with fresh seafood at one of these North Shore spots.
5. Go boating.
There are a ton of fun ways to get out on the water in Boston. Rent a kayak or canoe, take a river cruise or go sailing on the Charles. Or head to the harbor and hop aboard the Codzilla, a tall ship, or whale watch.
6. Go on an adventure.
If dad is a thrill-seeker, there are plenty of ways to find some excitement right near the city. Take dad to a nearby obstacle course where the whole family can get in on the action. Or catch some air and zipline through the trees.
Dads enjoy the thrill and challenge of ziplining just as much as kids do. Photo courtesy of TreeTop Adventure, Canton
7. Visit an auto museum, fly a kite, have a picnic, and romp on a playground.
Larz Anderson Park in Brookline is truly a one-stop fun shop. There’s a really cool auto museum with “America’s Oldest Car Collection. It’s also one of the best places in town to fly a kite, there are plenty of places to picnic, and it has a terrific playground.
8. Get out of town.
Sometimes families just need a change of scenery, and that’s where a family-friendly day trip comes in. We have 25 suggestions, from museums to park adventures, so there’s sure to be something that every dad will like.
9. Make a splash!
Challenge dad to take a plunge down a water slide and jump the waves at one of these great water parks in the Boston area.
Fenway Park has delighted dads for generations. Photo courtesy of Fenway Park
10. Get sporty.
The Red Sox may be away on Father’s Day in 2021, but that doesn’t mean dad can’t show his team spirit. Take a tour of Fenway to get a behind-the-scenes look at the historic ballpark. If football is more dad’s thing, visit The Hall at Patriot Place. Or relive some of the best moments in Boston athletics at the Sports Museum inside TD Garden.
11. Head outdoors for a camping excursion.
If dad is an outdoor guy, a quick camping getaway is a perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day. Check out these camping sites that feature lots of perks for families.
Pops loves putt-putt, so head out for mini-golf this Father’s Day. Photo courtesy of Kimball Farm.
12. Go mini-golfing.
While taking the whole family for 18 holes of golf may be unrealistic, if dad loves the green, taking the whole family for 18 holes of putt-putt is totally doable! Added bonus—lots of these mini-golf places also offer ice cream and other fun activities, like go-karts and batting cages.
13. Play games!
For all the dads that are truly still kids at heart, a day at the arcades is a winner. Visit the gigantic Apex Entertainment Center for arcade games, bumper cars, rope courses, and more. Or opt for old-school arcades, like Salem’s Willows Park.
14. Go for a spin at an amusement park.
Most Boston theme parks are open, making Father’s Day the perfect time for the family’s first ride of the season! Spend the day with dad braving the rides, trying his luck at carnival games, and indulging in some tasty treats.
15. Spend the day on the Cape.
Cape Cod offers Boston families plenty of fun attractions, great seafood, and miles of fabulous beaches. It’s the perfect quick getaway for Father’s Day.
16. Take dad strawberry picking.
Does Dad like getting outdoors with the family? Does he have a soft-spot for strawberry shortcake? These top spots for strawberry picking have your Father’s Day needs covered!
17. Get sophisticated at a museum in Boston.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has classic works for the dad who loves art–and one amazing heist story for the fathers who love true crime stories.
18. Go wild at Boston’s zoos!
Not only are Boston area zoos a great excursion for the family, many have free admission for dads on Father’s Day.
19. Book a night away.
The Boston area has wonderful family-friendly resorts and spas, so take your father out for some pampering on his special day.
20. Take to the high seas.
If your dad loves the ocean, a Boston-area whale watch will get him out on the water with the family to see some incredible animals.
Originally published June 2014