NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Father's Day is this Sunday, June 16, and as people rush to the stores to try to figure out what Dear Old Dad might want, one thing to consider is to spend more time thinking of what to do with your dad, rather than what to give him.
Father's Day is as much about the memories as it is about the gift, as long after that tie is packed up in a box to give to charity, the memories of how you spent the day will remain forever.
Making memories doesn't have to cost a fortune, either. Mainstreet compiled a list of ten things you can do with Dad that is fun and economical:
1. Go see a movie: While going to the theater isn't as cheap as it used to be, it still is a relatively inexpensive way to spend the day. If dad is a movie buff, taking him to a special movie is an idea worthy of an Academy Award. Both Cinemark and Regal movie theaters are offering limited discounts this summer.
2. Forego the grill for fondue: This might seem a bit untraditional in American culture, but fondue parties are a big hit in other parts of the world. If dad doesn't care for grilling or the weather isn't cooperating, move the party inside and do fondue. Fondue can be done with meat (by using hot oil), cheese or chocolate. It's also great fun for the entire family. You can even purchase Emmi Roth's ready made fondue for around $12 per package.
3. Pack a picnic brunch and head to the park: "The advantage of doing a brunch instead of a BBQ, is that you head off to a park earlier in the day and have your choice of table sites," says Carol Gilbert, owner of Cards by Carol. She says she packs bagels, lox, cream cheese, juice and coffee and then the family took a hike together.
4. Give your dad the gift of time: "Take on a task that your dad would otherwise have to do, whether it's cleaning the garage or going to the grocery store," says Meg Favreau, senior editor of WiseBread.com. You can even suggest that you do a project together, such as cleaning up the yard, painting the house or helping him with one of his hobbies.
5. Tee off: This is dad's day, so if he is a fan of golf and you aren't or you've never played much, why not suggest that both of you hit the course together? Golf is typically not an inexpensive sport, but many golf courses are offering discounts throughout Father's Day weekend, including The Course at Aberdeen in Valparaiso, Ind.
6. Get hooked: Many fathers enjoy fishing, and this could be a fun day for the entire family, particularly if the children are still small. Fishing doesn't cost a lot and requires only a basic pole and maybe a fishing license for dad, depending on the body of water.
7. Rub it and grill it: "Make a homemade spice rub for your dad if he likes to grill," suggests John Schmoll, owner of the website frugalrules.com. After you've made the rub, present dad with a some nice cuts of meat and suggest you grill together. Nothing brings together a family like meat grilling over and open flame.
8. Workout: You might have noticed that dad needs a little exercise, or maybe the entire family does. People meet up at the gym all of the time, why not meet up with dad and get into some fitness? Natalie Bidnick, with the YMCA in Dallas, says that many YMCAs across the country are offering discounts throughout Father's Day weekend. The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, for example, is offering a new membership for only $10 and 50% off of a new youth program.
9. Capture Dad's life: For those sons and daughters who have lost their fathers, they most likely wish they had recorded their father's story before he passed away. If your father is elderly, especially, this Father's Day would be an excellent time to do just that. If you have no idea where to start, there is a guide that will help you. The Book of Myself: A Do-it-Yourself Autobiography in 201 Questions (Hyperion, 2007) is by Carl and David Marshall and is available in B&N stores, Amazon.com, B&N.com. Suggested price $15.99, but the story you will get is priceless.
10. Skype: If your dad is still someplace on the planet, but not near you, it's O.K., you can still make memories with him this Sunday through Skype. Grab one of your dad's favorite wines or beers and encourage him to do the same and share a drink through video conferencing. If you want to include the entire family, do a video conference. One-on-one skyping is free, but to video conference, one person has to have a Skype Premium account, which only starts at $4.99 per month.
--Written by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell for MainStreet