As North Texans continue to receive their COVID vaccines, this year’s Father’s Day may look different for you and your family than last year’s. But if you’re still waiting to receive a vaccine and/or are following CDC guidelines to avoid large crowds, whether it be indoors or outdoors, we’ve compiled some safe alternatives to celebrate Dad this year.
Take Dad on a Ride
Treat Dad to a fun and relaxing day with something special and different this Father’s Day. Although we may not be privy to a traditional cruise like our friends down along the Gulf Coast, North Texas is still sprinkled with many lakes and waterfronts that afford us cruises of a smaller variety.
Arispop Cruises hosts a Father’s Day Boat Ride along Lake Ray Hubbard with both kiddo-friendly and adult-only options. The two-hour cruise comes with a three-course buffet, a private DJ, and a comedy performance on the adults-only cruises.
Sam’s Dock is also offering a Father’s Day Cruise along Lake Lewisville fit for a king, including a BBQ feast and swimming straight from boat itself! Lifejackets and unlimited nonalcoholic beverages will be provided.
Explore the Gardens
If you thought flowers were just for Mom, think again. Bring Dad and Grandpa out to the Dallas Arboretum Father’s Day weekend to enjoy music, activities, cooking demonstrations and more! Enjoy live music at the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage, and take in a bit of an unexpected site — 20 classic cars on display in the garden courtesy of The Classic Chassis Car Club.
On Sunday, Window to the Wild birds and their trainers will also be taking flight on the Martin Rutchik stage and Lawn.
To make things even sweeter, Sweet Vegan will be hosting a cooking demonstration showcasing their spin on vegan chocolate chip cookies, and all dads get a free iced tea at the Lula Mae Slaughter Dining Terrace, courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum.
Enjoy Nature Together
North Texas is privy to some of the best parks and trails, some of which you may have gotten well-acquainted with last year as a way to get out of the house. Getting out with Dad is not only a great bonding experience but hiking and walking are great low-impact, low-cost forms of exercise that virtually anyone can enjoy regardless of age or fitness level.
Explore the Trinity Trail, which spans over 100 miles and features 21 different parks, so no matter if you’re in Collin or Tarrant counties, there’s a piece of the trails for you to enjoy. If you want a one-stop-shop for family fun, Marine Creek Park, located right next to Tarrant County College’s Northwest campus, features a six-mile loop trail around the lake. The “no-wake” lake is also great for fishing, swimming, kayaking and sailing, with two boat ramps and various docks.
Cedar Ridge Preserve, located just 20 minutes from Downtown Dallas, features nine miles of trails through 600 acres of natural habitat. If you want a great starter trail with a delightful view of the wildflowers, the aptly named Bluebonnet Trail promises a gentle terrain with a lookout point midway that overlooks the valley.
Curious about more parks and trails? Read our comprehensive post here.
Are you sensing a theme here? While the CDC does note that dining indoors is safe for vaccinated individuals if you wear a face covering, if you have friends or family members who are not vaccinated, it can put them at risk even if they take precautions. If you have unvaccinated guests joining you on your celebratory day, opting for an outdoor restaurant is safer than eating indoors, but throwing a small picnic or cookout with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people wearing masks is the safer alternative.
Remember, if you have not been vaccinated, it’s still recommended that you wear a mask, stay six feet apart from others and wash your hands regularly.
Looking for a lowkey way to unwind with Dad? Look no further than White Rock Lake. As one of the largest parks in the area, White Rock Lake offers plenty of spots for Dad to try to catch himself a catfish. If fishing isn’t your thing, or the family rather take in the other natural sights and scenes, there are over 1,000 acres of wooded area to explore. Make a day of it and pack a picnic and enjoy afternoon eats amid the backdrop of both the great outdoors and the Dallas city skyline.
Take in Some Art
Is Dad a huge art buff? Revel in the air conditioning and take in beautiful works of art near you.
Local city art museums, such as Dallas’s DMA, Arlington’s Museum of Art, Fort Worth’s Kimbell or Frisco’s Art Gallery, are open to the public and the flow of traffic is monitored to keep everyone as safe as possible. Keep in mind, some museums may require you to reserve your tickets in advance so they can enforce social distancing measures.
Play with Heavy Machinery
If your dad loves power tools, then he’ll love the power behind maneuvering some of the construction world’s ultimate power tools: a bulldozer, excavator or wheel loader. Dubbed the “Extreme Sandbox,” the ultimate kid at heart’s playground in Pottsboro, TX, will have dad grinning from ear to ear as he moves a 26-ton excavator or bulldozer. As the site says, “There is no other place in the world where you can drive a bulldozer, crush a car, and then finish off with a ride in our fire truck.”
Remember the Little Things
No matter how you choose to celebrate this year, most dads just want to spend time with family in any way possible, even if meeting up in person still isn’t an option for you. A simple phone call or video chat with Dad may be just the gift he wants this year — and maybe an uninterrupted snooze on the couch.
How are you celebrating Dad this year? Let us know!