How To Plan The Ultimate Father’s Day Experience
When it comes to celebrating Father’s Day, more than a few of us are guilty of relying on the old slippers, mug and novelty tie routine as safe, if boring, presents. Traditionally, Mother’s Day celebrations are more heavily promoted, with shops awash with bouquets of flowers, chocolates and more conventionally ‘feminine’ gifts, while spas, hotels and restaurants will offer special menus or events for the day itself.
In fact, it’s virtually impossible not to come up with a million ideas for Mother’s Day, given the prominence of the event in advertising and promotions. But Father’s Day shouldn’t be overlooked or underwhelming, particularly if it comes down to a lack of imagination. In fact, coming up with ideas that are both unique and fun is much easier than you think. With our list of suggestions, there’s no excuse not to make June 19th 2016 a day the father or grandfather in your family will never forget.
Emily Norval is a London-based journalist covering a range of topics including fashion, retail, travel and lifestyle. She has written for both national and international publications and enjoys frequent travel as part of her work.
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Invert The Tradition
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Among some of the most popular celebrations for Mother’s Day are afternoon teas and spa treatments, but would it surprise you to know that both of these options can also be a highly popular choice for men? Taking a step outside the box, The Athenaeum Hotel in London offers a Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea, which includes the likes of miniature steak and ale pies, crispy bacon scones and a glass of whisky. The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Manchester also offers a similar option in its restaurant, with miniature fish and chips and pork pies. Treating your Dad to a fun dining experience with a twist is bound to create lasting memories, particularly if it’s a little tongue in cheek.
Meanwhile, spa treatments for men are another unconventional idea. Champney’s Resorts offer a variety of men’s treatments at their spas, from hand and nail grooming to facials and massages. Clarins also offer men’s treatments at their numerous spas, which are based all over the UK. You could even treat your Dad to a traditional shaving experience, with barber services such as Murdock London offering traditional wet shaves, as well as facials, styling and even men’s manicures. All served with teas, coffees, whiskies and beers, of course.
Spend A Day Out
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For a more family friendly celebration, consider planning a Father’s Day themed day out that everyone can attend. The National Trust is a good place to start, with its variety of heritage sites offering specific events themed to Dads and Granddads, from archery lessons to hog roasts. For younger family members, there are also events such as den building, kite flying and even camping taking place at National Trust properties around the UK.
Museums also make for a family friendly proposal, which can be tailored around Dad’s hobbies and interests. For the historically-minded man, The Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester are always full of new exhibitions and events, or you could visit the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Sports fans are also catered for across the country, whatever their particular preference. The National Football Museum in Manchester is always a popular choice, with six levels covering ‘The Beautiful Game’ from a Hall of Fame to interactive exhibitions. The National Motorcycle Museum is another major attraction, located near Birmingham, while the Donington Grand Prix Museum is the largest showcase of Grand Prix racing cars in the world, located in the East Midlands.
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Dad’s taste in music could be another influencing factor in your choice. The Saatchi Gallery in London is dedicating two floors throughout summer 2016 to an extensive exhibition of The Rolling Stones, the first international exhibit of its kind and an unmissable experience for any fan. Die hard Beatles fans will also enjoy The Beatles Story, permanently based in the legendary band’s home town of Liverpool.
If you’re really stuck for ideas, you can always rely on some of Britain’s more unusual museum experiences, such as the Lawnmower Museum in Merseyside. Proof, if ever needed, that there truly is something for everyone.
Experience A Rush
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Depending on budget, there’s plenty of unforgettable experiences to be had that make for popular Father’s Day ideas. Visiting the home of his favourite football team for a stadium tour, for example, is a grand gesture that’s guaranteed to impress (tours can be booked via individual team websites). Often these include behind the scenes views of the stadium as well as the opportunity to step out onto the pitch for a photo. For something more interactive for the whole family, you could spend a sports-themed day playing indoor golf at the likes of Urban Golf or Top Golf, the latter of which includes cocktails on offer for the grown ups and no actual golf skills required!
Other popular experiences for particularly bold Dads include driving fire engines or racing cars and even tanks. Days out along these lines can be organised via companies such as Virgin Experience Days, Red Letter Days or Lastminute.com.
Keep It Simple
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Some Dads prefer less of a fuss, which makes life all that much easier when it comes to planning a celebration. Sometimes, a straightforward day out at the local pub will do, but even that can be thought through to make it a little more special. If Dad is keen on sailing, for example, plan a trip to a restaurant near a local river or marina. Make an effort to choose somewhere that means something unique to him, for example a place that holds specific memories, or a favourite local haunt.
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If he isn’t a grand statement kind of guy, why not pick out lots of little gifts to wrap up to make it special. You could gift wrap a bottle of his favourite beer, or a travel-sized version of his favourite products. The key is to make sure Dad knows that he’s celebrated, so whether it’s a grand gesture or something small, as long as it’s heartfelt, it’s guaranteed to be a hit.