Spend the day romping through Brooklyn Bridge Park or check out all the things to do with dad in the city for Father's Day.  Photo by Alexa Hoyer
Spend the day romping through Brooklyn Bridge Park or check out all the things to do with dad in the city for Father's Day. Photo by Alexa Hoyer

25 Things to Do for Father’s Day in New York City

It's time to celebrate the dads, grandpas, and father figures in our lives! This year, Father’s Day is Sunday, June 20, and we’ve rounded up 25 great ideas for celebrating the man of your house. Keep in mind reservations may be necessary for many of the events below, so be sure to check ticketing policies before you go.

If you're thinking about taking the party outside the city, be sure to peruse our Day Trips Guide or Theme Parks Guide for lots of great ideas.

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1. Catch a wave at this year's Rockstock And Barrels Festival featuring surf contests, an arts and crafts shopping village, skateboard demos, and live music.

2. Celebrate the return of the 1885 Full-Rigged Ship Wavertree at the South Street Seaport. Enjoy FREE self-guided visits along a set route, including access to the main and quarter decks and outdoor areas.

RELATED: C'mon Summer: 50 Things We Can't Wait to Do During Summer 2021 in NYC

People climbing a rock wall in dumbo
Get climbing at Dumbo Boulders. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

3. Test your climbing mettle at Dumbo Boulders outdoor climbing wall, and round out the day with a great meal at the newly reopened Time Out Market.

4. Putt-putt your Father’s Day away at one of these miniature golf courses or visit Red Hook’s indoor Shipwrecked Miniature Golf.

5. Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park to play, bike, skate, and ride the carousel.

RELATED: NYC Summer Fun Guide: Free Fun, Day Trips, Water Play

Kids with giant bubbles at the Queens Night Market
The summer-long global food festival at the Queens Night Market returns to Flushing Meadows Corona Park just in time for the holiday weekend. Photo courtesy of the market

6. Bring a hearty appetite to the Queens Night Market to celebrate a day early. The whole family can find the foods they love at more than 100 vendors. Chow down in front of FREE live entertainment.

7. Head to the Bronx to enjoy the Kusama exhibition taking over the New York Botanical Garden grounds.

8. Catch a family-friendly screening at the Tribeca Film Fest: Astoria Park. Sunday's feature is the film adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, James and the Giant Peach.

9. Hop a ferry to Governors Island to enjoy all the attractions, including the thrilling Adventures on Governors Island.

RELATED: Best Outdoor Summer Concerts and Performances for NYC Kids in 2021

Kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Go kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo by Etienne Frossard

10. Get out on the open water at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Kayaking Saturdays, where kids and adults at every level can try their hand at kayaking in the water near Pier 2.

11. Browse our list of NYC places where parents and kids can play together and pick an experience perfect for your family.

12. Already feeling the heat? Make a day of it and cool off at one of these water parks.

13. Catch a flick on the water at the Skyline Drive-In with a special Father's Day screening of the action heist film Fast Five.

14. Book your slots now for The Amazing Father's Day Scavenger Hunt and use your wits to solve riddles and find clues throughout Times Square.

RELATED: Best Things To Do in NYC in June With Kids

Wide shot of lIttle island in NYC
Get the family tickets for the newly opened Little Island. Photo by Liz Ligon

15. Is dad a theater fan? If so, head to the newly opened Little Island, where the New Victory Labworks program features a behind-the-scenes look at how artists create and develop family programming for the stage followed by a performance by RudduR Dance.

16. If natural history is his thing, head to the American Museum of Natural History to check out the Creatures of Light exhibit featuring the extraordinary organisms that glow, from deep-sea squid to the flickering fireflies that illuminate backyards at dusk.

17. If you've got a bookworm on your hands, try to nab a spot in the virtual queue for the < a href="https://mommypoppins.com/new-york-city-kids/stores-services/step-inside-magical-harry-potter-new-york-store">wildly popular Harry Potter New York, which has just debuted in the Flatiron District.

18. Indulge dad's competitive side with a visit to one of the three Area 53 locations in the city, where visitors can play laser tag, paintball, and water sports. There's also an indoor adventure park with lots of different games and activities.

RELATED: The 25 Best Spraygrounds and Sprinklers For NYC Kids

Kids playing in the ocean
Jacob Riis Beach in Queens feels like a world away from the city. Photo by Matthew Nighswander

19. Go to the beach—via subway, for the whole weekend, or day trip down the Shore.

20. Step inside the work of Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh at Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience or the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit; yes, there are dueling Van Gogh excursions to choose from right now!

21. Play outside at the Abron Art Center's Fresh Air Sundays. This week features a family game day with tunes by DJ Susan Z. Anthony.

22. Romp it up at Kids Fest in Jackie Robinson Park to enjoy a day of dance, music, and interactive theater performances, plus workshops and activities for families.

RELATED: 35 Great Summer Kids Movies for Family Movie Night

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company tells stories through folkloric dance and musical traditions. Photo by Stephanie Delago.

23. Celebrate Mexican culture at King Manor's Traditions Festival with a performance by the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and lots of hands-on crafts for the whole family to do together.

24. Kick off the season at FunikiJam’s Totally Awesome Summer, where the audience joins a musical adventure around the globe while rocking out to lively songs, rhymes, and stories.

25. Pack a blanket and snacks and make 843-acre Central Park, with its 21 playgrounds, your Father’s Day destination.

A version of this article was published in 2016. It is updated annually.

Kusama: Cosmic Nature
The New York Botanical Garden - 10:00 AM Pick
Paleo Playdates
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University - 10:00 AM Pick
LIC Springs into Summer
Various locations - various times Pick
The Art of Words Art-Based Summer Camp
The Art of Words Community School - 8:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides