Here’s to celebrating the dads, grandpas, and father figures in our lives! This year, Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16, and while it’s possible that chilling on the couch is dad's Father's Day dream come true, why not make it special by planning a memorable day out with the kids? We’ve rounded up 25 great ideas for celebrating Father’s Day weekend in New York City—one or more should certainly prove inspirational!
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.
1. Get cooking together at the Edible Academy Opening Weekend at the New York Botanical Garden, which includes culinary demos, cooking workshops, and live music. Kids can measure and mix dried herbs to use in a salad dressing and pot up an herb to bring home and grow.
2. Sail aboard the 1885 Pioneer Schooner with the South Street Seaport Museum's New York Harbor trip.
3. Test your climbing mettle at the Dumbo Boulders outdoor climbing facility. Round out the day with a great meal in the neighborhood.
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. Bring a hearty appetite to the Queens Night Market on Saturday where the whole family can find the food they love at one of the over 100 vendors. Chow down in front of FREE live entertainment.
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6. Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park to view the public art installation Bridge Over Tree. While you’re there, hit up the Environmental Education Center and check out the 250 gallon aquarium housing some of the East River's resident critters.
7. Head to Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg on Sunday to dance with dad at The Music of The Grateful Dead Father's Day Special, hosted by the Rock and Roll Playhouse. Stick around and bowl some frames!
8. On Saturday, enjoy Central Park’s Adventures NYC, an all-day FREE event that includes rock climbing, mountain biking, obstacle races, and more.
9. Grab a blanket and dad's fave foods and head to the Big Picnic at Snug Harbor on Saturday. Bonus: your ticket will get you access to the main event, plus entry to all the great museums, galleries, and gardens the site has to offer.
10. Hop a ferry to Adventures on Governors Island for a round at the new mini gold course, the maze challenge, a climbing wall, and a zip line. Afterwards, enjoy a picnic on the grounds or get crafty at the Children's Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost.
11. Visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan to let the kids make Father's Day gifts out of that legendary, dad-approved material...duct tape!
12. Browse our list of NYC places where parents and kids can play together and pick an experience perfect for your family.
13. Practice some catch and release skills at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Fishing Clinic where marine biologists and expert anglers will guide visitors though the basics of line fishing (unless of course, they're already pros) to discover some of the park's fascinating aquatic organisms.
14. Already feeling the heat? Make a day of it and cool off at one of these water parks.
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15. Father's Day coincides with Movie Night at Habana Outpost in Brooklyn, where a screening of Bad Boys (R) is on the menu. Maybe book a sitter and leave the kids at home.
16. Or maybe he's a history buff? Celebrate Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery. Watch the brass band march in the parade and then head to Gershwin Park for family-friendly festivities.
17. Is dad a theater fan? If so, head to Central Park, where New York Classical Theatre is performing Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
18. If dinos are his thing, head to the Museum of Natural History to check out the new T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator exhibit or to the Bronx Zoo to take a ride on the newly refurbished Dinosaur Safari which takes visitors through a two-acre wooded area where 40 ultra-realistic, life-sized animatronic dinosaurs lurk.
19. Go for a family ramble at Fort Tryon Park. As luck would have it, this weekend also features the Scandinavian Music Festival in the park, with a Saturday kid-friendly performance aptly entitled "Papa is Always Right".
20. Make 843-acre Central Park, with its 21 playgrounds, your Father’s Day destination; begin by reading this Hidden NYC post. Pack a blanket and snacks.
21. Kick off the outdoor summer movie season with Black Panther (PG-13) on Roosevelt Island. Or spring for a babysitter later that evening after choosing a dining-and-movie spot via our guide to dine-in NYC movie theaters.
22. Go to the beach—via subway, for the whole weekend, or down the Shore.
23. Romp it up at the Rubin Museum's annual Block Party, which promises Himalayan snacks, cool art-making stations where you can make your own LED light, and guided meditations.
24. Rock the boat by taking the family to Community Rowing at the Bronx River waterfront at Hunts Point Riverside Park. Even babies can ride the waves (tiny life jackets are available, while supplies last). In Brooklyn, you can check out a kayak at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse.
25. On Sunday, fill your bellies with melting pot cuisine at the Eggs Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival on the Lower East Side.
A version of this article was published in 2016, but it has since been updated and revised.
All photos courtesy the respective organizations except where noted