When I started writing this blog post I asked my husband for his input with the caveat that “I’m not actually going to gift you all of these things” BUT. He had some great insight into Father’s day gifts he and his friends have enjoyed most over the years. Hint: it’s not a tie. Or another mug.

a father with his three sons
  1. A treat

What does your husband love? Is it locally brewed craft beer? Specialty coffee? A certain brand of liquor? With patio and BBQ season upon us, there’s no better time to gift him with one of his favourite beverages.

2. Shared interests

There’s nothing my husband loves more than sharing his interests with his boys. Sporting or camping equipment, art supplies, or a gift certificate to an activity he’s been wanting to try or re-visit (bowling, rock climbing, laser tag, and axe throwing are just a few ideas) all make great gifts.

3. Sleeping in

I don’t think I know a single parent who wouldn’t love a little extra sleep on the weekend, especially on a day that is all about them. Although my husband is a great sleeper, I try to get the kids out of the house to ensure they don’t inadvertently wake him up with their excited “can we give him our gift yet!?” questions.

4. An indulgence

Kids activities, home repairs, taxes: there are always expenses! Father’s Day is a great time to surprise your partner with something he’s had his eye on: a fancy new bag, grilling accoutrements, power tools, clothing. There’s nothing better than watching someone open a gift for something they coveted and is completely unexpected.

5. Time with friends. What’s one of the first things that happens when we become parents: we lose a lot of our free time. Making arrangements for him to get together with friends he hasn’t seen in a while is a low cost gift that he’s sure to appreciate, especially if he doesn’t have to do any of the organizing or planning!

What to do in Ottawa on Father’s Day

  1. Ottawa Italian Week

I spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at fancy cars that I neither recognize nor appreciate BUT I know it’s something my husband (and boys) love, which is why I’m sharing the details for Ottawa Italian Week here. It runs from June 6th to 16th and culminates with the Ottawa Ferrari festival from June 14th to 16th.

preteen sitting in a fancy car

2. Gatineau Park Trails

When it doubt, run it out. There’s no better way to ensure a (more) peaceful weekend than getting our kids outside. Gatineau Park offers a variety of different trail lengths and difficulty levels. One of our favourite trails is the Carbide Mill trail.  The waterfalls and ruins at the end of the trail are worth the trek!

father wearing child on his back

3. Mini Golf

When my husband can’t escape to the driving range or golf course on Father’s Day, we often head to a local mini putt course as a family to celebrate. It’s actually how we spent our first Father’s day as a family of five! The great thing about mini putt is that it’s as equally entertaining for toddlers as it is for older kids, although there’s a lot fewer lost balls the older they get.

preteen at the skatepark at lansdowne

4. Skate park

Both my boys and my husband love to bring their skateboards, scooters, and bikes to one of our local skate parks. Two of their favourites are the skate park behind the Aberdeen Pavillion at Landsdowne and the Legacy Skatepark, which is next to Centrepointe Theatre (across the road from Algonquin College). If you visit the skatepark at Landsdowne, you can also grab breakfast or lunch at one of the nearby markets or stop at the Farmer’s market on your way there / back for treats.

5. Park Omega

boy feeding a deer a carrot at parc omega

Late Spring is a beautiful time to visit because the animals are active and the Heritage farm is open. There’s several kilometres of trails to walk, the Heritage farm has a great playground and plenty of farm animals to see, and when you get home your kids can help dad wash the slobber covered car as part of the gift.

6. Tourist for a day

After a long winter hibernation, Father’s day weekend is a great time to play tourist in your own city. Head down to the Byward Market or Westboro and spend time exploring the area with the entire family. A scavenger hunt is a great way to keep both little and big kids entertained as you explore the city. Giving them a list of items / places they need to find or, for little ones, having them find something for each letter of the alphabet, can help stave off the “I’m tired. Are we done yet” complaints.

brothers climbing painted stairs