New York City is a vast playground for engaged dads to explore with their children, whether they’re babies and toddlers or full-grown with children of their own. Some fathers enjoy sports and the great outdoors, while others may be artistically inclined and connoisseurs of fine food. Some dads thrive in big crowds, while others prefer something more intimate. There are parks and events that cater to all types in this big, bold city that we love. Here are a few options if you’re still undecided on where you’ll end up on Father’s Day.
- Cruise with brews. Hornblower Cruises offers a unique view of the New York skyline and landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge — from aboard an intimate luxury yacht. The two hour Father’s Day cruise serves up a delicious brunch buffet featuring omelets, eggs benedict, vegetable frittata, French toast, waffles, bacon, sausage, potatoes, salads, bagels, meat carving stations, and pastries. Live jazz music sets the atmosphere, while dad enjoys free-flowing beer in his official Hornblower mug. The cruise sets sail Sunday, June 18th at noon from Pier 40. After your cruise, you can take a free self-guided tour of Greenwich Village, check out the trapeze school, or explore all that Hudson River Park has to offer, from kayaking to mini golf. Young kids will enjoy the splash-park and carousel.
- Enjoy the finer foods in life. Foodies have many ways to celebrate this Father’s Day. The Museum at Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side is holding an Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival to celebrate the area’s cultural diversity. Watch Peking Opera performers dazzle the crowd; listen to klezmer bands; learn how to make empanadas; take free language lessons; or play a round of mahjongg. The block party is free, but there will be plenty of Jewish, Chinese, and Puerto Rican food for sale. Or you can head on over to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for Smorgasburg, which the NY Times has called “the Woodstock of food” with over 100 food and super flea market vendors. Treat your tastebuds to everything from crispy pork belly on a stick and French steak tartare, to Nutella-dipped churros and spaghetti donuts.
- Explore Van Cortlandt Park with the little ones. Sometimes when you have young children in tow, you need a Father’s Day plan that doesn’t involve too much hassle. Van Cortlandt Park in the northwest Bronx is the perfect place to pack a picnic and stay the day. The Forever Wild Preserves offers nature trails ideal for easy hiking, biking, or horseback riding. In fact, kids ages 4-10 will enjoy free pony rides at Riverdale Stables from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday! There are four playgrounds, an Urban Park Rangers’ Nature Center, a historic museum, a golf course, two free outdoor pools, a toddler wading area, barbecue grills, fishing, and sports fields. It’s impossible to cover it all in one day, but the main attractions are conveniently located near transit hubs or parking lots.
- Promote family fitness with a father-and-tot Fun Run. Think N’ Fun is holding a special Father’s Day race for the whole family. Each father and child receive a commemorative medal for their participation. Age categories include Tadpoles (early walkers), Goldfish (2), Guppies (3-4), Starfish (5), and Young Runners (6+). Recovery snacks will be served after the race, while families check out the photo opp station and “make-n-take” craft station. Dads looking to really break a sweat can opt to take the optional adults race through Riverside Park after taking their jog with the kids.
- Give dad’s bucket list dreams wings. Get a bird’s eye view of NY, while experiencing the thrill of piloting a light aircraft designed for flight training. Experienced FAA Certified Flight Instructor Patrick O’Toole will give dad a one-hour flying lesson departing from Republic Airport in Farmingdale. When he lands, you can visit the American Airpower Museum, ride old-fashioned amusement park rides at Adventureland, hike the Adventure Park at Long Island, or grab a drink at the Barrage Brewing Company.
Father’s Day with young children may not be filled with “R&R,” but it can be the perfect excuse to skip the honey-do list for the weekend and spend it cooking up new memories, at play with his #1 fans.
By Jenn Fusion for Shine