Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, and in 2013 the date is Sunday June 16th.
--order online - Father's Day gifts for travelin' Dads!--
Father's Day Background
Father's Day dates back to 1909 in Washington state, when a woman named Sonora Dudd listened to a Mother's Day sermon, and had the idea of a "father's day." She wanted to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who'd raised six children by himself on the family farm, after his wife died in childbirth.
Because his birthday was in June, Sonora Dodd held the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on June 19th, 1910. President Coolidge supported the idea of a national holiday in 1924, but it wasn't until 1966 that a presidential proclamation by President Lyndon Johnson established a national Father's Day. (And only in 1972 did Richard Nixon sign it into law.)
Of course, every Dad is different: some crave golf; some would agree that "Golf is a good walk spoiled" (-Mark Twain.) Still, below you'll find places where the whole family can have fun, with the bonus of special activities or a package-price for Dad.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Florida - Golf
Club Med Sandpiper Bay is a Caribbean-style all-inclusive right in Florida, with kids' programs, great ambiance, and several ways to enjoy golf. The resort has an 18-hole golf course, a Tom Fazio II designed practice facility, a putting green, clubhouse, and driving range. Guests can take free group lessons (and kids get initiation sessions as well during their kids' programs, Petit Golf for the 4 to 7 year olds, and Junior Golf for the 8 to 13 year olds.)
Cooperstown, New York
Billed as "America's most perfect village", Cooperstown -- 70 miles west of Albany, and a 4-hour drive from NYC -- was founded in 1786 by the father of James Fenimore Cooper, who set famous novels in the area. Cooperstown has the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, a Farmer's Museum, the world-class Glimmerglass Opera, and the vintage Otesaga Resort Hotel. For Father's Day: check for special photo ops at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum; play 18 holes on the top-rated Leatherstocking Golf Course; or perhaps give Dad some free time to sample ales at the local brewery.
Father's Day Weekend - Huck Finn Jubilee in CA
Mark Twain's storybook comes alive at this 3-day festival in Victorville CA (97 miles NE of LA): families can white-wash fences, build river rafts, and other Huckleberry Finn-ish fun. Most of the 1880's-style contests are free. There's a Mark Twain Live performance, a Treasure Hunt, country and bluegrass music, hot air balloon rides, "vittles and crafts"... The Jubilee is held in the 800-acre Mojave Narrows Regional Park, along the Mojave River near Victorville. Camp or stay in nearby hotels.
Hershey PA - Golf, Spa
Hershey PA is a popular destination for families, not least because of the roller coasters and other rides at Hershey Park. Stay at the family-friendly Hershey Lodge, or the classic Hotel Hershey which has a kids' club, a terrific brunch in the Circular Dining Room, and a spa with many male guests (and many chocolate treatments) ; the Hershey Country Club is top-rated for golf. Check for golf and spa packages.
1000 Acres Ranch Resort, NY - Father's Day Package
Dads get 50% off on this weekend package which includes 3 days, 2 nights lodging, three meals daily, horseback riding, pony rides for kids six and under, full use of Ranch facilities, and nightly entertainment in the Red Dog Saloon*.
Activities include bonfires, hiking, row-boating, fishing, volleyball, basketball, softball, hay wagon rides, country dancing... (Read more about
1000 Acres Ranch, near Stony Creek NY.)
New York City - Attractions Pass
Give Dad this gift on Father's Day, but it can be used -- whenever. City Pass New York City Pass gives admission to six top attractions: Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, Top of the Rock, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises... and usually you can skip lineups as well. Many of these attractions are Top Places to Visit with Kids.) Mmeanwhile the New York Pass gives admission to over 55 attractions; note that once activitated, this pass must be used with 1, 2, 3, or 7 consecutive days - depending on which pass you buy.
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa
This unique resort regularly has special promotions for Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc. Typically, dads might "ride, eat and play for free" during Father's Day Weekend, with a two-for-one deal for dinner and Sunday brunch, a trail ride and a round of golf. (i.e. Dad is free, with another paying adult.) Family activities at Hyatt Regency Tamaya include wagon and pony rides, a horseshoe tournament, dive-in movie, kids' contests, family yoga and pilates. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya is near Santa Fe NM on 500 acres of the Santa Ana Pueblo's reservation; the resort features cultural activities such as pueblo bread baking and tribal dance performances.
*Always check destination websites for updates!