Father’s Favorites: Gift Ideas for the DC Dad

a dad and daughter catch a fish
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From thrill seekers to gamers, movie buffs to history buffs, fishers to swimmers and everything in-between, we rounded up the best experience gifts and products for every type of Dad this Father’s Day. Spend nothing but time while fishing in Anacostia or invest in tickets to Dad’s favorite attractions, like nearby HersheyPark or prime seats at a Nats game. Whether you want a special experience you don’t have to wrap or something special to open on Father’s Day morning, here are our picks for best gifts from DC-area establishments.

photo: Wolf Trap 

May the Force Be With Dad
Rule the galaxy as father and son (or daughter) with Star Wars tickets. Your favorite Star Wars fan will appreciate the July 29th musical presentation of the The Empire Strike’s Back’s famous score at Wolf Trap where Storm Troopers make a personal appearance. The film will play while the National Symphony Orchestra plays the film’s soundtrack life (a screen will be both on the stage and on the grass so those with lawn seats can see). Tickets start at $42/person.

photo: Hershey Park 

Give Free Kisses
Hershey Kisses, that is! Make this Father’s Day a sweet one with a daytrip to Hershey Park. Just two hours north of DC, this amusement park boasts over 70 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, the largest water-play structure in the world, live entertainment, games, food, shops, and even a simulated tropical rainforest where visitors learn how cocoa beans grow and are harvested. Ticket purchases include admission to ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, an 11-acre walk-through zoo that includes more than 200 animals from five regions of North America.it! While you’re in town, check out Hershey Gardens. It’s free for Dad on Father’s Day. 

Family matching swimsuits

Show Don’t Tell
How do you tell the world you’re a family man without telling the world? Father-and-kiddo matching outfits! Pools are open, so dive in with the gift of coordination because nothing says “we’re all together” like showing up to the pool in matching family swim suits. Tea Collections offers select patterns in sizes to fit the whole family, so everyone can get in on the fun (including Mom!). Tea is sold at Mom-and-Pop shops Wee Chic in Fairfax VA and Kinder Haus Toys in Alexandria, VA carry the line.

 

photo: The Dad Hoodie

 

The Gift of Pockets
The Dad Hoodie is the Swiss Army knife of garments. The inside of this hoodie is lined with pockets that last Dad ditch the diaper bag.  That’s probably why they weight a ton. Lighten her load this Mother’s Day with a hoodie that does it all. This unisex hoodie ($98) has room for all of the essentials  (and more) for those long walk around the ‘hood. With six inside pockets and two outside, this hoodie has room for diapers, wipes, bottles, snacks and possibly even the kitchen sink.

 

photo: Hello, Wonderful

Share His Story

The best presents are often the ones that are handmade at home. This creative fill-it-out yourself booklet designed by Hello, Wonderful are what memories are made of. Your guy will forever cherish the innocently hilarious answers his kiddos give to creative questions like, “the most fun thing I’ve done with my dad is…” and “my dad smells like…”. For more DIY Father’s Day card projects, go here.

 

photo: Monster Jam

Get Revved Up!
Celebrate Father’s Day a week early at Monster Jam, the ultimate display of monster trucks. Spend a day watching high-octane action as these supersized beast-like vehicles compete at FedEx Field on June 11. Tickets start at $33 and include 2.5 hours of flips, tricks and daredevil racing.

Man Driving antique car at antique car show

photo: Craige McGonigle via Unsplash 

Turn Back Time

Enjoy Father’s Day at this annual antique car show where over 400 cars are on display. Spend the day listening to live music, doing hands-on activities in the kids’ tent, shopping the flea market and possibly buying Dad a new car (some of these beauties are for sale!). While you’re there, tour the Sully Historic House.The Antique Car Show Admission fee is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $8 per child. Historic Sully House fee is included in admission at no additional cost.

 

photo: Jose Morales via Unsplash

Go Nats!
Whether you give him a night off to hang with friends at Nationals Park or get the whole family into the game, what could be better than an afternoon or evening at a Nats game! The weekend after Father’s Day the Nats take on the Philadelphia Phillies (June 19 at 12:05 p.m.). Family Fun package tickets, which include a hot dog, chips and soda start at $23/per person. Children under 10 attend free.

 

a dad and daughter catch a fish

photo: iStock 

Make Memories for Free
You don’t have to spend a dime to give Dad a special holiday. The first Friday Night Fishing kicks off along the Anacostia River on June 17. Bait, tackle and rods are provided, but come early. This weekly event is first come, first served (when the dock is full, fishing is capped to one hour so those on the waitlist can have a turn). Make it a summer tradition and go every Friday, June 17-Aug. 26 from 5-8 p.m.

Cave Men Rule
If you haven’t yet journeyed out to the Luray Caverns in Northern Virginia, this is a fun family day trip that is sure to please even the hardest to satisfy caveman as well as the kiddos. Pack plenty of snacks and a lunch for your adventure. Note: this trip is not for the weary—the tour is about an hour and you’ll cover 1.25 miles. Strollers are OK but bring the smaller one you have due to some of the stairs and steep inclines on parts of the tour ($32/adults; $16/kids 6-12; free/5 and under). Admission gets you access and the Luray Caverns tour, a self-guided tour of the Car and Carriage Caravan, and the Luray Valley Museum.

Meghan Yudes Meyers and Kristina Messner

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