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Your go-to guide for a Happy Father’s Day

dad and daughter

Sunday, June 21, is the first day of summer! You’ve got your sandals on without socks. You’ve got sunglasses perched atop your head. You’ve got a list of outdoor movies, concerts and events to fill up the next few months. But wait a minute, there’s something you’re forgetting in your sunshine-induced haze.

Sunday, June 21, is also Father’s Day. Kick off your summer celebration, but don’t forget to include dad in the fun. May we suggest you do the following?

Alki Beach, photo by Laurel Mercury

Alki Beach, photo by Laurel Mercury

Head to the beach

Weather-permitting, Seattle Parks’ nine lifeguarded beaches open for the season on Saturday, June 20. Head to Seward Park and have a rock skipping contest with dad just like you did when you were young. Toss a football or Frisbee around on Matthews Beach. Watch boats and cars cross the lake while you splash off the shore of Madison Beach. Beaches are open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on weekends, so pack lunch and make a day of it. For information on other beach locations, go here.

Jefferson Park tennis courts

Jefferson Park tennis courts

Hit the court

For some dads, bonding means sports, sweat and friendly competition. If that’s the case, head to one of our outdoor tennis courts and participate a little one-on-one. Seattle Parks has well over 100 outdoor courts spread out in parks across the city. Play a few matches early in the morning and then take dad out to his favorite breakfast joint. Win or lose, you pick up the check. For a list of tennis court locations and reservation information, go here.

bbq 2015

Seattle Parks has many picnic shelters and barbecues for rent.

Grill something tasty

For centuries, men have been cooking over fires and striving for the title of Ultimate Grill Master. Buy all the necessary barbecue fixings, and then let dad show off his skills at one of our picnic shelters. Medium well? You got it. Melted cheese? No problem. Grilled pineapple? Vegetable skewers? Just hand him the produce. Let dad tell you stories about how he did his homework without the internet and how he looked up directions on a map. Don’t forget to pack dad’s favorite dessert or at least a bag of marshmallows to roast. To reserve a picnic shelter, go here.

Kubota Garden, photo by Laurel Mercury

Kubota Garden, photo by Laurel Mercury

Wander the garden

Kubota Garden recently celebrated the dedication of its new Terrace Overlook. The overlook’s eight-foot stone wall was constructed by 14th– and 15th– generation Japanese stone masons who split and stacked the large granite stones by hand. Let dad to admire the overlook’s incredible craftsmanship and take a self-guided tour of the beautiful garden. The garden is open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and boasts 20 acres of blended Japanese and Pacific Northwest landscape concepts. For more information, including driving directions, go here.


Show your gratitude
More than anything, Father’s Day is about letting dad know how much you appreciate all the things he’d done for you throughout the years. Diaper changes, installing training wheels, carpools to practice/recitals/slumber parties, the shoulder to cry on and the fatherly advice. Say thanks by taking dad to Garfield Community Center’s Father’s Day event from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, June 20. The event will feature food, live entertainment and Father’s Day affirmations. For details, go here.

Have a different Father’s Day activity planned? Send your ideas to @seattleparks on Twitter.