Just like Mother’s Day is all about Mom, Father’s Day is supposed to be all about Dad…and yet, every year when I ask my husband what he wants to do he replies, “I don’t know, what do you think we should do?” Affable, sure, but helpful? Nope.
So, this year I decided to be prepared and come up with a list of fun “family centric” things he could choose from. The result is an eclectic list of fun (and many FREE) ways to celebrate Father’s Day in Des Moines that both parents and kids can enjoy. Even better, many of these ideas aren’t unique to Father’s Day – you can try most of them anytime.
So, whether you’re a partner left to plan the big day or a father looking for inspiration, here are 10+ things dads would love to do on Father’s Day in Des Moines.
1. Get revved up. It may be cliché to say dads like all things car-related, but most do. Dads can check out some classics at car shows like the Traveling Classic Car Show hosted at various Lutheran Church of Hope campuses throughout the day on Saturday, June 16th or the Annual “Peace” Classic Car and Truck Show held annually on Father’s Day on the southside. If your dad prefers getting behind the wheel and is up for a road trip, the Iowa Speedway offers the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience. Dad can make a date to race around the oval on June 9th or 10th, 2018.
2. Take him out to a ballgame.If you have a sport loving Pop, taking in an athletic event as a family might just be the ticket to a great Father’s Day weekend. While the I-Cubs are away, the Iowa Barnstormers and the Des Moines Menace both have home games on Saturday, June 16, 2018. And if your dad must get his baseball fix, take in an old-fashioned game at Living History Farms or enjoy brunch at the Cub Club at Principal Park on Father’s Day.
3. Catch a no-cost concert. Many dads love sharing the experience of live music with their kids. Whether he likes classic rock or classical music, there’s several FREE concerts taking place over Father’s Day weekend this year. On Father’s Day, Dad’s get in FREE to listen to Sunday Tunes at Summerset Winery in Indianola and Music Under the Stars, which is on the Iowa State Capitol grounds, is always FREE to all. Find even more concerts happening on Friday and Saturday night in our article 2018 Outdoor Summer Concerts 4 Des Moines Families.
4. Take in a show. If your dad can be a bit dramatic or loves going to the theatre, why not take in a show? There will be several family friendly performances happening on Des Moines stages over Father’s Day weekend. Ankeny Community Theatre will present “Honk”; the Salisbury House will host “Romeo & Juliet” during Shakespeare on the Lawn and Class Act Productions Community Theatre in Altoona will perform “Peter Pan, Jr”.
5. Explore one of Central Iowa’s botanical gardens. Does your dad have a green thumb or just love anything relating to nature? A flora loving locale like a botanical garden just might be his happy place. Bonus, Dad’s get FREE admission at both the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Reiman Gardens on Father’s Day.
6. Hit a festival. Johnston will be hosting Green Days from Thursday to Sunday over Father’s Day Weekend. There will be a parade on Saturday, a children’s carnival, food vendors a beer garden and much more. And, best of all, Green Days are FREE to attend.
7. Play mini or “big” golf. Putt around with your dad on Father’s Day! If your dad loves to golf, plan a Father’s Day golf outing. The Des Moines area is actually home to 7 mini-golf courses, which is fun for both fathers and kids alike. Prefer grown-up golf? The Metro has lots of public golf courses and driving ranges, where dads can teach their kids about the “real” game of golf.
8. Grab BBQ and beer. According to most dad’s that I talk to, BBQ and beer tops their favorite foods list. Family-friendly bbq joints and local breweries such as Boxcar BBQ in Bondurant or Barn Town Brewing in West Des Moines make great options for Father’s Day meals that should please kids and adults alike.
9. Go biking. Spending the day cruising around on two wheels is a fun way for the whole family to spend Father’s Day. Luckily, there are lots of kid-friendly bike routes throughout DSM. And, be sure to check out our tips for riding the High Trestle Trail with kids.
10. Hit the water. Make a splash on Father’s Day! All Des Moines Parks & Recreation pools and aquatic centers offer FREE admission to Dad’s on Father’s Day. Or, soak up the great outdoors with the fam and take a cool, refreshing dip in a lake in the Des Moines area.
What are your plans for making Father’s Day extra special? Share your ideas with our community in the comments below.