One of the things we love about Father’s Day is knowing that we’ll be able to show our dads how much we appreciate them. It can be stressful to find a gift in our budget, but there are plenty of free and cheap ways to spend quality time with your dad that won’t break the bank. After all, what your dad wants most is to see you and hang out, so why not plan something fun for the two of you to enjoy?
Whether you’ve got a sporty dad, a homebody dad, or an artsy dad, there are always affordable options when it comes to planning a creative outing. He’ll love knowing that you put so much effort and thought into it — and that he gets to spend so much time with his fave kid.
Here are seven free or cheap ways that you can spend time with your dad on Father’s Day.
1Take him on a picnic.
Pick your favorite park or a spot by a nearby lake, and show up with a spread that will wow your whole family. You can’t go wrong with some crusty bread, cheese, and fruit. Make some tasty sandwiches, spread your blanket out, and chat all afternoon long. Any time with your dad that involves delicious food is time well spent.
2Go to a museum.
Find a local museum that’s donation-based and head on over with your dad to wander around and talk about what you see. Ask him his opinion on the pieces he loves, and move slowly through the space. All dads could use the time to unwind and relax in a quiet place.
Bowling is a blast, and you can spend hours at your local bowling alley eating junk food and reminiscing while you try to knock down pins. It’ll be adorable and fun.
4Head to the beach for the day.
Spend the whole day relaxing on the beach like when you were a kid. Bring homemade sandwiches and snacks, and sneak some beers in your backpack too. Your dad will love relaxing and catching up with you in a beautiful setting.
5Plan a movie screening of his favorite movie in your own backyard.
Hang a sheet against your house, set up some lawn chairs, pop some popcorn, and throw his favorite movie on a projector. Odds are you know someone with a projector who will lend it to you, or you can find a rental spot near your home.
6Have a game night.
Grab some of your favorite childhood games, a bottle of delicious wine, some tasty snacks and have some fun. Even better, host him at your place. He’ll feel super special and happy to have been invited into your space — plus, he won’t get saddled with clean up.
7Make him a playlist of songs he’ll love and that will remind him of you.
He’ll be so happy to have a curated list of songs that make him think of you, and putting the time in to carefully select music he will enjoy is thoughtful and super sweet.
Your dad doesn’t want you to empty your account trying to get him a Father’s Day gift. What matters is that you spend real time together, show your appreciation and love for him, and have a great time. No need to stress about money when all he really wants is to hang with the daughter or son he loves.