12 Free Things To Do for Father’s Day


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This year, plan a fun day for Dad without spending a cent! The best thing about free (and almost-free) family activities is that they many of them involve spending actual quality time together. Dad is bound to appreciate these Father’s Day activities more than a stereotypical gift.

Here are 12 ideas for free or inexpensive things to do on Father’s Day:

1. Family Day

Dad’s choice. One requirement: no whining!

2. Biking or Hiking

Head to a local park or conservation area to go for a family hike or bike the trails.

3. Make Dad’s Favourite Meal

Accompany it with his favourite beer, wine, soda and/or dessert. And all the meat or fried food he likes, without any not-so-subtle hints about health.

4. Dad’s Day Off

He can do whatever he wants. No judgement!

5. Kids Do the Chores

Best of all, they do them before Dad asks! Think of all those things Dad is forever asking the kids to do: clean up their toys, help their sibling get dressed or brush their teeth, walk the dog, weed the garden, eat veggies with dinner…

As a gift for Dad, ask them to do those things without being asked. No complaints.

6. Date Night with Mom

This may be at the top of Dad’s list. (It’s so popular, we mentioned this in our Father’s Day gift guide, too.) This can be something simple—and you don’t necessarily need a babysitter: take a night off from chores and e-mails and prepping lunch for tomorrow and just chilling out to watch a movie, drink some wine on the patio, play a game of Scrabble or finally agree to let him trounce you at that game with the automatic weapons on XBox. Even just a few hours alone together (thanks to grandma or a neighbour) can mean time to grab a coffee and actually talk. Though talk may not be at the top of his list…

7. Art Gallery or Museum

If you act fast, you can pick up free museum passes at Toronto Public Library locations.

8. Family Sports

Head to a park or the backyard for a family game of baseball, Frisbee, soccer, croquet..whatever floats Dad’s boat.

9. Board Game Tournament

Is Dad a gamer? Break out his favourite games—even those ones you’ve been avoiding all year with the farms and the ship-building and the 37 different characters—and get some game snacks together for a fun family tournament.

10. Make a Movie

Yes, we said make a movie! Come up with a theme, stage it and come up with “script” (or just wing it), then film it and edit it together. You’ll have fun watching this for years to come.

11. Tourist for a Day

Be a tourist in (or near) where you live: Explore a neighbourhood across the city or go to a nearby town. Wander, pop into shops, check out parks (pack a picnic) and stop for ice cream—not free, but cheap.

12. Free Festivals

Attend free festivalsand other events in your city that are bound to be happening at this time of year! Search for free events coming up in Toronto.

The most precious gift the kids can give Dad this Father’s Day? Tell him how much you appreciate him and why!


For homemade gift ideas for Dad from the kids, check out 9 great gifts kids can make and 8 cute DIY gifts from the kiddos.

Need a gift that will really wow Dad on Father’s Day? Find something to fit every day with our 25 things to buy or make for Dad on Father’s Day.

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