13 Quarantine Father's Day Ideas That Are So Creative

Don't let lockdown keep you from celebrating Dad how he deserves.

No tie for dad this year! The wrath of COVID-19 may have dissolved the usual Dad's day favorites, like baseball games and family nights out, but technology makes it easier than ever to celebrate the father figure in your life right at home. And since dads are notoriously difficult to buy for, something homemade and well thought out will pull on his heart strings more than those tired outings anyway. So whether you're celebrating your old man, grandpa, or even a bonus dad from near or far, we've curated a list of unique quarantine Father's Day ideas that'll bring the whole family together. If you're looking for the perfect present to send, check out 20 Father's Day 2020 Gifts He'll Actually Use.

Make a video greeting card.

Man looking at his laptop

Start dad's day with a virtual greeting from his loved ones! Record each child saying something special about dad and send those videos via text messages throughout the day. "Moms can even create their own video, telling their husband what a fabulous father he is," says Karen Ehman, author of Listen Love Repeat. This is also an easy tradition for relatives all over the world to get in on. And to give your dad the gift of giggles, check out 50 Hilarious Jokes to Send Your Dad This Father's Day.

Up his barbecue game.

Family barbecuing

If the dad in your life loves to grill, he's probably set up with the essentials to whip up hamburgers and hot dogs. But a cooking class can help take his BBQ game up a notch. "A lot of dads don't know that you can make a mean rack of ribs in about the same time it takes to grill a chicken," says Mike Steele, owner of BBQ Champs Academy, which provides virtual barbecue cooking classes taught by grill master champions. Trust us, this is a gift that will benefit the entire family.

Give him something to build.

Father and son building together

Because what father doesn't like to get his hands dirty every once in a while? To make this something fun for him that won't feel like a chore, have him build something for (and with) the little ones, like a sandbox. "With some basic carpentry skills, the kids can help DIY—all you'll need is lumber, a circular saw, hammer, and screws," says Lowe's project expert, Hunter Macfarlane. Throw in some brightly-colored paint, and you have an attractive and useful backyard creation.

Turn the backyard into a campground.

Father and son camping in the backyard

With travel and exploration at a standstill, we bet dad is dying to get some fresh air. Take him to the great outdoors à la your backyard! Set up a campsite, bring some snacks, and you're ready to tell ghost stories around a fire all night. "Come prepared in order to minimize the need to pop into the house every 10 minutes so Dad feels much more like he's on a proper getaway," recommends Joey Holmes, founder of Cool of The Wild, a website dedicated to outdoor adventures. And don't forget the s'mores! If you're looking for low-risk trips, check out 6 Easy Getaways You Can Safely Take This Weekend.

Host a pizza making contest.

Family making pizza together

A family activity where you can make a mess and then eat your creations? Sign us up! Pick up dough from a local store or restaurant, choose your sauce, and set up a buffet line of toppings to choose from for this kid-friendly activity. "Pizza is not something you eat alone—it's a shared food, so share your creations with Dad and let him pick the winner!" says Jody Pectol, owner of Phoenix-based Zesty Zzeeks Pizza & Wings restaurant, who started selling pizza dough for families to make their own pies at home.

Take him on a world tour.

Father and daughter on tablet

The Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, or even Times Square…the sky, er, internet, is the limit when seeing the sights virtually. "Online tours let Dad lose himself for an hour in history at a museum or explore another country like Egypt from the comfort of his La-Z-Boy," says Sean Finelli, CEO of The Tour Guy, a travel and tour guide company. Give your guy the full experience by planning a themed dinner around his chosen destination.

Host a virtual trivia night.

Father on video call

Your old man's not the only one who needs a little friend time right now! Contact a few of his buddies and have an older child host a virtual trivia night through Zoom."Dads love to prove how much smarter they are than everyone else, and this will let him show off while reconnecting with his friends," says Vern Evoy, co-founder of Quizrunners, a website for those obsessed with trivia. Want to keep this a family event? Write trivia rounds based on your family's favorite shows or movies. See if you can stump your dad with these questions: Can You Answer These Trivia Questions About the '70s?

Build him the man cave of his dreams.

Man watching tv with snacks and beer

Okay, maybe just for the weekend. Set him up in his favorite chair in a secluded part of the house and make that his territory, safe from everyday distractions. "Consider a theme when designing his man cave, such as sports, hunting, or a bar theme," says Mike Koenig, president and co-founder of Studio Shed, a Colorado-based company that makes custom detached lifestyle spaces for your backyard. Sit him down with his drink of choice and give him some well-deserved R&R.

Give the gift of learning

Man taking an online class

Whether your old man needs a new hobby to fill his time during retirement or would simply just like to brush up on an old skill, he can expand his horizons with virtual learning. And his offspring can get in on it too. "Courses like art, chess, and magic are a great way for dads to bond with their kids while learning something new," says Steven Cox, CEO of TakeLessons, an online learning service. Dad could be speaking Italian before you know it! For more fun activities you can enjoy this season, check out 19 Summer Hobbies You Can Still Do During Quarantine.

DIY family sports jerseys.

Sport jersey

Give dad the mini sports team he's always dreamed of. Have the kiddos get creative and come up with a family logo and team colors, then decorate the jersey style of your choice. Or you can recreate his favorite team's jerseys to really bring the game home! As for decorating: "Fabric spray paint and stencils work best for little hands, while bigger kids can handle iron-on patches," says Dave Pedley, who runs a parenting blog called Your Cub.

Serve him breakfast in bed.

Father and daughter breakfast in bed and reading

This special day favorite is not just for mothers! Have prep time double as a project where the kids use their imaginations to make pancakes in different shapes. "Put pancake batter in a squeeze bottle and create breakfast in 'dad shapes' like a tie or golf club," says Christie Altendorf, senior event planner for Minneapolis-based D'Amico Catering. Pair with some crispy bacon and his favorite coffee, and he'll feel like a king!

Bring tee time to him.

Golfing in backyard green

Dad's favorite links closed? No problem! He can practice his putt-putt right outside with a portable golf green. "A realistic, backyard putting experience lets dad get some serious practice time in with family by his side," says John Knox, brand manager for artificial grass company, SYNLawn. Challenge his hole-in-one-shot with the kids' toys as obstacles!

Make his favorite beer.

Father and son drinking beer

With tons of at-home brewing kits on the market from sites like Craft A Brew and Mr. Beer, it's easy to recreate his favorite type of cold one. This is a thoughtful long distance present, as you can mail Dad the ingredients and then brew together over FaceTime. "The beer has to ferment for three to four weeks before being enjoyed, so you can make it together, and then catch up virtually for a taste test when it's ready!" says Gary Glass, the director of the American Homebrewers Association. For beer-loving dads with younger kids, this can double as a science project. Though obviously only grown-ups will get to drink their creations.

Jennifer Bennour
Jennifer Bennour is a freelance writer covering fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Read more
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