Father's Day

Everyone makes a big deal out of Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day often flies under the radar. That’s a shame, because dads deserve plenty of love and appreciation, too.

Maybe your go-to Father’s Day gift boils down to a last-minute tie or a new wrench. While the thought counts, this year take your gesture of affection to the next level with our 7 great ideas. If you already go all-out every year, congratulations. You’ll want to keep reading for some great new ideas.

1. Play golf

While some people consider golf “a good walk spoiled,” – a quote which, it turns out, Mark Twain did not originate – many dads feel differently. Fortunately, the Valley hosts more than 200 golf courses to help dad take advantage of our 300+ days of sunshine.

Some golf courses offer a Father’s Day deal; for others, you can take advantage of existing, steeply discounted summer rates.

Papago Golf Course offers weekday summer specials. On Mondays and Tuesdays, pay just $25 per player before 1 p.m. and $19 after. The game includes a golf car. For Wednesdays and Thursdays, the price in $29 before 3 p.m. and $19 after, which includes a golf car and $3 domestic beers.

On Friday, pay $45 per person for unlimited golf, a golf car and two refreshment tickets. To get these deals, call the golf shop at 602-275-8428.

Don’t forget that the temperatures are on the warm side around Father’s Day. You probably don’t want to take dad out for a full round of golf. If you do, we recommend the earliest tee time you can arrange, but in any case finishing up by 9 a.m.

If you can’t start early enough, you do have other options. A driving range like Topgolf in Gilbert or Scottsdale offers partially shielded bays, along with drink and food service. Their game-like targets also make it a nice time for other family members who don’t have much golfing experience. You can also take advantage of the Sunday Funday brunch menu and Bloody Mary Bar, open until 2 p.m.

2. Shoot some stuff

Plenty of dads like firearms, but the hot Phoenix weather makes trips to the desert and outdoor shooting ranges less fun. Book your dad some time at one of the Valley’s indoor shooting ranges. Not only do they offer air conditioning, indoor ranges feature a variety of shooting experiences, from handguns to fully automatic weapons to simulators. 

For Father’s Day, C2 Tactical in Tempe will either offers 15% off shooting and simulator packages or free range time. Check the website for more information.

For a slightly different experience, a shooting lounge called Modern Round opened last year in Peoria. The lounge features state-of-the-art shooting simulators with realistic replica firearms, along with a high-end restaurant, fine wine and craft cocktails. Children under 12 aren’t permitted, and those 12 to 17 require parental permission and have to take a class before using the facility. So this might be a better gift from older children or for a “Dad’s night out” with mom or friends.

If you want a more combat-like experience, the new WestWorld Paintball in Scottsdale offers dads free entry and equipment rental with any paid entry and equipment rental. The offer is valid at both the Splatter Ranch and Xtreme Pursuit courses. Learn more at westworldpaintball.com.

3. Go fishing

There are actually more fishing spots around the Valley than you’d think, including the urban Tempe Town Lake. Given that the temperature forecast for Father’s Day points well north of 110 degrees, however, it might be a good idea to head somewhere outside the Valley.

Try the Mogollon Rim about two hours to the Northeast. At 7,000 feet, the temperature tends to cool by 10-20 degrees. In fact, your family can make a weekend of it and camp at a location like Clear Creek Reservoir or Knoll Lake.

Here are the lakes and creeks where Arizona Game & Fish says you can fish at Mogollon Rim. Click the Google Map icon icon in the upper-left corner for a full list.

If your dad prefers a certain type of fish, click the chart to the left to see which fish you’ll find in each body of water.

Want to stay close to home – or maybe go even further afield? Check out the Arizona Fish & Game site for information all the fishing spots around the state.

4. Visit a museum

Nobody said that dads can’t appreciate a good museum, and you’ll find plenty in the Valley. We’re highlighting three that we think Dad might particularly enjoy.

The Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum in Mesa is home to a range of vintage military planes and memorabilia. It’s perfect for war, aviation or history buffs. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids 5 to 12, and $12 for seniors 62+. During the winter, the museum offers rides in the planes, including a B-17, if you want to give your dad a Father’s Day gift he won’t get to use for a while. Just start saving now, because the rides aren’t cheap.

For dads with an interest in western history, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West offers free admission for dads on June 18. Learn more about the cowboys, settlers and Native American tribes that built the history of this region. Be sure to catch the Lewis and Clark exhibition, along with the other exhibitions of art and Western items. Click here for more info.

For musical dads, check out the Family Drumming Workshop at the Musical Instrument Museum. The entire family can learn African, Latin and pop rhythms and then participate in a giant jam session. Then tour the museum and check out all the cool instruments from around the world. Click here for more info.

5. Enjoy nature

For the nature-loving dad with smaller children, Butterfly Wonderland offers a nice Father’s Day deal. Dad’s enjoy $2 off on admission.. Once inside, you can enjoy the wonder of America’s largest indoor rain forest atrium, plus other fascinating animal and insect attractions.

The famed Desert Botanical Garden offers free admission to dads on Saturday, June 17, with purchase of a child admission. That means inexpensive access to the Saturday night Flashlight Tour.

6. Get the drift

Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18 is the Junefest Drift & Drag event. You and Dad can catch some awesome drift racing action for $15 a day – children 12 and under are free. The main events include drift racing, side-by-side drifting and Drift the Wall. Learn more and buy tickets here.

7. Hit the bowling alley

Uptown Alley in Surprise presents a Father’s Day deal as well. With the purchase of an entree worth $11 or more, dads get a choice of a $10 game card or two games of bowling plus shoes. In addition to bowling, Uptown Alley also hosts laser tag, video games, billiards and a sports area.

Bonus: Get him something sweet

For dads with a sweet tooth, two local companies provide excellent Father’s Day deals.

Get a DAD cupcake box from Sprinkles. It includes the flavors Peanut Butter Chip, Red Velvet, Black and White and Vanilla Mile Chocolate. Plus they’re covered in Sprinkles stars and “DAD” lettering.

For brownies, blondies and cookies, Fairytale Brownies takes 15% off Father’s Day packages when you use promo code DAD15. Get dad an assortment of yummy morsels — that you can help him eat.

Want even more ideas for fun things to do this weekend? Check Phoenix.org/events regularly for plenty more events you’re sure to love.

– Justin Ferris, Phoenix.org