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A Day out with Dad: Orange County Father’s Day Guide

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Father’s Day is “the most important holiday of the year” my girls emphatically say thanks to years of endless training by my husband. (Mother’s Day is a close second, they sympathetically tell me.) Regardless of how you rank it, preparing for Dad’s monumental day is essential. A relaxing June 15 brunch may be your speed (check out the Orange County Father’s Day Dining Guide for options), but what to do for the rest of the day or weekend with Dad? Forget the obligatory new tie or golf accessory gift and instead opt for a memorable day of fun with these unique event ideas sure to relax, entertain, or thrill.

Sporty Dad

The Angels are away, but the Dodgers are here to play! Venture up to LA and watch the Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks at 1:10pm for an afternoon of fun and a free Dodger’s sports duffle bag for all dads. Grab your tickets now!

Adventure Dad

Become a fighter pilot for the day at Air Combat USA in Fullerton. You’ll suit up in flight gear, receive classroom training on safety, tactics and maneuvers, and rules of engagement, and then pilot an actual fighter aircraft. An instructor is there with you as you man the controls through a series of dogfights. It’s the ultimate thrill ride for Dad! While they will not be flying on Father’s Day itself, they will be flying the entire next week and weekend. Visit the web site or call them now to grab Dad a spot as this is a popular gift idea. (714) 525-7590.

Entertainment Dad

Head outdoors for some fun. Huntington Beach is the place to be the day before Father’s Day. Saturday the 14th is the 7th annual Chili at the Beach Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Tasting Contest. This popular event runs from 11am – 6pm. While Dad noshes, the kids can enjoy games and entertainment, with proceeds benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington Valley. New this year is a silent art auction. Event admission is free; chili tasting tickets are $10 online and $15 at the event.

If sunscreen is less appealing than the big screen, head indoors and treat dad to a movie in ultimate style. Forego the traditional movie theater and instead go five star for Dad’s big day. A few unique Orange County theaters feature reserved seating, awesome menus, luxury seats, and many amenities you won’t see in a traditional movie house. Before the credits roll, summon a waiter on demand with the touch of a button for a gourmet slider with an artisan cheese tray and a selection of draft or bottled beers. Check out Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas in Laguna Niguel and Rancho Santa Margarita, Island Cinema in Newport Beach, and UltraLuxe GardenWalk 14 Cinemas in Anaheim.

Deep Sea Dad

Head off to Catalina Island for the day or weekend for a mini vacay the whole family will love. The Catalina Flyer takes you by boat to the popular island port, or embrace some adventure by traveling via Island Express helicopter. There are plenty of activities for everyone in the family once you arrive in Avalon. Rent bikes or a golf cart and amble around the island. Take a glass bottom boat, or snorkel or scuba in the bay. Parasailing, rafting, fishing, and all sorts of adventure activities are available to try. Dad can even hit the greens! The Catalina Flyer website lists all these activities and resources to get your day planned.

If you’re more about the journey than the destination, treat Dad to a high sea adventure without a port. A day trip of deep sea fishing just might yield a catch for the whole family to enjoy! Day and overnight trips are available out of several OC beach ports including Newport Landing Sportsfishing in Newport Beach, Dana Wharf Sportsfishing in Dana Point, and Davey’s Locker in Newport Beach.

Classic Car Dad

The Cruisin’ Brea Classic Car Show features classic cars and classic tunes. Cruise on by from 10am – 4pm at Birch Street and Brea Boulevard for this fun afternoon hosted by the Orange County Mustang Club. Dad can even enter his classic car! More details are available on the Brea Downtown website. Free admission, free parking.

Still stumped for ideas? Keep it simple with a family picnic at one of Orange County’s many great parks or beaches. OC Mom Blog is always your go-to resource. Check out the beach guide and park guide and plan the perfect Father’s Day outdoors. No matter what backdrop you choose, Dad will surely appreciate his special day.

Karen Bremer is a North Orange County native. She’s a mom, freelance writer, and owner of www.shopbeecreative.com. Her company Bee Creative specializes in products for scrapbooking, card making, and paper crafting online and in person at consumer shows in major cities around the country. Married for 16 years with 13 and 11 year old girls, her business provides the flexibility she needs to be a dance mom, room mom, and girl scout leader among other titles. Free time? She’s never seen it and wouldn’t change it for the world.
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