Ask any new dad what he’d like for Father’s Day, and it’s a safe bet that he’ll request a good night’s sleep! As well he should, since you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more tired than a mother or father of an infant or toddler. So go ahead and let Dad sleep in on his big day, but don’t forget there’s lots of dad-friendly fun to be had in the city once he wakes up!
Here are some of my family’s favorite picks for Father’s Day fun in the city with little ones:
Minor League Baseball Game. Many cities play host to minor league baseball teams, which, though often less well-known than their big league counterparts, serve as the perfect introduction to a live sporting event for even the tiniest of tots. The stadiums are smaller and more manageable, affording great views from pretty much any vantage point, and the teams often host kid-friendly events before or after games. For instance, last year, my family spent Father’s Day at the Brooklyn Cyclones game in Coney Island, and my husband and daughter got to have a catch on the field before the game as part of the team’s pre-game family festivities – such a treat! Another plus? Ticket prices, as well as the cost of food and drinks, are well below that of the typical major league stadium, which is perfect in terms of budget and patience level as you won’t feel a huge twinge of regret if your child decides he or she has had it after just a few innings.
Steakhouse Brunch. Dads and steaks go together like meat and potatoes (hmm, perhaps I’ve discovered the origin of the term “couch potato!”). Kids and steakhouses, on the other hand, don’t always mesh so well. A happy medium often can be found at brunch or lunch time, when steakhouses are less crowded and may even offer a special lower-priced menu to entice patrons to visit during an otherwise slow time. One of our favorite NYC steakhouses, Primehouse New York, serves up a delicious weekend brunch, complete with my husband’s favorite – steak and eggs. The brunch ambiance is much more relaxed than at dinner, and the restaurant rolls out the red carpet for families, offering a private area to change your baby’s diaper and whipping up any sort of tasty creations your tot would like to eat. So this Father’s Day, skip the crowds and hassle of the traditional brunch spots and surprise Dad with a meal he can really sink his teeth into!
Picnic in the Park. Dad’s not a steak lover? No problem, as you can serve him up any culinary creation he’d like in an al fresco setting. City parks not only serve as peaceful oases amidst our daily hustle and bustle, but also as the perfect backdrop for families looking to celebrate Father’s Day in a laid-back, unstructured way (well, as much as life with a baby or toddler can be labeled “laid-back”!). The best part? No reservations necessary and you can easily (and inexpensively) put together a simple yet delicious lunch of sandwiches, fruit and bottles of water that the entire family can enjoy. If you want to make things a bit fancier, call ahead to your favorite prepared foods market and have them put together a set of boxed lunches customized to each family member’s tastes. Pack a blanket, some sporting equipment, toys and sunscreen and you’re all set for Father’s Day fun in the park.
A Trip to the Zoo. Okay, so perhaps your home base is hectic enough to count as a zoo in its own right. But a visit to your local zoo might be just the thing you need to put things in perspective! Dad will love introducing the kids to the animals, and everyone will be able to explore at his or her own pace. Plus, zoos are typically easy to navigate and help families feel at ease with amenities such as baby changing stations and kids meals. Both the Central Park Zoo and Bronx Zoo in New York City even have special children’s zoo areas, where kids can get up close and personal with favorite farm friends and even try their hands at feeding the animals.
Explore the City. One of the greatest things about living in a big city is having a plethora of cultures and experiences right outside your door. And what better way for Dad to introduce the littlest members of the family to the world around them than by taking a stroll through the city on Father’s Day? Gather up the clan, stock the diaper bag, and push your buggy through your favorite neighborhoods, or even venture out into new areas you haven’t yet explored. Be sure to stop along the way to treat Dad to some of his favorite culinary delights from each ‘hood, and don’t forget to pause for plenty of family photos!
Happy Father’s Day!