Instead of gifts, Jason Stinson of Woodstock, Georgia, would rather spend the day with his wife and three kids doing what he loves best: fishing. "Even though most of the day will likely be spent baiting hooks and removing fish, that's okay with me. I'd rather have time with my family than a gift any day," he says.
Does Dad need a little extra pat on the back? Make him the main attraction in a homemade broadcast. That's what Emily and Noah Skurtu of Knoxville, Tennessee, did for their dad, Ken. They dressed up as a news anchor and reporter and created a four-minute newscast with the latest breaking news on what a great father they have. It's a Father's Day keepsake he'll always treasure, Ken Skurtu says: "It's the best gift I've ever received. Better than anything you could buy in a store."
Free concerts in the park are a pretty affordable way for kids to spend the day with Dad. Janet Collins of Atlanta says, "My husband, who's a musician, loves to hear live music. It's the perfect Father's Day for him, and the kids love to be outside."
John Rivers of Columbia, South Carolina, has a big sweet tooth and likes to reminisce about the penny candy of his childhood. His sons, Jack and Seth, went online and found a site that sells nostalgic candy in the original packaging. "Now Dad just needs to make a dentist appointment," jokes son Jack.
Mas Takano of Alameda, California, is the father of three kids who have all grown up and moved away. "Each year we put together a photo album for him for Father's Day," says son Kent. "That way he can have something to look through that shows how his family is growing from year to year." Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.
"Our Father's Day begins at 12:01 a.m.," says Kelly Brabson of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The family prepares a midnight picnic and packs up a telescope to head to the nearest rural area where the light pollution is low. Kelly's husband, Mark, loves astronomy and wants to share his hobby with his kids, Elijah and Sarah. "The kids think it's neat to stay up late and don't even notice that they're getting a lesson in astronomy," says Kelly.
Dale Hoffman's love of photography began when he snapped a picture of a hummingbird at the feeder outside his Ortonville, Michigan, home. He soon became enthralled with birds and catching them on film. So naturally, his daughters Sara and Sam knew exactly what to give him for Father's Day: bird- watching guides. His wife, Robin, says, "Now he not only photographs them, he actually knows what they are." And the whole family enjoys both the bird-watching and the photos.
Thomas O'Callaghan pays homage to his father, who passed away in 1990, every Father's Day. O'Callaghan says his father, who spent his early years in the Detroit area, "was devoted to his family. Maintaining a steady job, he raised four children through tough economic times." To pay tribute to his dad, each Dad's Day O'Callaghan, who now lives in Rockaway, New York, raises the state flag of Michigan. After 20 years, he says, the neighbors have stopped asking why!
United States Army Captain Eric Livengood will spend his Father's Day at his Lacey, Washington, home for the first time in two years. But instead of spending it with just his wife, Carrie, and their five children, the couple has another plan. They are inviting the families of his fellow soldiers who have fallen in the line of duty to their home to celebrate the lives of all of their fathers. The Livengoods participate in Wear Blue Run to Remember, an organization that is a living memorial to the service and sacrifice of the American military.
In our family, my kids spend Father's Day with my ex-husband. But now that I'm remarried, they've developed a close relationship with my new husband and want to honor him as well. We reserve the Sunday after Father's Day as "Step-Father's Day." We start the day by making him a batch of his favorite cookies. Then we head to our favorite park where we spend the afternoon flying remote-control airplanes or tossing a Frisbee. We end the day by heading back home for his favorite dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. My kids feel lucky to get to celebrate twice!