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9 Father’s Day Activities in Orlando

Feeling Frazzled About Father’s Day? Frazzle No Further!

By Chris Karel

It’s not always easy to orchestrate the perfect Father’s Day. After all, dads are a diverse bunch – some would love to spend the day enjoying the great outdoors, while others would rather just chill inside. And some might just want to be left to their own devices. Luckily, Central Florida has something for every dad on this special day.

Celebrate Dad and African-American Culture and History

This year, Father’s Day falls on Juneteenth, the annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in America. Juneteenth events will be taking place throughout the Orlando area, including the Facets of Freedom celebration from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Loch Haven Park and the Orlando Juneteenth Festival at Lake Lorna Doone Park from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Both events will feature music, food, art exhibits, cultural performances, vendors and more.

See a Show

The Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center will host two performances of Ragtime: A Benefit Concert on Father’s Day. The production weaves together the stories of an upper-class wife, and Jewish immigrant and a young Harlem musician, set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-last-century New York. Showtimes on June 19th will be at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Proceeds from the show will benefit Central Florida Community Ars education programs. Tickets and more information are available at Show Calendar | Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (drphillipscenter.org).

Take Dad to the Gardens and the Park

Admission to Leu Gardens is free for dads on Father’s Day, and a trip to the gardens is the perfect excuse to treat dad to breakfast at Junior’s Diner in nearby Audubon Park. If dad’s up for it once you’re done exploring the gardens, head back to Audubon Park for a tasty treat from Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream along Corrine Drive or Gideon’s Bakehouse in the East End Market.

He Might Like a Bike or a Hike

One of the area’s best kept secrets is the vast network of mountain biking trails at the Markham Wood Trailhead of the Seminole Wekiva Trail. Featuring five beginner courses and six intermediate ones, riders of every age and skill level will find something to love here. It’s a great place to take little tikes on their first trail ride, and it’s also one of the best places in the area to spot wildlife like deer and gopher tortoises. If a hike is more dad’s speed, the stretch of the Florida Trail between Lockwood Drive and the Barr Street Trailhead is a blast, with a long, narrow boardwalk over marshland leading to the southernmost waterfall in the continental U.S., Boonie Falls.

Oh, Home on the Range!

Driving ranges aren’t just for smacking small balls long distances any more. A visit to TopGolf or Drive Shack is fun for the whole family, with food, drinks and golf games that use micro-chipped balls to track the speed, height and distance of every shot. Even youngsters and non-golfers will have a blast. And what dad doesn’t love a chance to show off in front of his significant other? (Read the 10 reasons we love Drive Shack Orlando!)

Put the MAN in Manicure

You can’t throw a rock in this town without hitting a nail salon. Call up your closest one and book a family mani/pedi. Nothing says “We love you dad!” like the heavenly combination of foot rub and massage chair. Just be careful if this is dad’s first time – he might become a regular.

You Can’t Spell Fathers Without F-A-S-T

Rent a Slingshot (that roofless car that looks like the Batmobile), a Ryker (that funky looking motorcycle with two wheels in the front) or a jet ski to give dad a thrilling Father’s Day he’ll never forget. All three are available at Slingbros Rentals in Longwood, where a six-hour Slingshot rental starts at $149.

Sometimes, Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

All some dads want for Father’s Day is to have the house to themselves for a few hours. O2B Kids, the Orlando Science Center, ice skating at RDV Ice Den and the Orange County Library are just a few places you can take the kids while dad enjoys a little peace and quiet.

BONUS IDEA: Surprise Dad with a Yard Sign

What better way to keep dad from mowing the lawn on Father’s Day than to put a big sign smack-dab in the center of it! A sprawling yard sign from Party Your Yard will add the perfect touch to dad’s special day, whether you choose the standard “Happy Father’s Day!,” the potentially more festive “Honk if you love dads!,” or your own unique creation.

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