Make the day special, even while social distancing.

By Emily VanSchmus
May 19, 2020
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Father’s Day is only a few weeks away, and because of the current situation, it’s looking like we’ll be celebrating from a distance. I’m very close with both of my parents, so I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of spending Mother’s and Father’s Day apart from them, but after discovering how fun it was to shower Mom with love and gifts (even from afar!) last weekend, I was excited to find ways to do the same for dad. 

Father's Day is Sunday, June 21, 2020. Even if you can’t do the typical Father’s Day activities this year, these fun ideas can help you make the day special for Dad. One of the easiest ways to celebrate from a distance is to turn his gift into something to do together: Get him a book to jumpstart a monthly book club, or gift him a new kitchen gadget and plan a virtual cooking date. Remember that this holiday isn't just about celebrating your biological dad; use these ideas to celebrate the dads, stepdads, granddads, and other father figures in your life.

Credit: tataks/Getty Images


Sure, you can’t visit a museum in person this Father’s Day, but you can take your history buff dad on a virtual tour of just about anywhere. During the Coronavirus pandemic, many museums, tourist attractions, and historical landmarks have created video tours that are so good, you’ll almost feel like you’re actually there. Take Dad on a tour of the nation’s best botanical gardens, hike the Great Wall of China from the comfort of your own couch, or take a virtual tour of any of these 12 famous museums together.


Turn Dad’s Father’s Day gift into something that’ll last far longer than the holiday. A Storyworth Subscription ($89, will keep him busy until shelter-in-place orders lift, and it can eventually be turned into a cherished family keepsake. Here’s how it works: When you purchase the subscription, you’ll choose 52 questions you’d like Dad to answer about his life. Each week, Storyworth will send dad the questions and he’ll write down or record his answers. The price of the subscription also includes a bound copy of all questions and answers, so next Father’s Day the two of you can look through the finished book together.


Even if you can’t hand it to him in person, you can still pick the perfect card for dad. If you can’t browse the greeting card aisle at the store, check out these 24 Father’s Day cards you can buy online right now or print one of our free printable Father’s Day cards instead. Then pop it in the mail and wait for dad to find it in his mailbox. Keep in mind that postal deliveries may be slightly delayed because of the pandemic, so get your card in the mail a few days early if you can (we recommend five to seven days in advance).


If you’re out of ideas for Dad’s Father’s Day gift, try pairing his gift with whatever virtual activity you choose to do. If he’s a foodie (or an aspiring foodie), send him a new kitchen tool or appliance and set up a virtual cooking date with him to help him try it out. If you’re looking for a true splurge, my parents love their Chef iQ Smart Cooker ($199,, but you can also pair this virtual cooking date with something more affordable, like this Chefman Air Fryer ($39.99, Try it with our Air Fryer Pickle Chips recipe (they’re delicious!).


Pop the popcorn, queue up a classic movie, and plop down on the couch (your own couches, that is) for a virtual movie night with Dad. Thanks to the free streaming app Netflix Party, it’s easier than ever to watch a movie together and chat during the whole thing, even if you’re hundreds of miles apart. The app is free (there’s a free plug-in compatible with Google Chrome), and allows you to watch anything on Netflix simultaneously.


For a guy that enjoys a nice glass of red in the evenings, consider setting up a virtual wine and cheese tasting. You might not be able to get to the vineyards (or even to a bar or restaurant) this Father’s Day, but with a wine subscription and a cheese box delivery, you can host your own fancy tasting just for dad, even if you can’t be there in person. For a delicious assortment of award-winning traditional Wisconsin cheeses, send dad a Carr Valley gift box ($40, that’s appropriately titled. And to truly wine and dine him in style, sign Dad up for a Wine Club Subscription ($89, that’ll make him feel like a true sommelier.


Organize a virtual game night with Dad and the rest of the family. This is a fun and easy way to get the whole family involved, especially if Dad has grown children who don’t all live in the same place. Hop on a Zoom call and play trivia, charades, or any of the interactive Jackbox games for the ultimate game night experience.


My dad loves to read, so a new bestseller is always a safe gift option if I’m not sure what to get. This Father’s Day, send dad a copy of a new book he’s sure to love, and order one for yourself as well. (If you’re not sure where to start, Target has a whole selection of New York Times best sellers.) Once you’ve both finished the book, hold a virtual book club over Zoom or FaceTime, then let dad choose the next book you’ll read together.


While organizing a family chat days in advance will give him something to look forward to, a surprise party can be just as sweet. Send out a Zoom invitation the week before and invite all of Dad’s close family members (his children, grandchildren, parents, etc.) and make sure everyone’s logged on before Dad joins the call. Once he connects, yell "Surprise," then have each participant say something meaningful about Dad.


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