9 Ways to Celebrate Father's Day Virtually If You Can't Be Together in Person

Make the day special, even if you're apart

Father's Day is only a few weeks away, and because the pandemic isn't over yet, there's a good chance you'll be celebrating the holiday from a distance (again). I'm 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 at the start of the pandemic last year, but after discovering how fun it was to celebrate them virtually, I'm looking forward to doing it again this year.

While things aren't quite as locked down as last year (it's okay to have a socially distant outdoor gathering with Dad this year, especially if you're both fully vaccinated), travel is still not advised. So if you don't live near each other, a virtual celebration is the way to go.

This year, Father's Day is on Sunday, June 20. And 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.

father and son waving on facetime
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01 of 09

Take a Virtual Tour

Sure, you might not be able to visit a museum together this Father's Day, but you can take your history buff dad on a virtual tour of just about anywhere. During the pandemic, many museums, tourist attractions, and historical landmarks created video tours that are so good, you'll almost feel like you're actually there—perfect for a long-distance virtual date! 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.

02 of 09

Create a Family Keepsake

Turn Dad's Father's Day gift into something that'll last far longer than the holiday. A Storyworth Subscription ($89, Storyworth) will keep him busy until the family is all fully vaccinated, 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.

03 of 09

Send Snail Mail

Even if you can't hand it to him in person, you can still pick the perfect card for dad. 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.

04 of 09

Cook Together

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. You can pair this virtual cooking date with something like this Chefman Air Fryer ($37, Target). Try it with our Air Fryer Pickle Chips recipe (they're easy and delicious!).

05 of 09

Host a Virtual Movie Night

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.

06 of 09

Have a Wine Tasting

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 ($43, Carr Valley Cheese) that's appropriately titled. And to truly wine and dine him in style, sign Dad up for a Wine Club Subscription ($89, Acker Wines) that'll make him feel like a true sommelier.

07 of 09

Have a Game Night

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.

08 of 09

Start a Book Club

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.

09 of 09

Throw a Virtual Surprise Party

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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