June 20 is Father’s Day and it’s the first since 2019 where we can (safely) honor dads, grandfathers, uncles, and father figures. So: it’s time to celebrate.
Whether you’re honoring your own relative or a top-notch dad friend, we have what you need to celebrate in the region this year.
Get outside with dad:
Head to the Poconos. Father’s Day is also conveniently the first day of summer, meaning it’s an ideal day to spend some time outside. If you’re looking to take a day trip, or have a weekend away, we found the best places to hike, bike, boat, and explore in the Poconos and the best places to swim in the Poconos.
Craving even more time outside? Go on a hike to one of the state’s beautiful waterfalls, including Bushkill Falls in the Poconos and Raymondskill Falls in Pike County.
Go for a swim. If it’s hot out with no respite in sight, check out these natural swimming spots (lakes, rivers, and more) within a two-hour drive of Center City.
If you’re going to be spending Father’s Day down the shore, head to Wildwood, Atlantic City, or Strathmere for a day of no-cost swimming. In other words, no beach tags are required here. We also have activity guides for Long Beach Island, Cape May, and Ventnor/Margate/Longport. There’s lots to do no matter what your town of choice.
Take a road trip to a brewery
Make a day of a brewery trip by visiting a further-out spot, whether that means Emmaus, Tannersville, or Perkasie. We have some favorite breweries that are well-worth a Father’s Day drive:
The Proper Brewing Co.: Blonde Ales, Belgian wits, nitro stouts, sours, and hazy IPAs are all available from this Bucks-based brewery, which is now doing takeout and on-site dining. For the peckish, there’s also a ton of bar food staples, like pretzels, wings, burgers, and nachos — plus a kids menu, so feel free to bring the little ones if you’re comfortable. 📍 117 W. Broad St., Quakertown, 📞 267-490-5168, 🌐 theproperbrewing.com, 📷 @theproperbrewing, 🕑 Mon.-Thu. 4-10 p.m., Fri. 4-11 p.m., Sat. noon-11 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.
Barley Creek Brewing Co.: If you want your beer run to take you up to the Poconos, Barley Creek — the area’s first microbrewery since Prohibition — is your spot. Currently, they are offering takeout on food and beer, and even bottles of their spirits and canned cocktails. Indoor and outdoor dining are also available. 📍 1174 Sullivan Trail, Tannersville, 📞 570-629-9399, 🌐 barleycreek.com, 📷 @barleycreekbrewing, 🕑 Sun.-Mon. 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
La Cabra Brewing: La Cabra isn’t a far trip from Philly, but it is a good one. There’s plenty of options for IPA lovers, but if you’re looking for a great Belgian tripel (or quad), or a nice dry stout or cider, they’ve got you covered there, too. Hungry? Order up a plate of tacos (jerk chicken, pulled pork, or sweet potato) or some wings and chow down.📍 642 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, 📞 610-240-7908, 🌐 lacabrabrewing.com, 📷 @lacabrabrewing, 🕑 Tue.-Fri. 3-8:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-8:30 p.m.
» READ MORE: Craft breweries in Pennsylvania worth a day trip
Treat dad to some great food or drinks:
Nothing says Father’s Day more than throwing some food on the grill. If you don’t want to cook it yourself, here are some solid suggestions from our barbecue guide:
Mike’s BBQ: Mike Strauss’ smoked brisket cheesesteak, an essential pit boss twist on the classic Philly sandwich, is reason enough to visit Mike’s BBQ, and the smoked meats with telltale pink smoke halos and moist tenderness have turned this East Passyunk spot into an all-purpose smokehouse champ. The spare ribs, pulled pork, smoked wings, and crispy pork belly are fantastic, and Mike’s peppery brisket are a true Philly barbecue pleasure.📍1703 S. 11th St., 🌐 mikesbbqphilly.com, 📷 @mikesbbq_215, 🕑 Thu.-Sun., noon-5:15 p.m., online ordering begins at 8 a.m., 🚗 Grubhub
Henri’s Hotts BBQ: Doug Henri’s roadhouse on the Black Horse Pike is a must-stop on the way to the Jersey Shore. The barbecue is reliably among the region’s best (ribs and chicken, in particular), and his weekend soul food buffets are a reason to visit, too.📍1003 E. Black Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ, 🌐 henrishottsbarbeque.com, 📷 @henrishottsbbq, 🕑 Fri.-Sun., noon-7 p.m.
Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse. Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse in the Northeast is a reliable barbecue spot with a well-rounded menu of hickory-smoked meats, sandwiches, and sides. Meats like smoked chicken and pulled pork are available in platter, sandwich or just meat form, and smoked wings and baby back ribs round out the menu.📍7500 State Rd., 🌐 sweetlucys.com, 📷 @sweetlucys_bbq, 🕑 Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 🚗 Caviar, Doordash
» READ MORE: Best barbecue in Philadelphia to eat right now
If barbecue’s not his thing, check out some of our other recent food guides:
There are lots of opinions around who’s got the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia and, truly, it’s hard to pick just one. So we have a guide to 12 of the best cheesesteaks in the area.
From buzzy sandwich shops to long-standing delis, there are plenty of places to get excellent hoagies in Philly. Here’s a list of some of our favorite hoagies in Philadelphia.
Order a pizza (or three) from one of the area’s great pizza shops, serving everything from Detroit-style pies to Neapolitan-style pizzas.
Take him out for an al fresco dinner at a rooftop, patio, or backyard garden.
Help him out in the kitchen:
For a dad who likes to spend time in the kitchen, cooking tools or special ingredients can be an ideal gift. Here are some suggestions from our Father’s Day gift guide:
Spices from the Fit Cook: Kevin Curry started Fit Men Cook as a resource for those looking to create healthy, interesting meals. He recently launched a line of spices ($39.99 for a six-pack), including a Creole mix and a garlic and herb blend, that are great for adding a kick to a tried-and-true meal.
Middleton Made Knives: Ranging in price from $100 to $499, Middleton Made Knives are created from custom-made, high-carbon steel by Charleston bladesmith Quintin Middleton. The blades can even be laser-engraved to make the new knife even more special.
Cocktail class at Bank and Bourbon: For $80 per person, a bourbon expert from Center City’s Bank and Bourbon leads a cocktail-making class where dad can learn how to make, and taste, four boozy cocktails.
Get him a thoughtful gift:
Buy him some Sixers gear: The Sixers are in the playoffs and that is making lots of Philadelphians, including many dads, very happy. Get the father figure in your life a Sixers jersey so he can show his allegiance; here are the best places to buy Sixers gear in Philly.
Buy him Phillies tickets. The Phillies aren’t playing at home on Father’s Day, but they’ll be playing at Citizens Bank Park later in the week, which is now fully reopened. Getting tickets now looks a bit different — you need to download the MLB Ballpark app (it’s free) to get tickets. Get the app and scoop up some tickets for your family and read what a fully reopened Citizens Bank Park means for the game.
Buy him some hot sauce. There are lots of local shops and food producers making hot sauce, including Fishtown Ferments ($5), Hank Sauce ($6-$13), and Burning Bush Foods, which keep it simple with its vegan, Kosher sauce offerings ($15) and are infused with “ancient herbs from the Holy Land.”
Stock his bar cart. For a dad who is into craft cocktails, drink-making tools are the perfect Father’s Day gift. Here are the best places to buy barware in and near Philadelphia, including Art in the Age (for liquors, liqueurs, and dozens of varieties of bitters) in Old City and Bluebird Distilling (for bar tools and drink-making essentials) in Phoenixville.