How to Celebrate Father’s Day on a Budget

With Father’s Day coming soon, it’s time to start thinking about how to give your dad the best June 17 possible. Even if you can’t afford to buy him a new grill, take him to an expensive steakhouse or get him front-row tickets to the big game, there are still plenty of budget-conscious ways to celebrate his special day.

Head outside

It’s practically summer, so why not take your dad outside? Once you’re out the door, the possibilities are nearly endless. Remember, this is his day, so let his level of fitness determine how strenuous things get (assuming, of course, that you can keep up with him).

For starters, head to a local park and take your dad for a stroll in the sunshine and fresh air. You could also shoot hoops at the gym or head to the driving range to hit a bucket of golf balls. Or, hop on your bicycles and explore a local trail. You could also take him for a run or a rugged hike if you’re both up to it. There’s plenty of inexpensive fun to be had on the water, too, from swimming at the local pool to canoeing down the river to fishing out on the lake.

Sports for a steal

If your dad is more into watching sports than playing them, you don’t have to spend a fortune on pro tickets to have a good time. June is the perfect time to take him to a minor-league baseball game. You might also be able to find minor-league soccer or arena football games, auto racing at a local track or entertaining recreational league tournaments for a variety of sports.

If you can’t find any reasonably priced sporting events to attend with your dad, try the time-honored tradition of watching them with him on the couch (bonus: The snacks and drinks will be cheaper, too). This year’s U.S. Open golf tournament will be taking place on Father’s Day, as will the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ethanol E15 250 race. Keep an eye on the NBA basketball finals and the NHL Stanley Cup finals, too — both of those will be wrapping up toward the middle of June as well.

Do it yourself

Your dad probably likes to eat, so why not make him dinner (or lunch, a snack or dessert)? If you’re confident in the kitchen, you could try recreating his favorite restaurant dish or the homecooked meal he requests most often. If your culinary skills are a little shaky, you could pack a picnic instead, making sure to include his favorite sandwich fixings and snacks.

If you’re feeling creative, you could also make your dad a card or a gift. Let your talents guide you. If he loves sweets, fill a tin with his favorite homemade snacks or cookies. If you’re artistic, paint him a picture, write him a song or draw him a unique Father’s Day card. If you’re skilled with tools or crafts, you can find a million ideas online for do-it-yourself dad gifts. If you don’t excel at those things, give your dad the gift of a freshly washed car or a neatly mowed lawn.

As you’re coming up with specific ideas to celebrate Father’s Day on a budget, don’t forget the gift of time. Sometimes just being present with your dad is enough. Help him out with a project, watch his favorite movie with him, listen to him reminisce about the good old days or browse with him at his favorite store. The amount of money you can spend on your dad will vary, but time is an even more finite resource — and who better to spend it with than your dad?


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