Father’s Day Ideas for Every Type of Dad

Whether your dad is an outdoorsman or an oenophile, he'll love these exceptional Father's Day activities.

The #1 Fan
Play ball! Do you think dad will totally dig a day at the diamond? Well, then buy him some peanuts and cracker jacks and head to the ballpark! Five of the state’s six minor league teams—Somerset Patriots, New Jersey Jackals, Lakewood BlueClaws, Camden Riversharks and Sussex County Miners—will be playing at their home fields on Sunday, June 21. (Trenton Thunder is away at Bowie in Maryland.) The Somerset Patriots will even be holding a special Father’s Day Celebration with giveaways and a pre-game autograph session.

When: June 21, starting times vary
Where:
Bridgewater, Little Falls, Lakewood, Camden & Augusta
Cost:
$5-$12 (prices vary based on location)

Courtesy of Joel Dinda via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of Joel Dinda via Flickr/Creative Commons

Not a baseball fan? Head to the capital city for the Trenton Freedom Indoor Football team’s last game of the season on June 20 at 7pm.

The Golfer
Maybe he’s just working on his backswing or maybe he’s got a single-digit handicap. Whatever his level of experience may be, dad will certainly enjoy the day at one of New Jersey’s top 40 public golf courses. Yes, you heard that right—there are 40 to choose from! Having trouble picking just one? We’ve chosen the category leaders in most scenic, best conditioned, most challenging and more to make it a little easier.

Courtesy of lazurite via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of lazurite via Flickr/Creative Commons

Want to bring the whole family along? Join the Turtle Back Zoo on June 20 for the One Wild Fundraiser to benefit the zoo’s Education Center. Team up with your little one and play a round of mini-golf for a cause. Barbecue, live music and other entertainment will follow!

The Fisherman
The Wildwoods Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament will be held at Schooner Island Marina all weekend, June 19-21. Seriously, there’s no catch—except the one hopefully on the end of dad’s hook. The whole family is welcome to join in for this three day challenge in and around the Wildwoods. Cash prizes will be awarded in eight different species. Heads up: be sure to sign up in advance!
When:
June 19-21
Where:
Base Camp — Schooner Island Marina, Wildwood
Cost:
Free

Courtesy of Jackie via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of Jackie via Flickr/Creative Commons

The Outdoorsman
If dad is the type of guy who enjoys hiking, biking, paddling and more, he’s in luck! The list of green places and spaces around the Garden State could go on for days. Which only makes sense, right? Luckily, we’ve got these 11 must-visit national parks and recreation areas to choose from.

The Wick House at Jockey Hollow which served as officer's quarters during the Continental Army's encampment in New Jersey. Photo by Lauren Bowers

The Wick House at Jockey Hollow which served as officer’s quarters during the Continental Army’s encampment in New Jersey. Photo by Lauren Bowers

Looking for even more trails? Check out njhiking.com for comprehensive trail maps and a list of the best hikes in New Jersey.

The Art Aficionado
Could dad spend hours discussing the meaning of an existential piece of art? Does he appreciate work by the likes of Picasso and Monet? Well, the New Jersey art scene doesn’t have that exactly, but it does have quite a few surprises up its sleeve.

Courtesy of Arts on Division

Courtesy of Arts on Division

Visit Stockton University’s Noyes Art Garage to see “Harry’s Whimsical World,” a sculpture exhibit by artist Harry Hasson, in its final week.
When:
Through June 28
Where:
Noyes Arts Garage at Stockton University, Atlantic City
Cost:
Free

Interested in photography? The New Jersey State Museum’s “Nikon Small World” exhibit is a look at how art and science blend from a microscopic viewpoint.
When:
Through August 30
Where:
New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton
Cost:
Adults $5. Children 12 and under: free.

For the DIY guy, the 7th Annual Arts on Division 2015 Downtown Arts Festival will feature demonstrations, pop-up galleries, workshops and more. Culminating the weekend is the “All Things Craft” Artisan Market, an open-air market with dozens of shops and unique vendors, on Sunday.
When:
June 19-21
Where:
Division Street, Somerville
Cost:
Free admission

Is the theater more dad’s style? Ye shall runneth over to the Shakespeare Theatre’s Outdoor Stage at the College of Saint Elizabeth (hey, at least that -eth belongs there). Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost will be performed twice on Father’s Day.
When: June 21, 4:30pm & 8pm
Where:
College of Saint Elizabeth, Morris Township
Cost:
$35 each

The Rock n’ Roller
Whether it’s jazz and blues or 80’s and 90’s rock, there are a few New Jersey music festivals for the rockin’ dad to enjoy this year.

Courtesy of John Tuggle via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of John Tuggle via Flickr/Creative Commons

The Point Pleasant Boro Jazz & Blues Festival promises eight hours of the music Americans have enjoyed since the late 19th century. The riverfront festival’s lineup has seven bands including headliners Doug Deming & Dennis Gruenling.
When:
June 20, noon to 8pm
Where:
Riverfront Park, Point Pleasant Boro
Cost:
Free admission

For the 80’s rock fan, critically acclaimed British rockers Graham Parker and the Rumour will be performing at an intimate Sussex County venue.
When:
June 20, 8pm
Where:
Newton Theatre, Newton
Cost:
$24-$49

Ninety’s grunge rock enthusiasts will enjoy the Summerland 2015 Tour with Everclear, Fuel, Toadies and American Hi-Fi performing at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in downtown Morristown.
When:
June 21, 7pm
Where:
Mayo PAC, Morristown
Cost:
$41.50-$91.50

The Gear Head
Why, these cars are automatic, systematic, hydromatic…they’re greased lightning, to be exact. Roll on down to Long Branch for the Father’s Day Cruise to the Jersey Shore Car Show. An annual tradition 21 years in the making, the show will feature classic cars, race cars and hot rods. Sources say the Batmobile might even make an appearance.
When:
June 21, 9am-4pm
Where:
Long Branch Beachfront, Long Branch
Cost:
Free admission

Courtesy of Steve Glover via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of Steve Glover via Flickr/Creative Commons

More of a biker buff? The Hot Rods & Food Trucks Festival in Seaside Heights is the perfect place to spend the day. There will be plenty of cycles (and food) to drool over. The Food Truck Showdown promises anyone who comes hungry will leave satisfied.
When: June 20, 11am-6pm
Where:
Bay Boulevard, Seaside Heights
Cost:
Free admission

The Epicurean
The foodie father is sure to enjoy the Baymen’s Seafood & Music Festival in Tuckerton. The festival’s delicacies of the sea include clams, crabs, scallops and shrimp from local seafood vendors and fisherman. A micro-brew court is sure to quench the thirst of the 21 and over crowd.
When:
June 20-21, 11am-5pm
Where:
Tuckerton Seaport, Tuckerton
Cost:
Adults $8. Seniors $6. Children ages 5-12 $5.

Courtesy of Anuj Biyani via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of Anuj Biyani via Flickr/Creative Commons

Feeling fancier? Dine out at one of the 25 restaurants on our annual 25 Best Restaurants list. Fair warning: be sure to check if reservations are necessary or suggested.

The Pitmaster
The Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton will host a Father’s Day BBQ. The whole family can spend the day, as its name suggests, on the park grounds with sculptures. The Peacock Cafe will be serving up the ‘cue all afternoon with some all-American favorites straight from the grill.
When:
June 21, 11:30am-3:30pm
Where:
The Peacock Cafe, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton
Cost:
Park admission required. Cafe fees apply.

Courtesy of John Liu via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of John Liu via Flickr/Creative Commons

Want to enjoy some down home comfort? Just have a backyard BBQ instead, but make sure dad stays away from the grill. It is his day, after all! Maybe you could even take some “cues” from these guys.

The Beer Enthusiast
The excitement is brewing. Tap and tasting rooms, brew pubs and brewing facilities around the state are more popular than ever. Some even offer behind-the-scenes facility tours. Check out our Complete Guide to Jersey Beer for the best spots around the state.

A selection of beers awaits tasters at the Beach Haus Taproom.

Photo by Joe Polillio

Looking for a beach side brewery? How about a visit to New Jersey’s newest brewing facility, Beach Haus Brewery, located in Belmar. Brew-thusiasts have surely heard of the brewery’s Beach Haus Classic American Pilsner, but the brewmasters of this beer haven’t had a place to call home until now. The taproom serves pints for $5.50-$6.50 and flights for $7.

The Wine Connoisseur
The Chester Wine Festival will bring 10 of the state’s wineries together in historic downtown Chester. Other wineries around the state will also be hosting their own parties, which include Laurita Winery’s Father’s Day Pork & Cork and Four Sisters Winery’s Father’s Day Pig Roast.
When:
June 20-21, 12pm-6pm
Where:
Municipal Field, Main Street, Chester
Cost:
Online $17. At-the-gate $20.

Courtesy of Ken Hawkins via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of Ken Hawkins via Flickr/Creative Commons

Feel like exploring on your own? Plan a trip through one of New Jersey’s five wine trails boasting 35 wineries in total. Visit the Garden State Growers Association’s website to find the ones closest to you.

The Old School Sophisticate
Cigar bars are a thing of the past…or, so we thought. Dad can journey to a place reminiscent of a Mad Men set when he steps into one of New Jersey’s few remaining locales where smoking indoors is still allowed. The Montecristo Lounge attached to the Porter House in Montvale is one of those places. Although Montecristo has a members club, nonmembers can also partake when they buy a cigar or pay a $10 fee to smoke their own. Over 24 craft beers, single malts, bourbons and premium wines are also available.
When: Anytime
Where: 125 North Kindermack Road, Montvale
Cost: $10 smoking fee or the cost of a cigar

Courtesy of Alex Brown via Flickr/Creative Commons

Courtesy of Alex Brown via Flickr/Creative Commons

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