8 Unique Fathers Day Traditions to Start This Year

You’re reading this article because you love the dad in your life and want to make Father’s Day a day to remember.

Unfortunately, Father’s Day often falls flat compared to other holidays.

However, by incorporating a few new fathers day traditions into your yearly festivities, Father’s Day will become a holiday everyone in the family will be excited to celebrate.

Whether the dad in your life is experiencing his first or fortieth Father’s Day, there is a new and fun Father’s Day tradition for everyone on this list.

Growing up, we celebrated fathers day like everyone we knew.

Mom made a delicious breakfast for dad (we also got the delicious breakfast, so this was by far the best part), and then dad opened gifts.

That was it, done. Do I remember the delicious breakfast? Yes! Do I remember anything else about fathers day growing up? Not really.

When my husband and I became parents, I wanted to add new traditions to Father’s Day that my husband and kids would look forward to year after year.

While our kids are still young, and we need to wait a few more years to start some of our favorite traditions on the list, I found a lot of great ideas in my search and wanted to share them with you.

But first, when is Fathers Day?

When is Fathers day?

Father’s day always falls on the 3rd Sunday in June. In 2023 Father’s day will land on June 18th.

Fun Fact, it wasn’t until 1972 that Father’s Day was officially made into a U.S. holiday, and the third Sunday in June was set aside to honor dads everywhere. 

Unique Traditions for Father’s Day 2023

 Here are 8 of the best fathers day traditions that go beyond the predictable breakfast in bed and gifts.

1. Father’s Day Race

You can start a Father’s Day foot race tradition with your toddlers and keep the tradition going well into their adulthood.

The distance can be across the yard, down the street, or around the block. Or the distance can grow as your children grow.

When I mentioned the Father’s Day Race to my husband, I thought it should go on until the Day the children win the race and then retire the tradition, but my husband suggested he would train all year until the next Father’s Day to ensure he won again.

Consider giving a trophy or medal to the winner that can be passed along to the new winner each year.

2. Paper Airplane Challenge

Like the Fathers Day Race, the paper airplane Challenge can be a friendly competition between Father and Children; Mom can join in too (or help the younger ones with their airplanes!)

Everyone gets one hour to make the perfect paper airplane and then fly them across the house or yard. The plane that goes the farthest wins! For inspiration, try The Paper Airplane Book for Kids.

3. Father’s Day Journal (Also Great to use on Birthdays)

The Father’s Day journal is an excellent tradition to start when you are wondering what you can do for dad’s first Father’s Day. Every year (birthdays included), a page can be filled out by the children for their father.

For the first few years, mom can help fill it out with baby handprints and toddler scribbles. Then, as the years go on, the kids can add their drawings, notes, poems, and favorite things about dad.

Rather than having a card that will most likely find its way to the recycling bin, this book will be a keepsake cherished for many years.

When picking a journal, look specifically for art journals with sturdy pages that will hold up over time and with whatever art project the kids may think up. Check out this Artist Journal that comes in various sizes and colors.

4. Plan an outing for him and his dad’s friends 

Many families celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day by giving mom and dad a break from the kids. Contact dad’s closest friends to plan a fun outing for dad.

Some ideas include golfing, fishing, mountain biking, a motorcycle ride, or whatever other activity dad loves but rarely gets the chance to enjoy. For many dads, an outing is the best way to celebrate Father’s Day. 

5. Have the kids write and perform a play about their favorite dad memories

If your children love to perform, this is your tradition. First, have the kids think about their favorite memories of dad.

These could include a list of their favorite things dad does, or they could reenact how dad pretends he is a dinosaur every time the Jurassic Park theme song gets played.

They could also reenact a scene from dads favorite show or lip sync his favorite song. Anything goes, and it is sure to bring a lot of laughter to Father’s Day. 

6. Annual Ice Cream Eating Contest (or Pie!)

Like the race and airplane challenge, the Ice cream eating contest is a chance to be silly, win a trophy, and have fun! But, unlike the other two challenges, this one includes ICE CREAM!

Father’s Day lands in June, so your chances of a warm sunny day are good.

There are a few ways to do this challenge. The simplest way is for each participant to get a bowl of ice cream and for mom to say GO! The first done wins a trophy and an ice cream headache.

Other variations include your hands behind your back, being blindfolded, or both! You can make the prize a trophy, a medal, a special ice cream bowl, or this great Ice Cream Spoon

If you want to go the pie route, nearly all grocery stores sell mini pies in various flavors that would be perfect for this challenge.

7. Have the kids create a Scavenger hunt for dad

Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt (except my husband) but if the dad in your life is normal-ish, then consider this tradition for your next Father’s Day.

To set up the scavenger hunt, hide dad’s gift somewhere he won’t stumble across it.

Now write a series of clues that will lead dad to his present. Of course, the number of hints and the style of the clues is up to you, but a few ideas include riddles, drawings, poems, jokes, or brain teasers. 

8. Bonus Tradition for the dad who is hard to please! Choose your own Adventure

Give dad a list of adventures to pick from – mini-golf, bowling, going to the beach, trying a new hike, or bringing him to his favorite restaurant!

Or, if he can’t decide, write all the options on small pieces of paper, place them in a hat and have him pick one at random!

While the standby Father’s Day traditions of breakfast in bed and gifts aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, there are undoubtedly thousands of Father’s Day traditions from around the world that we can pull from to add a new fun twist to fathers Day.

Our children are only kids for eighteen fathers’ days, and I want the memories of each one to be silly, memorable, and different.

Perhaps you could make your father’s day tradition one where you try a new tradition every year!

If you grew up with a unique Father’s Day tradition or started a new one with the dad in your life, please share it in the comments below!