In the past, observing Father's Day usually meant throwing a backyard BBQ, a surprise party with friends and family, hitting the golf course, or taking Dad to the movies. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, spending face-to-face time with our favorite people has required a little creativity, and this year's Dad's Day will be no different. Thankfully, there are more than a few virtual Father’s Day ideas to choose from, so you can show Dad just how much he is loved and valued, even from afar.
Whether you're worlds apart, or just down the block, there are many options for bringing the family together to celebrate all the fathers, grandfathers, stepdads, single moms, and other father figures in your family's life. In addition to sending a Father's Day card or a special, personalized gift, you can easily host a virtual Father's Day celebration from the comfort of your own couch.
Getting the whole family together to chat over FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or any other telecommunication app is relatively easy, so long as you have a working computer and internet access. Dad will get to see your smiling faces, which is probably the thing he wants most for Father's Day, and you can still practice social distancing to ensure Dad (and family!) stay safe. And not only do you have a variety of apps to choose from, but you can use those apps in a number of ways so Dad's special day doesn't look (and feel) like a never-ending work meeting (that, let's face it, probably could have been an email, Janet).
Before you get any one of the following parties started, make sure that everyone knows how to use whatever platform you're hosting the party on. People may have to download apps they've never used or use features they aren't familiar with. A practice run the day before, so everyone can make sure things are working properly, could prove beneficial.
It's also vital you make sure your (and Dad's!) internet connection is stable. A weak internet connection might cause a lag in your computer's video capabilities. You can always try moving closer to the WiFi router and see if that improves your connection.
Once everyone is familiar with the platform and your internet connection is on lock, find and plan some activities everyone can participate in on the call. It's fun to get together just to chat, but it feels more like a special occasion if there's a fun activity planned.
Here are some fun ideas for what you can do together on a video chat for a virtual Father's Day celebration:
Watch a movie or TV show together.
If there's a movie or series that's special to you and your dad, you can watch it together for Father's Day. Extensions like Netflix Party and Metastream make it possible to sync up your streaming content so you and Dad can enjoy it together, even if you're far apart. Don't forget the popcorn!
Cook or bake something together.
If Dad likes getting his hands dirty (metaphorically speaking, of course) in the kitchen, then a fun activity could be cooking a special meal together. There are a slew of cooking videos available online that you and Dad could follow along with virtually. Or, if you want something a bit more personal, chefs from around the world are offering virtual cooking classes online through Airbnb Experiences.
Order Dad's favorite dinner.
If Dad's not much of a cook, you can always turn to takeout. Find out if his favorite local restaurant is offering delivery during the pandemic, and schedule an order to be dropped off shortly before your scheduled video chat. (Make sure to tip the delivery person handsomely!) You may not be there in person, but you can still all sit down for a meal together.
Look through some old pictures and videos together.
There's nothing like a trip down memory lane. Ask friends and family to send you digital copies of their favorite photos of or with Dad beforehand, then collect them all in a Dropbox, Google Photos, or other virtual file service. During the video call, you can go through the photos and share your screen with everyone on the call as you look back through some of your best family memories and swap loving (read: embarrassing) stories.
Visit a museum.
If Dad is a history buff or art aficionado, try taking a trip to the museum for Father's Day. Several world-renowned museums including theLouvre, theMuseum of Natural History, and the Getty Museum are offering virtual tours online. If he's always got his eyes on the stars, you and your dad can explore NASA's research centers or use The Space Center's Houston app for a virtual experience he'll enjoy.
If your dad's a Scattergories champ or always wins at Texas Hold 'Em, you can play a few rounds from home. No matter what your father's favorite game is, there's probably an online version available. If not, you can all learn to play something new — Jackbox offers a number of fun online games that the whole family can get in on. Some online games will require everyone to be using the same website or app, so be sure to figure the details out beforehand so no one on the call is left out.
Watch a livestream concert.
Dad might not be able to see his favorite band in person this year, but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy a concert this Father's Day. Over the last several weeks, artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, and Brad Paisley have participated in livestream concert events. While many June events haven't been announced yet, it's worth digging around to see if any of Dad's favorite musicians will be performing over Father's Day weekend.
Have a virtual tasting.
Assuming everyone at your virtual Father's Day celebration is of age and occasionally imbibes, you can send your dad some new whiskeys (or wines, or craft beers, or whatever he prefers) to enjoy on while you video chat. You can all look up facts about each drink and discuss your thoughts while you swirl, smell, and sip. It's possible to mail your dad a few bottles ahead of time, or you could have an alcohol delivery service drop it on his doorstep on Father's Day.