8 fun NYC Father’s Day activities to do with dad

We’ve never Dad it so good.

This Father’s Day is poised to be an especially fun one. After over a year of social distancing, New York has eased its COVID-19 restrictions, allowing full capacity for indoor dining, as well as outdoor and indoor entertainment venues.

From sailing the Hudson to mini-golf, here are some of the best happenings this Sunday, June 20.

Explore Mother — or Father — Nature

Urban Park Rangers will be leading free hikes through Chapin Woods on Staten Island and Crotona Park in The Bronx.

Starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, rangers will guide outdoorsy fathers and their families on a moderately paced, lengthy wander through Chapin Woods in Reed’s Basket Willow Swamp Park. The woods are densely populated with oak, birch, tulip-magnolia, hickory, purple-willow and chestnut trees. Afterwards, explore the Staten Island Greenbelt, which covers nearly 3,000 acres and is home to a variety of flora and fauna as well as 28 miles of nature trails.

On the other end of the city, rangers will take hikers through Crotona Park in the South Bronx. The park boasts 28 tree species, as well as a 3.3-acre lake home to turtles and fish. Afterwards, there will be a Dad-themed arts and crafts workshop.

Go to NYCGovParks.org for Father’s Day Hike and Craft information and to SIGreenbelt.org for Greenbelt info.

Have a Feast Fit for a Father

Treat Dad to a decadent meal at a restaurant. The Pandering Pig in Hudson Heights is serving three steak specials on Sunday, to be enjoyed in their 15-seat beer garden. In the East Village, comfort-food spot Root & Bone is cooking up chicken-fried steak with gravy and eggs for brunch, for one day only. Casual taqueria Disco Tacos in Williamsburg will have its usual menu of tacos, chilaquiles and small plates along with discounted margaritas and a live DJ from noon to 3 p.m.

Go to Disco-Tacos.com, RootNBone.com, or ThePanderingPig.com for more details.

Hit the (Mini) Links

From Shipwrecked in Red Hook to Pier 25 in Hudson Park, New York City boasts over a dozen mini-golf courses. One of the newest, a nine-hole outdoor course in Industry City, features a Kings County-landmarks motif, with the Wonder Wheel, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower represented.

Go to IndustryCity.com/Visit/Explore/Mini-Golf/ for more information.

Explore the New Harry Potter Store

Opened on June 3, the Harry Potter flagship in the Flatiron District is the only such store in the world. With three stories and 21,000-square-feet of floor space, it has the largest collection of “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” products — including personalized robes and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans — available anywhere. The store also includes 15 themed areas, such as a wand shop behind Dumbledore’s griffin guard and a London phone booth. Dads can even partake in virtual reality adventures like battling Death Eaters on broomsticks over Hogwarts.

For more details, go to HarryPotterStore.com.

Get Out on the Water

Set sail on the Hudson or East rivers. Go aboard the Skyline Princess for a four-hour cruise with views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Ellis Island, musical entertainment, and a three-course meal. Event Cruises NYC will be offering four-course brunch and dinner cruises that leave from Pier 36. The brunch will feature bottomless Mimosas.

Don’t quite have your sea legs? Enjoy a variety of lobster rolls — including a massive $99 number — at North River Lobster Company docked along Hudson River Park. Baylander Steel Beach, docked at the West Harlem Piers, serves up seafood, burgers, and drinks, while Pilot, off Brooklyn Bridge Park, features an oyster bar with alluring cocktails. For a taste of Mexican cooking, try La Barca Cantina Tacos, New York City’s first and only floating Mexican restaurant off Pier 81.

Go to SkylineCruises.com or EventCruisesNYC.com for more cruise information. Go to NorthRiverLobsterCo.com, Baylander.nyc, CrewNY.com/Pilot, or LabarcaCantina.com to learn about these boat restaurants.

Play Ball

Head to Bryant Park for a familial pingpong match. The park has two state-of-the-art tables along the 42nd Street side. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., so make sure to get there early to avoid long lines. While at the park, walk around Spring Up, an Urbanspace Market featuring nearly 60 vendors, including Ample Hills Creamery, Copalli Mexican Folk Art, Spice Professors and Vivi Sun Jewelry.

Go to BryantPark.org/Amenities/Pingpong for more information about pingpong and other daily activities.

Get a Whiff on Governors Island

In 2017, the Governors Island Lavender Field opened, bringing 500 fragrant plants to the isle. Take them in on Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m., at the NYC Lavender Festival and Ju-Bee-Lee. Activities will include make-your-own hand sanitizer, lavender flower “magic wand” workshops and lavender sachet DIY classes. Visitors may also harvest their own bouquets, learn about how fragrance gets from a flower into a perfume bottle and discover the secrets of a beehive.

While on the island, take a historic photo walking tour, have a look at the New York Virtual Volcano Observatory, check out the five sheep frolicking in Hammock Grove, or peep at artist Shantell Martin’s “The May Room.”

Go to GovIsland.com for information on events and sites to see on Governors Island.

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