Special outings for Father’s Day
This Father’s Day, you can “surprise” papi with a tie or a fancy lawn mower. Or, for a really unique experience, you can consider one of these options. Whether your dad is the tranquil, sporty, or thrill-seeking kind, he will surely enjoy these alternatives to the same ol’ well-intended, but boring, present.
A family affair: golf, spa and water park staycation
Oh, yes – something for everyone! The Arizona Grand Resort and Spa is known for its seven-acre Oasis Water Park, complete with eight-story tower, water slides and winding, lazy river. If dad prefers to play golf or to relax at the spa, the 18-hole links golf course features a diverse and challenging par-71 layout and the spa has a vast menu of services to choose from. After sunset, the entire family can enjoy poolside (“dive-in”) movies or hit the dance floor and dance the night away. Now through Labor Day, rates start at $149 per night for a one-bedroom suite. It’s easy to understand why the resort was named “Best Place for Family Bonding” by Nickelodeon’s parentsconnect.com. Go to arizonagrandresort.com to check availability and for more information.
Take a hike and feed the reptiles, or search for nocturnal creepy crawlies
As they say, the finer things in life are free, or almost free. The Maricopa County Parks Department has some great programming options for the family. Spend the Saturday before Father’s Day (June 16) at Cave Creek Regional Park. After a morning hike, feed the reptiles at the Nature Center and learn about the important roles these creatures play in the food web (10–11 a.m.). That same day, in the evening (7:30–8:30 p.m.), Ranger Sarah and “bug expert,” James Waters, of ASU will lead a nocturnal expedition in search of creepy crawlies. Don’t forget the flashlight, and, if you want to see the bugs, go easy on the bug spray! The park is located at 37019 N. Lava Lane in Cave Creek, AZ. The entry fee is $6 per vehicle. Visit maricopa.gov/parks for more information.
BBQ Basics class with Troon North chef, Mel Mecinas
If your papá is into grilling, for $75 you can send him to the Four Seasons Resort-Scottsdale at Troon North on Saturday, June 16, for a class on the juiciest barbecue secrets in town. He’ll learn from executive chef, Mel Mecinas, and sous chef, Jesse Hansen, how to prepare sauces and rubs and perfect his grilling techniques. But, this is no ordinary grilling class. Participants will also get golf tips from the pros at Troon North Golf Club, imbibe cold beer from a local brewery and enjoy specialty cigars rolled on-site. After the demonstration, guests will ingest barbecue fare, home-made ice cream and whiskey floats. The registration fee includes a take-away recipe book, sample rubs and sauces, and a cigar. The class takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the resort, located at 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive in Scottsdale. Reservations are required; go to fourseasons.com/scottsdale or call 480-515-5700 for more information.
Father’s Day Paddle at Tempe Town Lake
Dads are free when at least two family members register to paddle Tempe Town Lake. Registration fees are $30 for adults; $15 for youth ages 10-15. Offer valid on June 16, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the marina located on the north side of the lake, across from the ASU stadium. Visit tempe.gov or call 480-350-8069 for more information.
The Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum, in Mesa, has lots to offer aviation aficionados and history buffs, including aircraft on display from WWI through the Vietnam War. While most of the museum’s warbirds will be touring the country (as it’s too hot in Arizona to fly them during the summer months), the open cockpit Boeing PT-17 Stearman/Kaydet trainer bi-plane is available if you want to gift dad an unforgettable experience. There are two flight options to choose from: the Rookie Experience ($175) includes a 15-minute flight up and around in the pattern of the airport, and the Top Gun Experience ($300), which includes 30 minutes of flight time, more advanced maneuvers and brief instruction by the pilot on flight control dynamics. Reservations are required. Call 480-924-1940, or visit azcaf.org for more information. The museum is located at 2017 N. Greenfield Road in Mesa, AZ.