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Dads totally luck out—Father’s Day falls in June, when the weather is warm and the outdoor activities are plentiful. And not only does dear old Dad deserves nothing but the best for Father’s Day, but experiential gifts trump traditional presents any day. So treat your dad to the best gift you can give him, without bankrupting yourself in the process. We’ve got some cheap Father’s Day suggestions right here:

Red River Gorge

Red River Gorge at Natural Bridge. Photo: hspauldi – Flickr.

Hit the trails

Take dad for a hike. This is an easy one no matter where you live — if you’re in the city, it’s a great opportunity to get out into nature and blow off some steam, and if you’re in the country, well, that just makes it even easier. If you’re willing to travel for the privilege, Red River Gorge in Kentucky is one for the books. There are more than 500 miles of trails that vary in difficulty, and there’s no entrance fee to the park.

MillerCoors brewery tour - a cheap Father's Day delight

A sign at the MillerCoors brewery in Milwaukee. Photo: Adam Sonnett – Flickr.

Imbibe in a brew

Head to Milwaukee for a beer with dad. The industrial city is known for its plethora of breweries, but before hitting the craft beer scene, head to the MillerCoors factory for a tour of a Midwestern mainstay. German immigrant Frederick Miller founded the brewery in the 1850s, and besides a brief pause during Prohibition, it’s been quenching the country’s thirst ever since. Tours are free, last about an hour and end with three free samples in the beer garden. How’s that for a cheap Father’s Day excursion?


The National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Photo: Jennifer Morrow – Flickr.

Visit Wright-Pat

There’s no better fatherly activity than diving into the fascinating history of aviation. The National Museum of the United States Air Force—located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio—has one of the Wright Brothers’ planes, modern models and everything in between. The museum just opened its fourth building on June 8, which has more than 70 aircraft in its Presidential, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach galleries. Visitors can board space shuttles and walk through Air Force One. The free museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney performs on his Out There Tour at Centenario Stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay in April 2014. Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius – Flickr.

See an outdoor concert

Moms may sing us lullabies as children, but dads play their favorite rock songs for us, making surewe’re way cooler than our age. Sting and Peter Gabriel are touring together this summer in what’ll surely be an epic, dad-approved blowout. If your pops wasn’t into either of them, try Paul McCartney, Guns N’ Roses or Black Sabbath, all of whom are also on the road. There’s a concert for every taste this summer, so find an outdoor venue near you, take your dad, and—this last part’s really important—buy him a beer. After all, he changed your diapers and fed you for years and whatnot. But at least you can tease him about getting too old for the lawn seats.

Car show

The 47th Annual Twin Cities Collectors Car Show & Swap Meet in Blaine, Minnesota.
August 2014. Photo: Greg Gjerdingen – Flickr.

Stroll through a car show

Most dads love a good car show. But which kind you take him to are up to you: You’ve got your new, unattainable cars for wishful thinking, and your classic hot rods for reminiscing. The Tahoe City Solstice Festival has a car show the evening of June 17, or try Thunder on the River Car Show June 18 near Scranton, Pennsylvania. If cross-country road trippin’ is more your dad’s thing, try a boat and RV show, which usually costs about $10–$15 at the door.

Hit the back nine

A game of golf is always cause for father/kid bonding. Florida is known for its golfcourses, and it’s a smart escape from the beaches, which get crowded this time of year with summer breakers. Try Bay Hill Club in Orlando or Hammock Dunes Club Link Course in Palm Coast. A word to the wise: Pick a tee time on any weekend except Father’s Day, as the greens will likely get about as crowded as the beaches.

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Tagged: Cheap Tips, Family, Florida, Food & drink, FREE!, Holidays, Seasonal, Tips & advice

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