Let’s face it – dad’s a good-natured guy. Chances are he won’t give his son or daughter any outright grief for honoring him on Father’s Day with one of these age-old “dad” gift ideas. But he won’t be talking about any of them weeks later, either (or even wearing that tie, in all honesty).
No, when it comes to giving the old man a day to truly remember, it’s all about the experience. It’s about sharing the day with his kids and exploring Chicago.
Nothing better espouses the intersection of summer in Chicago and relaxing with dad quite like a great neighborhood festival.
In the West Loop, treat dad to food samples from one of the city’s hottest restaurant rows and enjoy live music by the likes of great modern rock acts like Divine Fits and The Joy Formidable at the annual Taste of Randolph festival. Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11am-10pm. $10. 900 W. Randolph, 773.665.4682.
Keeping the focus on food, there’s nothing mysterious about SausageFest Chicago. If it’s encased and grilled, it’s got a place at this two-day celebration of music and meat in the shadow of Wrigley Field. Saturday and Sunday, Noon-10pm. $5. 3600 N. Sheffield, 773.868.3010.
Another way to honor dad’s love of grilling while giving him a day off from the coals is a visit to the 6 Corners BBQ Festival, where food and music once again offer a great excuse to wander the middle of a normally busy street on foot for a few hours. Saturday and Sunday, Noon-9pm. FREE. 4000 N. Milwaukee, 773.685.9300.
If you’ve got an active dad, get him out there to see the city.
At Bike Chicago, you can rent a couple of two-wheelers to cruise the lakefront at your own pace, or sign up for one their organized guided tours covering the city’s food scene and architecture. 239 E. Randolph, 312.729.1000.
The first 75 dads to make a reservation at Chicago Cut Steakhouse receive a gift basket with more than $300 worth of goodies from Whole Foods Market, Haverdash, Maxine Salon, Marshall Pierce & Co. Jewelers, and Wilfred Newman. Dad's can enjoy any of their USDA Prime Steaks available as Filet Mignon, Ribeye, NY Strip, Porterhouse and more. 300 N. LaSalle, 312.329.1800.
It’s not that dad doesn’t like shopping, he just needs to find a store that fits his style.
At Iwan Ries & Co., he can marvel at the hundreds of cigar and pipe selections, try out a variety of tobaccos in the parlor or just soak in the throwback atmosphere of one of the city’s oldest family-run businesses. 19 S. Wabash, 312.372.1306.
For clothing and accessories that take him back to his military days – regardless of the era – he’ll be overwhelmed by the selection on display at Belmont Army Surplus. 855 W. Belmont, 773.549.1038.
The options are endless. So this year, skip the tie and give dad a Father’s Day experience to remember in Chicago.