Celebrate Father's Day with Great Gift Ideas and Activities
November 17, 2023
Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16, 2023! Find some great quotes for your card, tasty recipes, and a few activities. Plus, find out who “invented” Father’s Day—it’s a moving story.
Why We Celebrate Father’s Day
Father’s Day celebrates and honors the men who have embraced the essential role of fatherhood. On this day, we also thank fathers and father figures (uncles, grandfathers) for the sacrifices they make, for embracing the responsibility of nurturing and raising children, and for their devotion to their families.
When Is Father’s Day 2024?
Father’s Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and a number of other countries around the world.
In 2024, Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, June 16.
Father’s Day Dates
Sunday, June 16
Sunday, June 15
Sunday, June 21
Sunday, June 20
Many countries celebrate this holiday at other times of the year. In Australia, for example, Father’s Day is held on the first Sunday of September; in Norway, Sweden, and Finland, on the second Sunday in November; and in some Catholic countries, on March 19 (St. Joseph’s Day).
Father’s Day Ideas
This year, Father’s Day falls a few days before the summer solstice (June 21, 2023), which makes it the perfect time to kick off the summer season with a father-focused barbecue, camping trip, beach day, or other outdoor activity!
Like Mother’s Day, the modern American version of Father’s Day has a history that goes well beyond greeting cards. The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, after hundreds of men died in the worst mining accident in U.S. history. The Sunday service happened because of the efforts of Grace Golden Clayton, the daughter of a dedicated reverend.
While missing her own dad, who had died in 1896, Mrs. Clayton wanted to honor the many fathers who had died in the mining explosion, which killed more than 360 men and boys, and left about 1,000 children fatherless. Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honor fathers, it did not turn into an annual event, nor was the idea promoted (a large July 4 celebration in Fairmont and a tragic young death from typhoid fever took over the news at the time).
Father’s Day Gains Momentum
Several other people across the nation had similar ideas throughout the years, but Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd is credited for being the one to popularize it, starting events that led to Father’s Day becoming a U.S. national holiday.
Her story began as she sat listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Mrs. Dodd thought that it might be nice to honor fathers as well. Her father, William Smart, had raised his SIX children alone on his farm in Washington after his wife died giving birth. Mrs. Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a “father’s day.”She chose the 5th of June because it was her father’s birthday.
The idea received strong support, but the good ministers of Spokane asked that the day be changed to give them extra time to prepare sermons on the unexplored subject of fathers. The first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington, was observed on June 19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June), and became an annual event there. Soon, other towns had their own celebrations.
Despite widespread support, Father’s Day was not a permanent national holiday for many years. It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that Father’s Day be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.
Cook for Dad! Our deliciously satisfying recipes will make Dad one very happy customer!
1. Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary and Thyme This is our go-to flank steak recipe—so mouthwatering and easy to prepare! We like to pair the steak with grilled asparagus—and a garlic smashed potato or Mediterranean pilaf recipe.
4. Stuffing-Breaded Pork Chops If you’re cooking indoors, how about some comfort food for Dad? Thanks to the breading, the pork comes out crispy on the outside and deliciously juicy on the inside.
5. Chicken Wings With Sesame and Ginger Does Dad like to watch the game? These wings, fully flavored with sesame and ginger, are good cold, too. Great for a picnic basket, too, so a flexible recipe choice!
6. Baja Fish Tacos A good use for a fresh catch, perhaps? Cool, tangy cabbage slaw cozies up to crispy fish in these tasty Baja Fish Tacos. They are easy to make and delicious to eat!
7. Super Summer Sliders Dad deserves a super burger! The sweet and savory topping is killer, and the chili base adds an unexpected kick. What an absolutely fantastic combination of flavors!
8. Daddy’s Meat Loaf From the recipe’s author: “This is how my dad used to make it. Everyone who has eaten it just loves it. I love it because it reminds me of him.”
9. Grandpa’s Baked Beans Need a side at your cookout? These are the best baked beans. It’s the ultimate comfort food—so savory and flavorful.
10. Grandpa’s Banana Bread If you can’t meet for a meal, how about bringing Dad some banana bread? This recipe comes from the author’s grandfather in Minnesota, who used to make the best breads you’ve ever tasted.
It’s always tough to think of a fitting message for your Father’s Day card. So, here’s a selection of some of our favorite poems about what being a father means.
Only a dad, but he gives his all To smooth the way for his children small, Doing, with courage stern and grim, The deeds that his father did for him. This is the line that for him I pen, Only a dad, but the best of men. –Edgar Guest (1881–1959)
My father moved through theys of we, singing each new leaf out of each tree (and every child was sure that spring danced when she heard my father sing). –E.E. Cummings (1894–1962)
He never made a fortune, or a noise In the world where men are seeking after fame; But he had a healthy brood of girls and boys Who loved the very ground on which he trod. They thought him just a little short of God; Oh you should have heard the way they said his name—‘Father.’ –Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919)
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip— Builders of life’s companionship! Oh, I envy them, as I see them there Under the sky in the open air, For out of the old, old long-ago Come the summer days that I used to know, When I learned life’s truths from my father’s lips As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips. –Edgar Guest (1881–1959)
Father’s Day Quotes
“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” –Clarence Budington Kelland, American writer (1881-1964), about his father
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” –Umberto Eco, Italian novelist (1932-2016)
“His heritage to his children wasn’t words or possessions, but an unspoken treasure, the treasure of his example as a man and a father.” –Will Rogers, Jr., American politician (1911–93)
“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.” –Unknown
Share Your Thoughts
Do you have any great quotes about fathers? Or, some favorite memories of growing up with Dad? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!