Interestingly, Father's Day is a tradition that dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. The first time this celebration was proposed in the United States was in 1908 after what was considered the country's worst coal mining accident; it killed 361 men and left thousands of children without fathers. Despite numerous well-intentioned efforts to make this day a national holiday, it wasn't passed into law until 1972.
Father's Day Weekend is a great time to express gratitude for the paternal relationships you have been blessed to have in your life. This might mean you are celebrating your relationship with dad, your brother, or maybe grandpa, or an uncle, a family friend, a teacher, or a pal.
Father's Day needn't be all about material gifts, either. It is more about spending quality time together, having experiences, and sharing laughs with these men all weekend long.
These picks will help you make some great memories.
1- Have Dinner Downtown at Toutant
Make a reservation for dinner at Toutant. Toutant (pronounced too-tawnt) offers modern, rustic cuisine in a comfortable and casual space. The owner's Southern Louisiana roots and dedication to ingredients that are local, seasonal, and fresh are highly evident.
The staff is super welcoming and the food is absolutely to die for. We recommend starting with the cocktail called Unbridled and then ordering the Cornbread, the Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Meringue and the Buttermilk Fried 1/2 Chicken which comes with Collard Greens. Definitely save room for the Warm Bread Pudding for dessert!
The men in your life will love this pick!
2 - Check Out Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere's Fan @ The Anderson Theatre
If you or one of the men in your life like theatre, Irish Classical Theatre Company never dissapoints. Take them to the Anderson Theatre to see Oscar Wilde’s comedy-drama, Lady Windermere's Fan for a sophisticated story with plenty of room for laughter.
The Irish Classical Theatre performs in a theatre in the round, which means the play happens in the center and the audience surrounds the stage. This makes the experience intimate and the story comes alive right before your eyes. Be ready to be seated 15 minutes before show time--as soon as the show starts the halls become backstage for the actors and set crew.
Lady Windermere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde
3 - Attend the Horticulture Certificate Series: Backyard Ecology
As we all start to get out to enjoy our own backyards more, it's a great idea to learn more about the plants, animals, birds, and insects that share our spaces. We can become better stewards of our little piece of the Earth by learning about water preservation, composting, growing our own food, raising animals, and recycling. If gardening is something that interests you or your father figure, the last class in the series, which is focused on Backyard Ecology and taught by one of the top garden speakers in the nation, will be a great learning experience to share.
4 - Grab an Ice Cream at Lake Effect
Have you tried this locally-made ice cream yet?! It is beyond delicious--and very addictive! This recommendation takes you up to Lockport, to the source of ice cream heaven. If you are heading to Artpark for the next recommended event, this stop could actually be "sort of" on the way. With unique flavors like Couch Potato (vanilla ice cream with caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate covered potato chips), flavors with local twists like Loganberry, Sponge Candy and Paula's Glazed Donuts, and classic, but elevated flavors, like Silver Cloud Vanilla, and Frozen Hot Chocolate, there is sure to be something you and dad both like. We recommend a Revolution Coffee milkshake made from the espresso beans at Public Coffee and Espresso.
If you are not heading up to the Northtowns, just enjoy this summer treat at Lake Effect's city location on Hertel Avenue.
5 - Participate in the Father's Day Chess Celebration
If you think you have what it takes to beat your elders in chess, give it a shot this Sunday at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Look for the tent by the bust of MLK. Even if you lose you will still have great laughs with your loved ones. The event is brought to us by Archangel Chess Academy, an organization led by Coach Michael McDuffie, better known as the Chess Ambassador of Western New York.
This is also a geat way to see and experience what's going on at the Juneteenth Festival: the vendors. the food, the sights, and an Underground Railroad tour leaving at 2:00pm and 4:00pm from Best & Fillmore. Bring your own chess gear: pawns, a board, and a clock.
6 - Head to Artpark for the KeyBank Summer Solstice Celebration
This event is "big" for so many reasons. Maybe its "big" because there are activities for all ages: crafts, storytelling, walking performers for the little ones and lots of appealing things for adults like a mini-workshop by famous local chef Krista Van Wagner, a "positive prank" by NYC based Improv Everywhere, great eats, and a beer garden.
Or maybe it's "big" because at 7:00pm the festivities change gears and William Close and the Earth Harp Collective will perform a larger than life music performance.
Regardless, this event will be "big" for most any guy in your life.
7 - Buy Craft Beers @ the Village Beer Merchant
Grab bottles, cans, or growlers of quality craft beer to sit, chat, and sip this weekend. Whether your special "father" is a pilsner guy, an IPA snob, or a stout man, there is something here for him.
For the IPA type, we recommend grabbing a 4-pack of Lagunitas Sumpin' Easy that has an AVB of 5.7% and is hoppy, smooth, and fruity- refreshing! For the stout type we recommend Bell's 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout with an AVB of 7.0% that is dark and tart with notes of malty chocolate.