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How to Celebrate Father's Day While Social Distancing

How to Celebrate Father's Day While Social Distancing

Unique gifts, subscriptions, and memorable meals Dad will love.

Father’s Day strikes at a strange time this year—just as the world is starting to come back from a pandemic quarantine. The standard dad gifts—such as a tie or a watch—seem somehow inadequate and those multi-generational brunches are not socially distant enough for the new normal. That’s why we came up with some alternative ways to celebrate—including unique gifts, subscription services, special meals, and stay-at-home experiences the whole family can share. Even if it’s not Father’s Day as you knew it, you can still toast Dad in style.

Unique Gifts and Gadgets

Personalize this Dear Daddy Book ($30) by adding Dad’s and kids’ names, plus some of Dad’s unique characteristics. This picture book will then become one about your family celebrating the lessons a father teaches his child, and the lessons children teach their father.

For the guy that’s always losing his keys: a handsome dresser-top wooden docking station ($29.60) for glasses, watches, phone, etc. comes personalized with his initials, and your favorite color or design.

Perfect for our new germophobic world, this Smartphone Sanitizer ($80)—which is also a charge—uses UV light to clean and sanitize a smartphone. The case even has built-in acoustic amplifiers, so he can keep listening to music or use an alarm while the phone is getting its spa treatment.

Because most of us are going to be spending a lot of time outdoors this summer (and more likely in our own outdoor space than a restaurant or bar), these LED ambient outdoor Bluetooth speakers ($38.95) can make the scene festive: They give off a flame-like light while also producing great sound. Plus they’re water-resistant and rechargeable.

Our new necessary is likely here to stay for a while, so get dad a personalized face mask ($15.95) he won’t lose. Choose a photo of one of his favorite things to be printed right onto the sturdy cotton material. Maybe it’s a picture of his dog, or his kids? Or a bottle of bourbon?

Get Dad a Subscription

Here’s something he can look forward to every month: the best pizza from all over the country. This three-month pizza subscription ($79) features New York’s legendary Prince Street pizza, Chicago’s iconic deep dish, Detroit’s pan pizza, Nebraska’s Rocket Inn pizza and Brooklyn’s coal oven pizza from Table 87. All you need are some napkins, and maybe a plate or two.

During the quarantine, many of us let our appearances go but as the world starts to open up, it’s time to get groomed. Each month, Birchbox will send a $10 box of products ranging from skincare and haircare to oral products and fragrances—all specifically chosen according to the preferences you set up in the profile.

Maybe Dad wants to learn a new skill? Say poker, chess, or making a movie? These master classes ($15 per month) taught by the pros will set him up for success. Sign him up for a specific class or email him a gift-card so he can choose his own from more than 80 topics.

Now that we’ve weened ourselves from Starbucks, it’s time to invest in some of the best grounds around. Blue Bottle’s blends, single origins, and espressos are sourced by hand from sustainable coffee farms, and are always small batch and hand-roasted. Get him his caffeine fix via mail every month with this coffee subscription (starting at $8).

Send him a box full of deliciousness with Mouth’s curated Father's Day gift box ($99), packed with addictive man-cave munchies like crispy bagel chips, smoky beef jerky, single-malt scotch caramels, jaw-dropping cookies, and cheesy mustache crackers. Trust us, he won’t want to share.

Make Your Own Fun at Home

While there are certain activities that are still off limits due to COVID19 restrictions, that doesn’t mean you have to resort to Netflix. Throw a family game night with some great board games plus snacks. Or sign the family up for a virtual escape room. Try starting the evening with a beer tasting—collect a variety of microbrews and set up a tasting table (for grown-ups only!). You could also take a trip around the world with these virtual museum exhibits. Maybe that Grand Canyon trip got cancelled? Check out these virtual tours of national parks and monuments.

Alternatively, set up a tent in the yard for a camping trip close to home. And if you’re up for an adventure, take a drive to one of these pop-up drive-ins and settle in for an old fashioned movie experience.

Create a Memorable Meal

Goldbelly delivers some spectacular meals from well-known American restaurants. For example Sinatra’s favorite sandwich from New Jersey’s famous White House Subs—a delicious Italian classic stuffed with Genoa salami, provolone cheese, and imported ham on freshly baked bread. Make it your own with lettuce, tomato, chopped peppers, and oil and vinegar. Or maybe dad would prefer some Tennessee barbecue? Named “The Best Barbecue Joint in Tennessee” by Southern Living magazine, Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous’s Memphis ribs dinner includes 12-14 ribs, plus sides, and will feed a family of four.

If you haven’t planned ahead, try making one of these restaurant recipes from famous regional eateries. And if you’re in a Phase 2 area, many restaurants are open with outdoor seating—just make sure to call for a reservation because we’re anticipating these being busy! If all else fails, there’s always Seamless or Grubhub ready to deliver from your local favorites. Either way, Dad will be well-fed and grateful for your effort.

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Shana Liebman


Shana Liebman is the features editor of NYMP. She’s a writer and editor who has worked for magazines including New York MagazineSalon, and Travel & Leisure—and she is the mom of two energetic little boys.

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