Arts & Culture News

10 Ways to Bond With Dear Ol' Dad on Father's Day Weekend

Don't let this happen to your dad on Father's Day. You can do better.
Don't let this happen to your dad on Father's Day. You can do better. Courtesy of Pixabay
Father's Day is coming up fast, and chances are you've completely forgotten to schedule something fun to do with the old man. You just got done making sure that your mother was properly honored, and your plans for her completely overshadowed Father's Day. He also hasn't said anything because not sharing his personal disappointments is part of his fatherly duties.

It's not too late to plan the kind of adventure that most dads dreamed of going on before you came along, and the ones we've picked don't even require taking a plane trip across the country. Those opportunities are sitting right here in your city. (Unless you're reading this from a city other than Dallas — in that case, you're on your own.)

click to enlarge COURTESY TEXPLEX
courtesy Texplex
Rip up the outdoors at Texplex Park
Texplex Park
881 Miller Road, Midlothian
9 a.m-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Prices vary

Chances are your dad spends his days working behind a desk. But maybe he once had dreams of being an off-road motocross racer or working construction and ripping up the dirt with big machines. Give him the opportunity to live out his dream by taking a trip to this amusement park in Midlothian. Texplex Park lets everyone from novices to pros ride super-fast off-road machines and play with construction equipment like some billionaire construction company owner. The only difference, of course, is that it's supervised by experts who know how to operate them.

Scream at the roaring engines of race cars at Devil's Bowl Speedway
Devil's Bowl Speedway
1711 Lawson Road, Mesquite
7:30-11 p.m. Saturday

Maybe the old man had dreams of becoming a professional racer but his carsickness prevents him from going more than 30 mph on the tollway. You can still fulfill his lust for fast cars and gas fumes without upsetting his delicate constitution. The Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite is hosting its weekly championship series Saturday, and it features spring car races, modified and limited modified cars, and factory stock cars.

Go for a long drive on the Adrenaline Rally Poker Run
$475 and up

So your pop has that dream car he's always wanted, but he never finds an excuse to take it out for a drive because he's worried about his insurance premium going up if anyone breathes on the car the wrong way. The Adrenaline Rally lets the owners of fancy sports cars go for a race without violating driving laws. This Saturday, car lovers will race from Dallas to Tulsa for a special Adrenaline Rally Poker Run race in which the racers try to build the best poker hands they can at a series of stops along the route.

Rock out to his favorite music at Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
10261 Technology Blvd. E.
7 p.m. Saturday
$5 and up

For years, your dad let you listen to the music you wanted to hear whenever you had to share a ride with him. For once, let him listen to his favorite tunes and don't roll your eyes when he starts rocking out to the classic rock station. The Gas Monkey Bar and Grill is hosting a special classic rock tribute show Sunday featuring a slew of rock tribute bands like The Doors tribute group The Doors Hotel and the Led Zeppelin tribute group The Zeppelin Project.

courtesy Reunion Tower
Enjoy a meal overlooking the city at Reunion Tower
Reunion Tower
300 Reunion Blvd. E.
11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday
Prices vary

Don't settle for taking your dad to his favorite diner for his special day. Spring for something with a view that's way better than the dumpster where the scraps from your meal are eventually going to end up. Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas and the Cloud Nine Cafe have scheduled a special Father's Day gathering Sunday featuring tasty meals and a free photo and koozie for the old man that he'll fondly remember the next time he needs something to keep his bottle of beer from becoming so much lukewarm backwash.

See a special movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Cedars
Alamo Drafthouse
1005 S. Lamar St.
Rio Bravo at 1 p.m Sunday.; The Shining at 4:30 p.m. Sunday

Although Father's Day is on a Sunday, it's a crime that it never falls in the middle of a football season. All your dad really wants to do is sit back and watch something he enjoys without anyone complaining about his kinglike control of the remote. The Alamo Drafthouse Cedars in downtown Dallas will screen some movies that dear old dad likes to watch, including the classic John Wayne and Dean Martin western Rio Bravo paired with some special whiskey drinks, and the Jack Nicholson horror classic The Shining. Try not to read too much into that last one. It's just a damn good movie. That's all.

Go skydiving without the risk of dying at iFly
8380 State Highway 121, Frisco
9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
$69.95 and up

So your dad has always talked about wanting to go skydiving, but he's never been able to do it because there's that whole part where he'd have to jump out of a plane 10,000 feet above the Earth with nothing but a thin piece of nylon fabric keeping him alive. There's a way for him to take baby steps without jumping out of a plane before it leaves the runway. The iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Frisco lets people experience the thrill of falling out of a plane without actually falling out of a plane. Instead, they stick them in a clear cylinder with a high-powered fan underneath the floor that keeps them aloft while expert instructors guide them on their not-so-perilous journeys.

Show his cardiologist who's boss at the Dads and Grads BBQ and Brewery Tour
Pecan Lodge
2702 Main St.
10:45 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

All year, your dad has been watching his cholesterol and limiting his intake of alcohol and fatty, slow cooked meats. He's constantly full of energy and has a spry spring in his step. In fact, he's the healthiest you've ever seen him. He's earned a chance to end his healthy winning streak with one day of binging. The Dallas by Chocolate Taste Tours will take dads and the family members who dare to go with them on an epic Father's Day tour of Dallas' best barbecue joints and breweries, so he can stuff his face with as much smoked meat and beer as his lower intestine can handle.

Enjoy some true culinary masterpieces at CityMenCook
1135 S. Lamar St.
3 p.m. Sunday

Maybe your dad knows how to cook food that's interesting and tasty and not piled so high that you could park a team of air traffic controllers on top of it. Gilley's will host a special culinary gathering on Father's Day called CityMenCook. The gathering will attract acclaimed chefs from across the country to show off some of their tastiest creations and tricks of the trade with dads who love to cook for their families.

Gawk at some hot rides at the seventh annual Calvary Car Show
Calvary Baptist
401 W. Church St., Grand Prairie
3 p.m. Saturday

Some dads don't need to hear those three little words to know that you love them (but if you aren't sure what those words are, you should probably seek counseling). All you have to do is spend some time with them doing something you know they love like looking at old cars and hearing them reminisce about the classic rides they tore around town in during their younger days. Chances are he'll find his old ride Saturday at the seventh annual Calvary Car Show in Grand Prairie. Car collectors from around the area will bring their beloved classic rides, from sleep hot rods to those giant, old-timey bicycles with the big front wheels. If your old man has one of those cars, he can enter it into a contest for a special prize drawing and bragging rights for the rest of the year.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.