Your Guide to the Bay Area’s Best Father’s Day Events and Ideas for 2017

My own father is humble about his impact on the family’s happiness. But despite this humility, I can still see in his eyes how much he cares when he’s singled out for appreciation. This year, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 18th, and it’s the perfect time to return the happiness and generosity that he offers just by being who he is every day.

I can already tell you what we’re going to be doing on Father’s Day: We’ll be welcoming our first session of campers. And it will definitely be a party! We love seeing all the dad’s proudly (and nervously) dropping their kids off at camp. We love to take photos of dads and their campers on this special day. But if your kids won’t be heading off to camp quite yet and you’re looking for an idea of what to do for Dad, check out this list of family-friendly possibilities throughout the Bay Area. We’ve scoured local offerings for special outings and events and also brainstormed creative at-home ideas, so there are options for every family.

2017 Father’s Day Events in San Francisco

North Beach Festival

Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, 2017


Grant Ave and Columbus Ave, San Francisco

If you’d enjoy spending a day or even a whole weekend in the city with the family, the North Beach Festival 2017 is a great option for casual activities and exploration. Entrance to the event is free, including live music on multiple stages, views of the impressive Italian Street Painting, and the Kids’ Chalk Art Area. Then, you can browse through loads of arts and crafts and gourmet food vendors.

Presidio Kite Festival

Saturday, June 17, 2017


103 Montgomery St, San Francisco

At this free family event during Father’s Day weekend, you can build a kite, learn from high-flying experts, and see artistic kites on display. Of course, you’ll also join the community in flying kites together. Bring your own, in case the shared supply of kites runs out. Get some fresh air as you run around in the sunshine together.

Father’s Day BikeAbout

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Sloat Blvd and Great Hwy, San Francisco

Bring your bikes and enjoy a leisurely guided ride through the zoo before the crowds arrive. Then, share a continental breakfast and spend some more time visiting the animals. If you’re interested, hurry up and register because the spots are limited!

2017 Father’s Day Events on the Peninsula

San Mateo County Fair

Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, 2017


1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo

The San Mateo County Fair will be hopping all the way through Father’s Day weekend. In addition to the typical carnival adventures and live entertainment, you’ll find booths for local artisans and farmers, as well as educational exhibits focused on agriculture and sustainable living, fine arts, and even culinary arts. Smash Mouth will be playing on Saturday and Dia de la Feria on Sunday. Purchase concert tickets separately. If anyone is feeling bold and adventurous, they can enter the Extreme Apple Bobbing Contest on Saturday or the Limbo Contest on Sunday.

2017 Father’s Day Events in the North Bay Area

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the Musical

Mountain Play Outdoor Theatre

Sunday, June 18, 2017

2pm matinee

Mount Tamalpais, San Rafael

The Mountain Play outdoor theater is absolutely unique, built into Marin’s Mount Tamalpais. You can plan for an entire family day here, enjoying the pre-show entertainment, hiking, puppet shows, and face painting, among other activities before and after the show. And, of course, the main event is a well-loved Broadway musical with an intricate open-air set and a live orchestra. Bring cushions for sitting on the amphitheater’s stone benches, a picnic lunch, sunscreen, and layers. Buy tickets ahead of time, and be sure to read over the information on parking and accessing the venue because on-site parking is limited.

Northern California Pirate Festival

Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, 2017


298 Mare Island Way, Vallejo

You read that right! It’s a pirate-themed festival for the whole family. You can explore pirate encampments and a mermaid lagoon, brace yourself for canon firings at noon and battles at 2pm, and browse booths of crafts and gourmet foods. You can expect that most of the visitors will be dressed up in costumes as well, so start planning yours. For kids, there’s a pirate school, a 30-foot slide, zip line, treasure hunts, and costume contests.

2017 Father’s Day Event in the South Bay Area

Father’s Day Camp Night

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park

Saturday to Sunday, June 17–18, 2017

3050 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy

If Father’s Day weekend isn’t the start of your kids’ Kennolyn Camp session, here’s an exciting alternative: an overnight campout Saturday night and then Sunday spent exploring Gilroy Gardens’ family theme park. The park has more than enough to keep the family occupied for the whole day, with land and water playgrounds, unique rides for all ages, and remarkable trees and other stunning garden features to explore. Meals are even included in the camping package. If you’ve never taken the kids tent camping before, this is a great way to get started!

2017 Father’s Day Event in the Santa Cruz Area

Hats Off to Dad

Roaring Camp Railroads

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Open from 9am–5pm

Father’s Day Steam Trains depart at 11am, 12:30pm, and 2pm

5401 Graham Hill Rd, Felton

Not far from our home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Roaring Camp Railroads is a fun-filled Western-themed town with train rides, hikes through the coast redwoods, restaurants, and old-fashioned activities that make you feel like you’re really spending time in a logging town from the late 1800s. The special Father’s Day steam train ride includes an engineer’s cap for every dad who orders a Chuck Wagon BBQ platter and a surprise train robbery! Reserve train tickets for the whole family in advance.

2017 Creative, DIY Father’s Day Events and Activities

A Baseball Brunch Event in the Bay Area This Father’s Day

The Giants won’t be at home on Father’s Day—they’ll be in Denver playing the Rockies—but you could plan an event around the noon game on TV. The A’s, on the other hand, will be at home, playing the Yankees, with a 1:05 start time. So, whether you’re at the ballpark together or watching from home, you can take advantage of the game spirit and celebrate Dad at the same time. Plan a brunch barbeque or hot dog bar and outdoor games before the first or after the ninth inning. Regardless of the game score, your party will be a winner if there’s something for everyone to get involved in.

Summer Camp-Inspired Campfire with S’mores

Take a page from the summer camp book by planning an outdoor event with a campfire, s’mores, stories, and songs. It will definitely be memorable and make the most of the nearly-summer setting. Find out from Dad what he wants to eat, what games he wants to play, what songs he wants to sing.

For more ideas for how to plan your own special Bay Area Father’s Day event, check out this great guide to creative family celebrations. Start planning now, and you can get the whole family involved in imagining the best Father’s Day celebration around his interests and favorites.

For other creative ideas and discussions, check out our blog. We can’t wait for camp to kick off on June 18th, and we hope to see you soon for your kid’s start of camp or for a tour to introduce you to our one-of-a-kind camp community. Get in touch today to find out more.

Image Source: Flickr user Evil Erin

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