PHOTOGRAPHERImage by Eda Onay for COOLS

Every third week in June, most of us have the same thought: how I can make my dad feel special and all loved for Father’s Day without having to buy into the trap of consumerism? Truth is, when it comes to making your Father’s Day special, it’s not really about getting him the latest pair of shoes or designer bag, or even taking him out to an expensive dinner. It’s about quality time, and sharing fun Father’s Day activities that you like to do together.

1. Create a Spotify Playlist

I don’t know about you, but every time I listen to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or any song by The Police, I automatically think of my dad. Don’t we all have songs that bring us back to childhood memories with our dads? Put together a playlist of all the songs that remind you of him. You’d be surprised at how happy it can make Dad to know that he’s on your mind and in your Spotify.

2. Liberty Island or Ellis Island Ferry Trip

One of the most enjoyable things to do in New York is to watch the hectic city from afar—plus, the cool breeze bonus. Take the ferry to Liberty Island, tour the grounds, and snap your best photo with Father and Lady Liberty. You can also board the ferry to Ellis Island and check out the Immigration Museum, and perhaps even view genealogy records of your ancestry.

3. Mister Sunday Day Party

Who said partying is only fun with friends, or at night? Take your dad for a boogie at this all-ages, dog-friendly outdoor day party in Brooklyn. Mister Sunday happens every Sunday from 3pm to 9pm. There’s a food truck with killer Caribbean food, a barbecue stand, and a full bar with everything from drinks like margaritas and draft beer, to health tonics like kombucha and maté. The party’s rain or shine; all ages are welcome, dogs too on a leash.

4. Citi Bike Ride and Picnic at Governors Island.

Another great ferry ride within the city is to Governor’s Island, which has lately seen its industrial past redeveloped into vibrant green spaces. Among these is Four Freedoms Park, which is architect’s Louis Kahn memorial to FDR and offers some of the most spectacular views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts.

5. Train Ride to Cold Spring town & Magazzino Museum

Cold Spring is a charming town on the bank of the Hudson River, famous for its cute cafes, antique and vintage shops, and definitely check out Cold Springs Apothecary. Once you’re there you can also go to Magazzino, a stunning and vast contemporary art space dedicated to post-war and contemporary Italian art.

Looking for ways to feed Dad on Father’s Day? Check out our favorite brunch recipes.

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