What does dad want this Father’s Day? A recent non-scientific poll provides a sampling of responses across the age spectrum from young dads to those with grown children and even from grandfathers. The primary takeaway from the results is that spending time with your dad on Father’s Day fulfills his heart’s desire. Gifts and family get-togethers are great, but what dad most wants is to be with you this Father’s Day in Pierce County.

“I really just want to spend Father’s Day with my boys. The activity is less important. But, a ballgame or day in a park (picnic, throwing a ball around) are always good choices,” says Timothy Hunt, father of two teens and survivor of COVID-19 that nearly took his life.

“My son was born within a couple of days of Father’s Day. I always told him that he was my present, so he didn’t have to buy me anything. All I really wanted was a few hours of his time. — to spend the day or the afternoon with me, talk about his life or his dreams. There is no more valuable gift,” says Brady C. Wright, MBA, hot rod enthusiast and podcaster.

“Being a little older now, I’m fine with my sons and their wives just hanging out at the house. Maybe we’ll cookout but having time with them is all I’m really after. That’s the gift,” says Scott Stockdale, first-time grandfather, as of May 19, 2021, with the birth of Caroline Marie.

“More times than not, it seems like we are always turning cattle out onto summer pasture on Father’s Day — it’s kind of a tradition. It’s a family affair, and I like it that way. I get to ride with my daughter, her husband and my grandson. My granddaughter will probably be old enough to join us this year, and that completes the circle for now,” says Tony Vagneur, lifelong cattle rancher and horseman.

Father's Day Pierce County
Create a unique Father’s Day card fresh from scratch. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Cards and Calls

Create a unique Father’s Day card fresh from scratch with crafting supplies at home. Something so simple can mean so much when it’s from the heart.

If logistics make it impossible to be with your dad on Father’s Day, the next best thing is to make that all-important phone call.

Father’s Day Family Gatherings at Home and Dining Out

Hosting a cookout at home to honor your dad is at the top of the list of ways to bring everyone in the family together. Suppose there are any rifts in the family. If fences need mending or wounds need healing, Father’s Day weekend presents the perfect opportunity to step up and restore some family unity. None of us are getting any younger.

If you need some inspiration with your menu, you can avoid grocery shopping altogether. Stanley & Seaforts in Tacoma is offering a Father’s Day To-Go Menu that includes ready-to-roast Prime Rib for up to five people (order by June 17). Full-racks of BBQ ribs with sides and single-serving Prime Rib dinners are ready for take-out, too. 

Take Me Out to the Ballpark

The Seattle Mariners’ homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays runs June 17-20. All games start at 7:10 p.m. except on Father’s Day, with the game starting at 1:10 p.m. Ticket information and the schedule for the entire season are just a click away.

From June 17-22, the Tacoma Rainiers are away for a six-game series in Las Vegas.

Father's Day Pierce County
Checking out a new truck or SUV on Father’s Day in Pierce County can be fun regardless of if you are buying a new vehicle or not. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

As an aircraft aficionado, there’s perhaps no better resource for lift-off of your dad’s passion than with a visit to The Museum of Flight, which “showcases its collection of more than 150 historic air and spacecraft and related artifacts in unique and inspiring exhibits.” For the ultimate ‘over the moon’ visit, inquire about Premium Experiences. Timed entry tickets must be purchased in advance. 

Trainspotting is a passion for Dennis Mills of Tacoma, Eagle Scout and retired Washington State Parks Ranger. Father’s Day weekend could make for a fun excursion to take up this outdoor activity or even participate online via Facebook groups and YouTube channels dedicated to railroad fans. “Virtual Railfan is the group with the camera in Chehalis,” says Mills. “There’s also another camera in Skykomish. Plus, there are another 35 or so cameras across the U.S. Some of them are free, and some of them you need a subscription for.” The Friends of BNSF group requires membership to post and see others’ posts. He adds that this “group is pretty good.” Their page states, “Members of the group enjoy sharing their photos, videos, memories and knowledge relating to BNSF.” Another fun page anchored in the Northwest is the Pacific Northwest Railfan Group. With more than 267,000 subscribers, Virtual Railfan‘s slogan is, “We bring the trains to you.” The videos on their YouTube channel have racked up over 328,000,000 views. “Virtual Railfan is the premier provider for live train cams all over the United States providing live views from some of the most iconic railroading spots on earth.”

Dad won’t want to miss the museum-quality auto display in a massive showroom at Griot’s Garage flagship store. Find the garage filled with drool-worthy cars featured on the catalog cover(s). If you’ve never been there, the whole family will enjoy seeing the transformation of the long-abandoned building from its original Coca-Cola bottling plant to the pristine palace for car lovers. Their calendar is always chockfull of special events and, on Father’s Day weekend, it’s a double-header with two car shows:

Audi Expo on June 19 from 3 to 9 p.m.

Fairlane Club of America – Fairlane, Torino and Mercury on June 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tacoma is home to LeMay – America’s Car Museum. It was born of the mind-boggling private collection of Harold and Nancy LeMay’s 3,000 cars and trucks “celebrating America’s love affair with the automobile.” Its open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you can’t make it for Father’s Day, the following week, on June 26, the Alfa Romeo Exhibit opens and includes “Italian lite-bites, coffee and mimosas.” Tickets are available now.

If your dad has been dreaming of an SUV for the family or a new truck for work and toy-hauling, there’s almost nothing he’d enjoy more than to spend the afternoon visiting some auto dealerships to see what’s out there in the lots on South Tacoma Way, or out in Fife, Puyallup and Auburn “Little Detroit of the West” – and maybe even take a test drive.

Father's Day Pierce County
Aquarium stocked with game fish at Bass Pro Shops in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Mother Nature is Calling

Fishing season is open on area lakes now. Here’s a map of all the places you can Fish and Boat in Tacoma and Pierce County. Father’s Day weekend is ideal to get the family together to go camping, hunting, boating and fishing. All ages love the great outdoors but it all begins at Bass Pro Shops on South Hosmer in Tacoma. You could easily spend the whole day there – not just shopping for gear that will become treasured gifts from their selection of reels, rods, lures and tackle boxes – but to immerse yourself in the cavernous building complete with an aquarium filled with game fish and wildlife displays bringing every element of the outdoors indoors. Surprisingly, they don’t charge admission. It’s that good! It might just be the ultimate excursion for the fisherman without heading to the lake or mountains. The Great American Outdoors Group owns Bass Pro Shops in Tacoma and Cabela’s, just a short drive away in Lacey. Either store can provide full details on entering the upcoming Bass Tournament.

Father's Day Pierce County
Visit the cemetery in remembrance this Father’s Day in Pierce County. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Father’s Day Without a Father

Brenna Johnson of Fircrest, whose beloved mother passed away five years ago, recently enjoyed a reunion with her father in Colorado. She shared this thought about honoring the fatherless Father’s Day, “Single moms with no active dad deserve to be celebrated as both.” Yes, indeed. There are many today who are doing double-duty and whose commitment is worthy of commendation.

If your father (or other ancestors) has passed away, it might bring some comfort to visit the cemetery and reminisce in the serenity. Summertime allows for the placement of fresh flowers and living plants as memorial tributes. With two locations, perhaps best-known cemeteries in Pierce county are Tacoma Cemetery & New Tacoma Cemetery and Funeral Home; however, many others span Pierce County from border to border, including Buckley, Gig Harbor, Spanaway, and JBLM. They are all listed on the Tacoma Pierce County Genealogical website so visit those who are gone and pay respects this Father’s Day.

Make that call and mend those fences on Father’s Day. Celebrate dad with your time. It’s within your power to grant your dad this one wish for this year.

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