It’s tough to buy gifts for Dad. But with Father’s Day this Sunday, June 19, it’s time to try.
Shirts and ties are nice, but cliche.
There are only so many “Kiss the Cook” aprons or bottle-opener-on-spatulas you can give him for the grill.
Binge-watching “Game of Thrones” is a possibility. If the NBA Championship goes to Game 7, that will be on Father’s Day. The PGA U.S. Open’s final round is Sunday.
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But not all dads want to sit around. For those, there are a few unique things you can do for Dad to celebrate Father’s Day – no matter their activity comfort zone.
Take him fly boarding: If your Dad is an extreme sports kind of guy, give him an opportunity to fly board on Lake Murray. Lake Murray Watersports and Entertainment can teach him and take him on a fly boarding jaunt. It’s described as “a water-powered jet pack.” Water pressure is directed from a personal watercraft through a 55-foot hose. This hose splits into two nozzles right under your feet, and lifts you out of the water.
“It’s an exciting thrill, to do something completely different,” said Darrell Harbour, co-owner of Lake Murray Water Sports and Entertainment.
Harbour took his father fly boarding on his 71st birthday. “It’s a fun thing to do, and it’s very safe,” Harbour said. “And about anyone can do it.”
See www.lakemurrayentertainment.com/watersports for details, including pricing.
A moonlight ride: Have a dad who’s not quite that extreme, but still likes outdoor activities? Take him on a nighttime kayak ride. Saluda Shoals Park offers an opportunity to see Lake Murray by a near-full moon on Moonlight on the Murray. There happens to be a trip Sunday, June 19, on the eve of the full strawberry moon.
“It is a beautiful, relaxing way to end the day,” said Bryan Senn, a park ranger at Saluda Shoals. “These are some of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see.”
It’s an easy, leisurely trip suitable for inexperienced paddlers.
Take a tour: Perhaps Dad is more of an inside guy, whose favorite exercise involves curling his wrist toward his mouth while holding a cold beverage.
Then sign him up for a tour on the Columbia Brew Bus.
“He’ll get to try at least 12 different beers,” says Cameron Powell, co-founder and co-owner of the Brew Bus.
The bus takes folks on a tour of three Columbia breweries: Conquest, Swamp Cabbage and River Rat.
“We spend an hour at each,” Powell says. “They get full flights, at least four four-ounce pours.”
Participants then get a behind-the-scenes tour of the breweries.
There are snacks and water on the bus, along with coolers in case you want to buy Dad a growler or two on the tour.
Take him out to the ballgame: If Dad’s favorite activity is to watch others be active, gift him with a ticket to a Columbia Fireflies baseball game.
The Fireflies are out of town this weekend, but that’s not stopping them from celebrating Father’s Day. It will just be a month later – on Sunday, July 17.
The Father’s Day (a little late) package is $50 and allows Dad a pre-game catch on the field (take your own glove, but you’ll get a ball to take home). After the game, Dad can run the bases. The package includes two tickets to the Homerun Porch for the game and two food vouchers for a hot dog, chips and soda.
If you don’t want to wait that long, buy him Bullpen Box seats. This gives you high-top table seating for four guests located down the left field line directly behind the home bullpen. Wait staff will take care of Dad while he watches the game in a relaxed restaurant-style atmosphere. And no waiting in concession lines for food.
Go to the Strip Club: So perhaps your Dad isn’t interested in sports. Chances are, he would like a good steak. Columbia has several good restaurants that will keep your Dad from having to grill his own. One of those is Carolina Strip Club.
You may want to explain to Mom exactly what you’re doing, though.
The restaurant is having some specials for Dad, and they all come with a complimentary house wine, or domestic beer or dessert for Dad. Meal selections include USDA Grade A prime certified Angus beef ribeye; slow roasted prime rib with gouda potatoes au gratin and green beans; surf and turf (New York strip and firecracker salmon with mixed vegetables and wild rice); and crispy chicken breast with grilled corn on the cob and white truffle mashed potatoes.
Carolina Strip Club steak house, 902 Gervais St. (803) 764-4017, www.carolinastripclub.com