It’s time to celebrate dad! Whether he’s dad, daddy, papa or stepdad, Sunday 19 June is his special day. If you are stuck for ideas on how to celebrate and where to start on for what to get dad, let us offer you some inspiration…

Father’s Day activities

A great way to spend the day is by taking part in all the action of the forest. If your father figure is the adventurous type, New Forest Activities 'Father's Day Papa's Paddle' is the ideal choice. Explore the Beaulieu River in stable canoes as you spot the different wildlife species and the kids learn a new skill! Dad will even be treated to a 'boat bevvy' along the way.

Image - New Forest Activities

There’s lots of fun to be had at the Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre, Bransgore, including the centre’s Tree Top Trail which includes various obstacles and the chance to zip line between the trees. The trail will be open both the Saturday and Sunday and costs £12pp. Also running across the weekend are 90-minute outdoor activity sessions where you can take your pick from canoeing, archery, climbing, paddleboarding and much more. 

Why not engage in some unique woodland activities? At Insight Activities, Fordingbridge, dad can learn the ancient skill of archery, master medieval axe throwing, and take aim with rifle crossbows. You can book all three activities with the popular Medieval Trio! Get involved as a family with archery for ages 6+ and all other activities 12+. For groups of 6 or more, reconnect with our ancestral way of life with bushcraft experiences. Activity gift vouchers are also available.

Image - Insight Activities

You might also want to look at a family bike ride, we’ve loads of off-road tracks for you to follow. Why not hire some cycles from one of our hire shops and combine your ride with a pit stop at a pub or café along the way?

Daddy days out

Take dad out for the day at some of our family friendly attractions. On Father’s Day, dads/grandads go free into Hurst Castle when accompanied by their children/grandchildren (offer applies to castle entrance only). With fantastic views of the Isle of Wight from the top of the Tudor keep and plenty of open spaces for children to explore, it’s a great day out for the whole family.

Image - Hurst Castle

There’s heaps of fun to be had at Paultons Park – with thrilling rides and rollercoasters to meeting Peppa and the gang at Peppa Pig World. Dad will also love exploring all of the cars and motoring exhibits to be found at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.

Explore BRICKOSAURS! Evolution, the world-first collection of 55 prehistoric creatures at Marwell Zoo (a short drive from the New Forest). Walk in the footprints of giants and spot your favourite animals along the way! Don’t forget to download the new app for fun facts, a park map and a dino quiz!

Image - Marwell Zoo

For other options, you could whisk dad around the grounds of Exbury Gardens aboard their miniature railway, take a scenic walk along the New Forest’s coastline or head to some of our animal attractions such as the New Forest Wildlife Park.

Treat your dad to a Father’s Day feast

Of course a great way to relax over Father’s Day is to take dad out for a meal to remember! Opt for some cosy New Forest pubs (perfect for a post walk rest) or choose to go to a laid back café or tea room for some tasty treats.

Image - The Bold Forester

The Bold Forester pub near Dibden Purlieu will be running their “Big Daddy Roast” on the day; a selection of three meats, seasonal vegetables, a giant Yorkshire pudding, their famous fluffy roast potatoes, apricot stuffing, chipolatas, root vegetable mash and lashings of homemade gravy!

It’s sure to be a popular day to take dad out, so we’d recommend booking in advance.

Gift ideas to treasure

If you aren’t able to go out and about on the big day itself, why not buy dad vouchers for outdoor activities to be used in the future instead? New Forest ActivitiesThe New Forest Paddle Sport CompanyInsight Activities and Escape Yachting are just some of our local activity providers who sell gift vouchers for their experiences.

Image - The New Forest Paddle Sport Company

If dad isn’t able to go with you to the New Forest, or you are looking for something for him to sample whilst he’s staying here, pick up some of our local produce for him to try this Father’s Day. New Forest Cider sells cider and apple juice from their shop in Burley and just down the road, a stop at Burley Fudge Shop is a must.

Image - New Forest Cider

You’ll also find local wines on sale from some of our vineyards or farm shops and a range of plants on sale at our garden centres so you’ll find plenty of places to find that perfect gift for dad.

Keep an eye out on lots more Father's Day events taking place in the New Forest on our dedicated webpage.

We’d like to wish all the dads out there a very enjoyable Father’s Day here in the New Forest!