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Father’s Day: 19 Free & Thoughtful Ways To Celebrate

While there are plenty of amazing Father’s Day presents you can buy, let’s focus on what truly matters – thoughtful & altruistic gifts that are absolutely free! Most of these free Father’s Day gift ideas are perfect for kids to create for their dads and granddads, but many of them can also be easily adapted for your own dad too.

1. Cook Dinner With The Kids for Father’s Day

Cook Dinner With The Kids for Father’s Day! 

Lei Hang's daughter Yasmin cooking paella. - The Thrifty Island Girl

For those who don’t naturally enjoy cooking, having your favorite meal prepared for you without lifting a finger is pure delight. Your dad will surely agree as he savors every bite of home-cooked deliciousness. Like all other free Father’s Day gifts, a home-cooked meal is a fantastic opportunity to challenge yourself creatively and come up with unique, cost-free ideas. The BBC Good Food website has plenty of great Family Meal Recipes.

2. Father’s Day Breakfast In Bed

Who doesn’t love breakfast in bed, especially when it’s made and delivered by your own kids? I love it when my girl brings me breakfast in bed on Mothers Day, but dads can enjoy it too! A tray with a big mug of his beverage, his favourite breakfast, and a handmade card is sure to delight. Very Young kids can still safely get involved by serving juice instead of a hot drink and a bowl of cereal.

3. Explore Dad’s Old Photo Albums

Ask Dad to bring out his old photo albums from back in the day. The kids will be fascinated by the idea that there was a time when photos weren’t all stored on mobile phones or computers! Flipping through the albums together will spark memories and funny childhood stories, making for a fun and free Father’s Day activity.

I will be getting my dad’s photo albums out and showing my daughter Yasmin what her granddad used to look like. She then gets to see how different the fashion used to be compared to now.

4. Movie Night

Father's Day Movie Night with Lei Hang, Oliver Reade & Yasmin - The Thrifty Island Girl
Family movie night. From left Oliver Reade, Lei Hang & Yasmin

Snuggle up on the sofa together with a comfy throw and watch a movie that the whole family will enjoy. With many having a Netflix or Prime Video subscription already, why not make the most of it?

Our family favourites include:

  • Star Wars
  • The Hunger Games
  • Spiderman
  • Indiana Jones
  • The Goonies
  • The Lion King
  • The Karate Kid
  • Home Alone
  • Harry Potter
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Totoro

5. Help Wash Dad’s Car

Grab a sponge with the kids and clean daddy’s car. Since this can easily turn into a soap sud and water fight, the kids will love it!

6. Head To The Museum 

Lei Hang's daughter Yasmin at the British Museum - The Thrifty Island Girl
Yasmin visiting the British Museum

There are some great museums you can visit for free! It’s worth checking out which museums offer free entry local to you. Our favourite museums with free entry, when we are in London are:

7. Explore A Museum Virtually

Can’t get out for whatever reason or no free museums locally to visit? Don’t fret, there are some museums around the globe you could explore for free virtually as a family. If you have a large TV screen, why not screen mirror from the phone or laptop to the big screen, so the whole family can see?

8. Create a Father’s Day Throne and Treat Him Like Royalty

There’s a saying that every castle has a king, and who is more deserving of this title than your Dad? This is the man who watched you grow, cheered you on at school plays and matches, treasured your paintings and supported you every single day. So why not honor him like the royalty he is by setting up a Father’s Day throne? You could complete his look with a makeshift crown, scepter, and even a royal cape?

How to create a Father’s Day Throne:

To create a Father’s Day throne, grab a dining chair, cover it with some navy blue or ruby red fabrics. Don’t have any fabric, not a problem! There might be some tinsel in the Christmas decoration box that can be wrapped around the chair?

To design a homemade crown using cardboard for a personal touch, decorating it with stickers, glitter, tin foil etc. . To make it even more special, why not add a text such as ‘The World’s Best Dad’?

9. Create A Father’s Day Voucherbook

Free printable Father's Day vouchers - The Thrifty Island Girl
Pic credit: Nellie Design

I was just thinking about my last post I wrote about The Isle of Wight Voucherbook and thought why not create one using free printrables for Dad? Nellie Design has these cute Father’s Day Tickets you can fill out yourself. This way you can choose actives or things that your dad will love. If you staple them together on the side, you’ll have your very own voucher book for dad. Each child could write some coupons and combine them to make one voucher book.

10. Create A Special Family Video For Dad

If you have a child like me, who loves creating videos on their tablet or phone, get the kids to create a special Father’s Day Video. They could tell dad what they love about him most and their favourite memories that they share with him?

11. Have A Beach Day

Lei Hang enjoying the sun by the beach on the Isle of Wight - The Thrifty Island Girl
Lei Hang enjoying the sun

Since Father’s Day is in June, it’s likely to be warm enough for a beach outing. Don’t forget to apply suncream before heading out. Check out my post on Cheap & Best suncreams of 2024! .

12. Let Dad Have A Lie In

Got to love a nice and long lie in!

13. Make A Special Father’s Day Video

Create a short and special video with each member of the family sharing what they love most about Dad and their favourite memories with him. This is very personal and doesn’t cost a penny, as the video can be filmed using a phone or a tablet.

14. Hand Or Footprint Art

How to make a Father's Day trophy handprint art - The Thrifty Island Girl
Pic credit:

There is a plethora of amazing ideas for quick and easy art using hands or feet. I love this Father’s Day trophy by TheBestIdeasForKids.

15. Create A Playlist

When I was a teen, I still remember a friend giving me a personalised CD with our favourite music tracks and a heartfelt note. It’s a gift I’ll aways remember. Now that we have Spotify and Amazon Music, things are a lot easier.

Do you have songs that remind you of Dad? If so, create a playlist of songs that remind you of him and include some of his favourite songs.

Don’t have Spotify or Amazon Prime Music? Not to worry, find out How to get Amazon Prime for FREE and its benefits!

16. Play Video Games together

Yasmin playing arcade games with stepdad Oliver Reade
Yasmin & Oliver playing arcade games together

Embrace the nostalgia and help Dad reconnect with his inner child by spending the day playing some video games. Let him enjoy playing all his favourite childhood games.

As you can see from the picture above, we love playing the old arcade games as a family at home now and again. If you don’t have an arcade console at home, why not get a console that you already have at home out and play?

17. Explore Mars

Give Dad an out-of-this-world experience by taking him to Mars virtually! Check out Access Mars, a project by Google and NASA, where you can take a virtual walk on Mars with 360-degree views.

18. Run Dad A Bath

Us mums love it when someone runs us a bath, so why not run dad a bath with his favourite bubble bath or bath salts? I’m sure he’d love a nice long soak in the bath with a nice cup of tea.

19. Build A Den

Build a big den out of throws and cushions in the living room with dad and have hot chocolate in it.