June 21 is Father’s Day! If you are looking for fun activities to celebrate with Dad this Sunday (or really any day), Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley have got you covered. Here is our own personal “insider” list of the best things to do with your father or father figure.
NOTE: For all activities that involve being in public, guests are asked to wear face masks, practice social distancing, and wash hands/use hand sanitizer frequently. Click here to read about COVID-19 protocols and what to expect when you visit.
1. Cast a Line.
At Brandywine Creek State Park, fish for small mouth bass, bluegill, and crappie in Brandywine Creek and for trout in Wilsons Run. Lums Pond State Park offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the state and is periodically stocked with striped bass. The small ponds of White Clay Creek State Park offers year-round fishing for bluegill and crappie in addition to catch-and-release bass. Want the help of a professional? A Marblehead Fly Fisher offers some great guided fly fishing trips in and around our region. Or maybe you and Dad already have your own favorite secret fishing spot?
2. Hit the Green.
There are numerous top-quality public and semi-private golf courses in Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley. Deerfield Golf Club, Delcastle Golf Club, Ed Oliver Golf Course, Rock Manor Golf Course, and White Clay Creek Country Club at Delaware Park are some of our favorite places to play.
3. Bond Over Beers.
Our area is home to a bunch of great breweries and tasting rooms, so grab Dad and take in some suds and sun! Most have outdoor seating. Iron Hill Brewery, now 16 locations strong, is one of our best known. Its beers regularly medal in the Great American Beer Festival. And did we mention the food is awesome too? Bellefont Brewing Company, operated out of a warehouse/storage space, is also popular weekend spot. If you get hungry, food trucks roll in on the weekends. For a full list of all beer-centric locations and to map out your own beer trail, click here. You and Dad can make a full day (or two) out of it.
A Day with Dad in Greater Wilmington
4. Celebrate with His Favorite Food.
Is it all-you-can-eat crabs? Try Lestardo’s Crab House … and their special crab sauce. Is BBQ dad’s thing? Then he’ll dig Locale BBQ Post. How about fried chicken? Lettie’s Kitchen (currently only open for curbside pickup) has some of the best around. Other restaurants like Harry’s Savory Grill are offering special dine-in menus in honor of Dad’s special day. Harry’s also has a ready-to-cook Father’s Day Grill Pack you can enjoy at home. For a full list of restaurants to choose from (there are so many), click here. Please note that most restaurants open for dine-in are requiring reservations due to COVID-19 protocols, so be sure to call before you go. Take-out is still an option at most places as well.
5. Take to the Water.
If you’ve got your own boat, why not take a cruise down the Christina, tie up at the public dock on the Wilmington Riverfront (it is free), and treat Dad to lunch at one of the restaurants here? A number offer outdoor dining. Or, take a trip down the C&D Canal for a stop at Grain H20. Tie up at one of the transient slips at Dock G and enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the water. If paddling is more your dad’s thing, Wilderness Canoe Trips offers canoe, kayak and tube trips with transport on the Brandywine River.
6. Give Dad Some Inspiration for His Home Garden.
The gardens of 630-acre Mt. Cuba Center reopened to the public June 17! Treat Dad to a visit to this spectacular display of more than 1,000 native plants, many of which are threatened by extinction. Or, give Dad a gift card for future admission to Longwood Gardens, Hagley Museum or Winterthur (or all three)! Winterthur will be open to the general public July 1. Hagley and Longwood Gardens are open to their members now and will announce dates for opening to the general public very soon.
7. Take the Family Out for Homemade Ice Cream.
A scoop of this summer staple is sure to put a smile on Dad’s face. And we’ve got some excellent homemade ice cream spot for you to choose from. At Woodside Farm Creamery, ice cream is made on-site using milk from a herd of Jersey cows. And be sure to try our favorite flavor … Motor Oil. Another good pick is UDairy Creamery. Its flagship location is near the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture & Natural Resources’ dairy farm in Newark, Delaware, college students make and serve over 34 rotating ice cream flavors year-round. Both are currently offering drive-through service only. For more area locations specializing in this tasty frozen treat, click here.
8. Go for a Bike Ride.
The 14.8 round-trip Jack A. Markell (JAM) Trail is a great way to spend the day with Dad. The trail connects the Wilmington Riverfront with historic New Castle, winding through scenic marsh lands and waterways. Hungry? There are lots of good dining options at the Riverfront and in New Castle. Once you reach New Castle, take a breather in Battery Park and watch the ships go up and down the Delaware River. Or stroll the town’s cobblestone streets and admire the colonial architecture. No bike? No worries. You can rent them at the Riverfront right at the start of the trail at the DuPont Environmental Education Center.
9. Have an Adventure.
Looking to shake things up this Father’s Day? Have a tree top adventure at Go Ape! located in Lums Pond State Park. Navigate through the treetops and even cross the water using Double Stirrups, Zigzag Trapeze, Flying Carpet, Canyon Crossing, two Tarzan swings and FIVE zip lines. It’s loads of fun for the whole family. Or, treat Dad to a little axe throwing with Wilmo Axes at the Wilmington Riverfront’s Constitution Yards beer garden. With a trained axe master to guide you through the process, hurl real axes and see who comes closest to hitting the targets. Reservations are required for both activities.
10. Try Your Luck at the Slots.
The slots are open at the Casino at Delaware Park! Let Dad spin to win and, who knows? Maybe he will hit the jackpot. Horse racing simulcasting is also open, Dad can also watch and wager on horse races from the leading tracks across the U.S.
There are so many ways to celebrate Dad in Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, on Father’s Day and every day of the year. For even more things to do with Dad, go to www.visitwilmington.de.com.