With Father's Day quickly approaching and some restrictions still in play, finding things to do with dad can seem limiting, but we have some solutions.
Dads may come in all different shapes and sizes and with varying tastes, which can make choosing something unique to do with them all the more challenging. That's why this list offers a variety of fun suggestions. You are bound to find at least one thing your dad might like. If you don't, it might be fun to pick one your dad hasn't done and try it out.
There are numerous fantastic golf courses right here in St. Albert and Sturgeon County. If kids are participating, many golf courses have an age limit, so be sure to ask before you book a tee time.
You don't have to write off golf if you're with young children, though. Some courses are still happy to accept them.
Matt Mah, the golf professional at Cardiff Golf and Country Club, said parents don't need to worry their kids won't play through quickly enough.
"Usually, the parent will figure out after a while what their child can do and play from the age-appropriate tees. If it's a junior and especially if they're younger, you can start them from the 150-yard or 100-yard marker to make the course play to their skill level," Mah said
If a child is really young and has never played, Mah said the driving range is always a great fun option. "Starting them at the driving range is good here because we have the grass range, but we also have the chipping green, and I know when I was a kid we could spend hours out there," Mah said.
An added benefit is most courses have a food and beverage area or restaurant, which means dad can golf and have a meal while spending the day out with the family.
The word "Dad," for the most part, is synonymous with barbecue. And why shouldn't it be? The smell of delicious food cooking on a grill with a cool drink in your hand makes for a fantastic day.
If your dad is the barbecuing type, forgo the expensive outing and get him his favourite food to grill, maybe a new gadget or two for his outdoor kitchen, and make a day of it.
What does dad need to take his grill-master skills to the next level? Matt Lundberg from Backyard Grills said that for him, the most essential thing is a quality thermometer.
"I cook to temp and not time. So, somebody asks when's dinner going to be ready, and the old way would be, a steak will be ready in five to 10 minutes, but to me, the steak is done when the temperature is right and not when five to 10 minutes is done, because then it's going to either be overcooked or undercooked and that's why the best tool in barbecue, besides a grill, is a quality instant-read thermometer," Lundberg said.
Craft beer tasting
Of course, there couldn't be a mention of barbecue without the mention of beer, more specifically craft beer. The popularity of craft beer has increased, and so has the number of breweries in Alberta, including in St. Albert.
If craft beer is your dad's go-to beverage, or even if he loves beer but hasn't ventured over to the craft side, perhaps a patio tasting and some food is the perfect activity.
Matthew Atkins, co-owner of Endeavor Brewing Company, said if you have never done a craft-beer tasting, be open to new things. What you end up liking might surprise you.
"You don't know what you don't like until you've tried it and never judge a beer by its colour because some people say they only drink lagers and they expect it to be light, whereas I can make a lager and it will be dark and malty, and they will actually like it," Atkins said.
If there are kids ages 10 and over and dad is adventurous, paintball is a great family day. This activity can lead to some soreness the day after.
Raymond Chow, the owner of SPG Paintball in Sturgeon County, said booking ahead is best. It's also an activity better played in larger groups – an excellent fit for larger families.
"An average of 10 people usually stay for two to four hours, and I find that they use about one to two boxes of paintballs which is about 4,000 paintballs," Chow said.
Most paintball places offer full rentals of equipment, so there is no need to have your own.
If your dad likes to fish or is a patient man and would like a relaxing day by the water waiting for the fish to bite, this might be your safest bet.
Pack a lunch and some fishing gear and head down to one of the many waterfronts where fishing is allowed.
Joe Dwyer, the Morinville Fish and Game Association president, said Morinville is a great place for that. "What a lot of people don't know is that the Morinville Fish and Game, we actually put quite a few fish in three places in Morinville," Dwyer said.
Dwyer said Heritage lakes, Cardiff park, and the Morinville Fish and Game Association pond, received 5,000 to 6,000 fish between them. People can freely fish in any of these spots as long as they have the proper fishing licence.
"Of course, you need a fishing rod and a little bit of bait, and away you go," Dwyer said. Bait can be bought at the Shell in Morinville and some of the area gas stations. You can get your fishing licence online at mywildalberta.ca.