Spare no expense

The Father's Day BBQ & Bowl is happening on Father's Day, from noon to 4 p.m., at Wamesit Lanes, 434 Main St., in Tewksbury. Treat Pops to a BBQ buffet and one hour of free bowling — and free shoe rental. Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for children 10 and younger, and free for children 4 or younger. Book your time now at

Tie him to a steak

If you prefer to have your BBQ in your own backyard, Alpine Butcher at 963 Chelmsford St., in Lowell is the go-to destination for quality meats. Family-owned since 1913, Alpine Butcher holds true to the idea that excellent customer service make for an ever-growing business.

Slow-roasted top sirloin at Alpine Butcher in Lowell
Slow-roasted top sirloin at Alpine Butcher in Lowell (file photo)

"Tomahawk steaks are a pretty popular choice around this time of year," says Ryan Obdens, butcher and manager at Alpine. "We'll definitely have a lot of those — as well as marinated steak tips — in high supply."

Fireworks for father

If you want to treat your dad to a dazzling nighttime spectacle, The Starburst fireworks show is a feast for the eyes. Happening on Father's Day eve, Saturday, June 15, Starburst is a free event at Doyle Field on Priest Street, Leominster. There will be fireworks, music and the award for Citizen of the Year. Festivities begin at 4:30.


(file photo)

Paddling with Pops

So fireworks aren't your dad's bag? For the fathers who prefer to explore nature at night, spend Father's Day night with Nashoba Paddler in Groton. Full Moon Canoeing begins at 7 p.m., at 398 West Main St.; paddle onto the Nashua River at dusk. As you await the rising of the moon, keep your eyes peeled for the creatures of the night, like owls and beavers. Register at


Spin a gem for Dad

Another Father's Day staple is the Great American Pastime: Baseball!

Is it a coincidence that the Lowell Spinners' opening weekend just so happens to fall on Father's Day weekend? I think not! The Spinners' home opener against the Connecticut Tigers is Friday, June 14, at 7:05 p.m., at Edward A. LeLacheur Park, 450 Aiken St. The Spinners are a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, so celebrate the big club's 2018 World Series victory with a World Champion banner giveaway and a ceremonial banner-raising ceremony. Plus, you could just see the next Mookie Betts.

Blaze a trail

Of course, not every dad is big on watching baseball; some prefer to actually be part of the action rather than watch it from the stands. For fathers who may fancy a bit of trailblazing on their special day, the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest is the place to be. This massive forest earned its name for its incredible size (it lies in all three communities), and is filled with more than a thousand acres for hiking and biking. Plus, there are countless ponds that make ideal spots for boating and fishing. The forest is open from sunrise to sunset.

The Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest
The Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest (courtesy

Queen for the king

Does your dad have passion for classic rock? I know my dad does. While I would love nothing more than to travel back in time to take my dad to a Queen concert, that unfortunately is not possible — yet. Until then, there's an ideal substitute at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra is performing the music of Queen from June 14-16; tickets are still available for the 4 p.m. show on Father's Day. Perfect for old fans and new, the URO promises to bring audiences back to a time when the music sounded a little different (and, dare I say, better?) It's "guaranteed to blow your mind" — and dad's.

Styx and snacks

Sometimes, though, all dads really want is to have a nice, cold drink with the family. If your father or a father you know fits this description perfectly, River Styx Brewery, 166 Boulder Drive, Suite 112, in Fitchburg, is open to patrons of all sizes, dogs included! Featuring hand-crafted beer and pub snacks crafted by local vendors, River Styx brewing is open from noon to 8 p.m., on Father's Day, just enough time to grab lunch or dinner (or both).

What do you get the man who has everything?

This is a question I find myself asking every year when June rolls around, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Dad's awesome, but he's hard to shop for, right? Some gifts are too practical, others too lavish. Finding that happy medium between useful and fancy is a traditional challenge most of us endure when shopping for Father's Day gifts.

Luckily, there are quite a few places around to help you find the perfect present for dear old dad for Father's Day, Sunday, June 16.

No matter what you decide to do on Father's Day, make sure your message is clear: I love you, Dad.