We’ve rounded up special Father’s Day events in Northern Virginia, plus places to go and things to do in the Washington DC region for fun with Dad all year long. We have suggestions that are active or relaxed, kid-friendly or adult-focused, and even activities perfect for hard-to-please teens.
2020 Update: Many of our favorite annual Fathers Day events are canceled due to current health restrictions. Fortunately, there are still some fun events on our list and we have lots of suggestions for more ways to celebrate your favorite Dad.
Below are things to do and see in the DC region that are perfect for Father’s Day outings or fun with Dad throughout the year. After all, why limit Dad to just one day of fun? Annual Father’s Day events in Northern Virginia are listed next, in order of date and destination.
Fun Northern Virginia Hikes with Dad
Combine a little history, a shady hike, and a relaxing glass of wine with a trip to Charming Clifton, Virginia. Start with a hike on the Bull Run – Occoquan Trail, then relax with a glass of wine at Paradise Springs Winery There are several great restaurants in the center of Clifton VA, from casual to fancy. We love burgers and BLTs on the patio at the Main Street Pub.
History buffs open to a longer distance will enjoy the First Manassas Loop Trail, a 5.5-mile hike through sites of the battle of First Manassas. Follow your hike with a visit to the historic Winery at Bull Run. Or pack a picnic lunch and take Dad on a short hike to a gorgeous Virginia view. If the day is hot, we recommend the shady Great Falls hike over the open fields at Manassas Battlefield.
Relaxed Parks and Scenic Drives
For a relaxing stroll, head over to the beautiful wetlands boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park. It’s less than a mile from the Visitor Center to the observation tower along an ADA-compliant woodland path and boardwalk over a unique hemi-marsh. Further south, the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk is perfect for a stroll as long as it isn’t too hot out.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is another good destinations if you have young ones in your Father’s Day group. We saw snakes, skinks, frogs, and a giant snapping turtle from the Huntley Meadows boardwalk, and there are giant turtles and koi in the pond at Meadowlark. The paths are stroller-friendly, and there are special places for kids to explore. Seating areas throughout the gardens offer lovely spots to sit and relax with Dad.
A scenic drive on the historic Snickersville Turnpike in Loudoun County includes general stores, historic sites, and winery stops along the way. Closer to Washington DC, take a scenic drive on Georgetown Pike and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Or combine a fun ferry ride and historic parks on a scenic drive along the Virginia and Maryland border.
Outings with Dad: Brews and Views
Virginia is home to a thriving craft beer scene, and Virginia beer trails are a perfect way to sample local brews with beer-loving Dads. You’ll find delicious brews with amazing views at Dirt Farm Brewing in Bluemont Virginia. You can easily combine a Dirt Farm visit with a hike on the Appalachian Trail at Bear’s Den Overlook.
If Dad prefers to bike, head to Caboose Brewing Company in Vienna. They offer a wonderful line-up of delicious craft beers and food in a sleek, relaxed space right on the W&OD bike trail. The LoCo Ale Trail has a large and growing collection of great breweries spread throughout Loudoun County. There are so many Northern Virginia craft breweries popping up, why not plan a regular outing with Dad?
If Dad prefers wine, you can sip with a view at these Northern Virginia wineries with sensational views.
Show Dad Some LOVE
Capture the perfect Father’s Day family photo at one of the creative and fun LOVEworks in Virginia. Make it a day trip and head to one of the themed LOVE sculptures that honor fishing, wine, nature, and other activities. Ot visit the newest LOVE in Northern Virginia on the Town Green (aka the squircle) in Lovettsville.
Fun with Dad at Lakefront Parks in Northern Virginia
2020 Update: Lakefront parks are open for hiking, fishing, and picnics, but marinas, boat rentals, and other facilities are still closed.
Lakefront parks are perfect for Father’s Day fun. Burke Lake is home to excellent boating and fishing. Boating at Burke Lake gives older teens an opportunity to hang out with the family while maintaining a little independence. Teens 16 and older can pilot their own boat rental, so you’re together, but not too close. There’s also an 18-hole disc golf course if you’re looking for a different sports challenge. If you have younger kids in your group, take a ride on Burke Lake Park’s miniature train and play a round of mini-golf.
At Lake Fairfax Park you can enjoy a picnic, watch the action at the skate park, and hike or fish at the lake
At nearby Lake Anne, rent a kayak or paddleboat for a trip around the lake, then let the kids cool off in the waterfall sculpture. Several restaurants, the Lake Anne Brew House, and a wine bar are great stops for Father’s Day fun.
Annual Father’s Day Events in Northern Virginia
Father’s Day at Mount Vernon, Open with Restrictions
Just in time for Father’s Day, Mount Vernon will reopen to the public with reduced capacity and new restrictions in place. During the Phase I reopening, the mansion and other interior buildings will be closed. On Father’s Day, “General Washington” and other character actors will and history interpreters will be positioned throughout the estate to tell stories and answer questions. In addition, visit the animals in the historic area and see the trades team working on the Pioneer Farm. Enjoy a picnic from the food truck on the 12-acre field or dine outdoors at the Mount Vernon Inn. Activities included with admission; 9:00 – 5:00.
Celebrate Dad Seafood Boil, Manassas, Available to go June 21
Surprise dad with a visit to 2 Silos Brewing/Farm Brew Live and pick up an Annual Seafood Boil to go (pre-order by June 17). Enjoy delicious craft beer and a family-friendly seafood boil feast.
Father’s Day Celebration at B Chord Brewing, Bluemont, June 21
Head to B Chord for the 3rd annual Father’s Day Celebration. The outdoor event features a day of live music, great brews, pizza, and giant Bavarian pretzels. This is a family-friendly event and admission is free. Social distancing and capacity limits will be in place, so reserve a table to guarantee your spot. 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Taste of Reston, Reston Town Center, Postponed to Sep 25 – 26
Celebrate Dad with a weekend of food, drinks, music, and family fun. Live entertainment performs on four stages throughout the festival, with kid-friendly activities at the Family Fun Zone. Local chefs present culinary demonstration at the Wine & Dine area. Beer, wine, and drink tickets are $1, or $20 for 24. Friday 4:00 – 11:00, Saturday 11:00 – 11:00; entry and parking are free.
Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display, Air and Space Museum, Centreville, Canceled
Indulge Dad’s love of aviation at the Smithsonian’s Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. More than 50 vintage, recreational, military, and home-built aircraft will be on display, and pilots will be with their aircraft to answer questions. There will also be vintage cars on hand, paired with the planes of their decade, plus other interactive activities. Attendance is free; parking is $15. 10:00 – 3:00
Plan your visit: Smithsonian Air and Space Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Sully Antique Car Show, Chantilly, Canceled
The 46th annual Sully Antique Car Show, the largest car show in northern Virginia, features foreign and American cars, trucks and specialty vehicles through 1990. More than 400 antique and classic vehicles fill the grounds, accompanied by live entertainment, a food court, activities, and tours of the historic house and outbuildings. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for children. 10:00 – 3:30
Annual Manassas Jazz Festival, Manassas, Canceled
Now on Saturday, the Manassas Jazz Festival features headline jazz artists, Virginia farm wineries, Virginia craft breweries, and local Virginia distilleries. Spend an intimate and relaxing afternoon enjoying great jazz and local fare. Advance tickets are $35/$20 for tasters/non-tasters. 12:00 – 7:00
Father’s Day at Colvin Run, Great Falls, Canceled
Fathers and grandfathers can tour the mill at Colvin Run for free when accompanied by a paying child. Treat Dad to a free wood carving lesson from noon to 4:00 with the Northern Virginia Carvers. Regular Colvin Run admission is $7/$6/$5 for adults/students/children and seniors. 11:00 – 4:00.
An Indoor Option for Father’s Day Fun in Northern Virginia
2020 Update: The Udvar-Hazy Center is currently closed.
The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly displays some of the most impressive items of the collection. Space Shuttle Discovery, a Concorde, and a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and hundreds of other historic planes occupy two huge hangars at the museum. Aviation buffs can explore the displays, visit the tower to watch planes land and take-off at neighboring Dulles Airport, and watch a movie at the IMAX. On Father’s Day weekend there are even more historic aircraft on display (see details above).
Where do you like to spend quality time with a favorite Dad on Father’s Day or any time of year? Please share your tips in the comments below. We’re always looking for new places to explore in Northern Virginia and the Washington DC region.
This article was published in 2018 and updated in 2019 and 2020.