20 Ideas For Father’s Day Celebrations

The first Sunday in September is Father’s Day in Aotearoa, so get inspired to treat the father figure in your life with our ideas for gifts, crafts, recipes and awesome experiences – not forgetting a huge dose of hugs!

What is a father? Someone who can recite numerous corny jokes at the drop of a hat? Someone who insists on another game of peekaboo before tucking baby into bed? Someone you can look up to and rely on, no matter what? Whatever Dad means to you, you will find ideas to celebrate his special day in our Father’s Day guide.

If you’re unable to attend attractions on Father’s Day, admission vouchers make a great gift idea to be enjoyed at a later date.

#1: Give him the whole universe

Grab your dad or fatherly figure and catch a planetarium show together at Space Place in Wellington. Dad can sit back and chill while taking in the show. E-gift cards are available. Find out more.

For a unique gift idea, treat him to an Adopt a Star pack!

#2: Weta’s movie magic

Treat dad (and the family) to a movie making experience with a Weta Workshop Tour. Learn about props, costumes and creatures from Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Avatar and more and see the artists at work. Find out more.

Gift vouchers are available for Weta Workshop Tours in Auckland and Wellington.

#3: Explore Orana Wildlife Park with the family

Experience the ultimate animal adventure at Christchurch’s Orana Wildlife Park – NZ’s only open range zoo. Observe gorillas and orang-utans, hand-feed giraffe, meet the rhino, see kiwi, enjoy the antics of cheetah, and so much more! The Park contains a children’s playground, large picnic areas, a café and wildlife themed gift shop to make it a fantastic day out for everyone! Find out more.

Orana Wildlife Park offer admission vouchers for a great gift idea. Contact them on 03 359 7109 or info@oranawildlifepark.co.nz.

BONUS! New Zealand is a country that is renowned for adventure. So, for a Father’s Day gift this year, why not treat dad to an awesome experience that he will remember for years to come! Here are our top 10 picks for an adventure-filled experience.

Creative cards

Nothing says ‘Happy Father’s Day’ like breakfast in bed and a handmade card. Gather up the kids, whip out the craft box and let them make one of these five cool cards for dad.


#4. Pixelated pop-up heart card

The FREE printable template makes this card an easy card craft for kids.

#5. iDad card

A real iPad is uber-expensive, so here’s the next best thing – this clever card is perfect for tech-loving dads.

#6. DAD letters card

This card is one of our favourites! The simple letter design of this card can be personalised by the kids with colour, drawings and embellishments for the perfect card to say, Happy Father’s Day.

#7. Shirt and tie card

It may be the closest dad gets to a shirt and tie on the weekend, but this beautiful card is easy to make – just follow our ste-by-step instructional video.

#8. Dad jokes

You can choose a traditional, “I love you, Dad” message in your homemade card. Or, if he’s a bit of a joker (and aren’t they all?) then choose one of these ‘Dad’ jokes for a giggle.

The way to a man’s heart

Most kids won’t have the means to go out and buy their own gifts for dad, so a great idea is to get them in the kitchen (with a little help from mum) and cook up some food that’s full of love! Whether it’s breakfast in bed, a delicious cake, or a dinner fit for a king, we’ve got recipes to get you through the entire day.


#9. Bacon and egg cups

Serve up these bacon and egg cups as breakfast in bed, or decorate the dining table with cards and flowers and invite dad to dine with you.

#10. Tandoori chicken wraps

If you’re heading out for the day, pack a picnic with some of dad’s favourite treats. Don’t forget these tasty  Tandoori chicken wraps!

#11. Teriyaki beef

Blokes love beef – well mine certainly does! This asian-inspired Teriyaki beef dish is quick and easy and the greens make it a little healthier than the standard steak, egg and chips.

#12. Super-easy rocky road

For dads with a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with Rocky Road. This recipe is for true chocaholics!

#13. Dad’s celebration cake

The day is all about dad so make a cake that’s all about him too! This Father’s Day cake is simply constructed from two round cakes to spell out DAD.

BONUS! For more great recipes for dad, check out our Father’s Day recipe round-up that will take him from breakfast and brunch through to dinner and dessert!

Homemade gifts

Try not to shudder at the heading of this section … there really is some cool projects that the kids can work on that won’t fall apart three seconds after they’ve gifted them, or that drop glitter around the home for the next fortnight!


#14. Retro garden markers

Does dad have a greenthumb? Make his day with these retro garden markers to keep track of the homegrown veges this summer. They’re easy to make, waterproof and made from recycled materials.

#15. Popsicle stick keepsake box

Go crazy with the popsicle sticks (you can buy them from discount shops) and create a handy little box, perfect for everyday use for stashing keys and coins.

#16. Foo bookmark

If dad loves a good book (or just wants to keep his place in the TV guide!) this cute bookmark makes a practical craft for kids to make.

#17. Homemade gift coupons

Print out these cute gift coupons, staple them together and you have a whole host of present promises from hugs and an uninterruped lie-in, to a clean car and a night off dishes.

#18. Lolly jar with rosette

It’s a trash to treasure craft with a sweet result! Fill the lolly jar with his favourite sweet treat and pop on a rosette ro remind him who’s the best.

#19. Lion note-holder

The one thing parents need (apart from sleep) is communication! So this cute little note-holder makes the perfect place to pop those important reminders or little notes.

#20. Father’s Day photo

Even if the budget won’t stretch to a professional photographer for a Father’s Day sitting, you can still create a memorable photo that any dad will love. Get snapping with this memorable gift for dad.

BONUS! For more gift ideas for dad, watch the how-to videos for 5 fantastic crafts for Father’s Day.

This article was originally written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.


  1. kymmage 30/08/2018 at 5:57 pm

    I suggested a nice outing with the kids, just him and them. Apparently he wasn’t born yesterday 😉 the kids love making him cards and I have gotten him some movie tickets. Breakfast in bed sounds like a plan. Some great ideas here.

  2. dawnblyth 27/08/2018 at 12:55 pm

    We have been to the gardens before and made Dad a big photo frame with leaves, feathers, sticks etc glued onto a piece of card and put into a frame. Homemade and an adventure memory in one. I think this year we will make something for Dad and send it to him – my youngest loves creating at the moment so that can be his job 🙂 with some help from Mum and the eldest brother too 🙂

  3. Mands1980 23/08/2018 at 6:40 pm

    Our kids usually make Father’s Day cards at school but if they don’t we do them at home home made. A Lolly jar sounds good my husband is mad on Lollys so that would be an easy present to prep we have lots of jars around for preserving fruit etc. simply spending time with Dad is the best present for kids they love spending precious time when dad isn’t working.

  4. Bevik1971 21/08/2018 at 4:02 pm

    Our 5 year old daughter makes Dad a card for Father’s Day and we will make him breakfast in bed too 🙂 He appreciates that the most

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