Father's Day 2024: What to Do on Father's Day

Father's Day 2024: What to Do on Father's Day
Father's Day 2024: What to Do on Father's Day

Why We Celebrate Father’s Day

Father’s Day celebrates and honors the men who have embraced the essential role of fatherhood. On this day, we also thank fathers and father figures (uncles, grandfathers) for the sacrifices they make, for embracing the responsibility of nurturing and raising children, and for their devotion to their families.

When Is Father’s Day 2024?

Father’s Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and a number of other countries around the world.

In 2024, Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, June 16.

Father’s Day DatesYearFather’s Day2024Sunday, June 162025Sunday, June 152026Sunday, June 212027Sunday, June 20

Many countries celebrate this holiday at other times of the year. In Australia, for example, Father’s Day is held on the first Sunday of September; in Norway, Sweden, and Finland, on the second Sunday in November; and in some Catholic countries, on March 19 (St. Joseph’s Day).

Father’s Day Ideas

This year, Father’s Day falls a few days before the summer solstice (June 21, 2023), which makes it the perfect time to kick off the summer season with a father-focused barbecue, camping trip, beach day, or other outdoor activity!

  • Camping: Enjoy a night under the stars the weekend of Father’s Day. See our star map for the major constellations! Of course, a big part of camping is cooking outdoors! See 10 great camping recipes, including Hobo Packs!
  • Cooking: Grill out some grub! How about our favorite Super Steak Sandwich? Or find 10 more recipe ideas at the bottom of this page.
  • Fishing: How about a great tackle box or something Dad needs in his tackle box? See our article, What to Put in a Tackle Box.

Who “Invented” Father’s Day?

Like Mother’s Day, the modern American version of Father’s Day has a history that goes well beyond greeting cards. The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, after hundreds of men died in the worst mining accident in U.S. history. The Sunday service happened because of the efforts of Grace Golden Clayton, the daughter of a dedicated reverend.

While missing her own dad, who had died in 1896, Mrs. Clayton wanted to honor the many fathers who had died in the mining explosion, which killed more than 360 men and boys, and left about 1,000 children fatherless. Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honor fathers, it did not turn into an annual event, nor was the idea promoted (a large July 4 celebration in Fairmont and a tragic young death from typhoid fever took over the news at the time).

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Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd. The mother of Father’s Day was raised by a single dad. Credit: Visit Spokane

Father’s Day Gains Momentum

Several other people across the nation had similar ideas throughout the years, but Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd is credited for being the one to popularize it, starting events that led to Father’s Day becoming a U.S. national holiday.

Her story began as she sat listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Mrs. Dodd thought that it might be nice to honor fathers as well. Her father, William Smart, had raised his SIX children alone on his farm in Washington after his wife died giving birth. Mrs. Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a “father’s day.”She chose the 5th of June because it was her father’s birthday.

The idea received strong support, but the good ministers of Spokane asked that the day be changed to give them extra time to prepare sermons on the unexplored subject of fathers. The first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington, was observed on June 19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June), and became an annual event there. Soon, other towns had their own celebrations.

Despite widespread support, Father’s Day was not a permanent national holiday for many years. It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that Father’s Day be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.

Why did it take so long for Father’s Day to pass into law (unlike Mother’s Day, which was quickly embraced)? Read the full history of Father’s Day.

Top 10 Father’s Day Recipes for Dad

Cook for Dad! Our deliciously satisfying recipes will make Dad one very happy customer!

1. Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary and ThymeThis is our go-to flank steak recipe—so mouthwatering and easy to prepare! We like to pair the steak with grilled asparagus—and a garlic smashed potato or Mediterranean pilaf recipe.

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Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary and ThymePhoto Credit: hlphoto/shutterstock

2. Country-Style Root Beer-Glazed RibsIs Dad a ribs guy? These are absolutely juicy, mouthwatering, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth. Here’s another rib recipe if it’s more to your liking: Maple BBQ Ribs.

Country-Style Root Beer-Glazed RibsPhoto Credit: Cappi Thompson/shutterstock

3. Bourbon and Brown Sugar-Glazed SalmonIf Dad’s not a meat guy, how about salmon? The marinade adds a lovely flavor without taking away from the salmon.

Bourbon and Brown Sugar-Glazed SalmonPhoto Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

4. Stuffing-Breaded Pork ChopsIf you’re cooking indoors, how about some comfort food for Dad? Thanks to the breading, the pork comes out crispy on the outside and deliciously juicy on the inside.

Stuffing-Breaded Pork ChopsPhoto Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

5. Chicken Wings With Sesame and GingerDoes Dad like to watch the game? These wings, fully flavored with sesame and ginger, are good cold, too. Great for a picnic basket, too, so a flexible recipe choice!

Chicken Wings With Sesame and GingerPhoto Credit: Coffeemill/shutterstock

6. Baja Fish TacosA good use for a fresh catch, perhaps? Cool, tangy cabbage slaw cozies up to crispy fish in these tasty Baja Fish Tacos. They are easy to make and delicious to eat!

Baja Fish TacosPhoto Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

7. Super Summer SlidersDad deserves a super burger! The sweet and savory topping is killer, and the chili base adds an unexpected kick. What an absolutely fantastic combination of flavors!

Super Summer SlidersPhoto Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

8. Daddy’s Meat LoafFrom the recipe’s author: “This is how my dad used to make it. Everyone who has eaten it just loves it. I love it because it reminds me of him.”

Daddy’s Meat LoafPhoto Credit: Timolina/shutterstock

9. Grandpa’s Baked Beans Need a side at your cookout? These are the best baked beans. It’s the ultimate comfort food—so savory and flavorful.

Grandpa’s Baked Beans

10. Grandpa’s Banana BreadIf you can’t meet for a meal, how about bringing Dad some banana bread? This recipe comes from the author’s grandfather in Minnesota, who used to make the best breads you’ve ever tasted.

Grandpa’s Banana Bread

Find some great recipes for the grill—from kabobs to vegetables!

Father’s Day Poems

It’s always tough to think of a fitting message for your Father’s Day card. So, here’s a selection of some of our favorite poems about what being a father means.

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Only a dad, but he gives his allTo smooth the way for his children small, Doing, with courage stern and grim, The deeds that his father did for him. This is the line that for him I pen, Only a dad, but the best of men.-Edgar Guest (1881-1959)

My father moved through theys of we,singing each new leaf out of each tree(and every child was sure that springdanced when she heard my father sing).-E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

He never made a fortune, or a noiseIn the world where men are seeking after fame;But he had a healthy brood of girls and boysWho loved the very ground on which he trod.They thought him just a little short of God;Oh you should have heard the way they said his name—‘Father.’-Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—Builders of life’s companionship!Oh, I envy them, as I see them thereUnder the sky in the open air,For out of the old, old long-agoCome the summer days that I used to know,When I learned life’s truths from my father’s lipsAs I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.-Edgar Guest (1881-1959)

Father’s Day Quotes

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”-Clarence Budington Kelland, American writer (1881-1964), about his father

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”-Umberto Eco, Italian novelist (1932-2016)

“His heritage to his children wasn’t words or possessions, but an unspoken treasure, the treasure of his example as a man and a father.”-Will Rogers, Jr., American politician (1911-93)

“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”-Unknown

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have any great quotes about fathers? Or, some favorite memories of growing up with Dad? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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