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Father’s Day is a big deal in Spokane! From events, brunches, and fun gifts, Spokanites take it seriously. Did you know Father’s Day began in Spokane? Learn about Sonora Smart Dodd’s inspiring story and discover exciting Father’s Day events and activities in Spokane. Check out our gift ideas and make this Father’s Day special!
Did You Know Father’s Day Started in Spokane?
It’s true! In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd (one of six children raised by her father, William Smart, a widower) established a Mother’s Day equivalent for male parents. She wanted to create a holiday to honor the work her single father did.
Dodd was inspired after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, and she believed her father, a Civil War veteran who cared for his six children after his wife died in childbirth, had plenty of reasons for praise.
According to History.com, Dodd went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea. She used her prominence in the Spokane community to gather endorsements, and Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.
Father’s Day itself however did not gain national prominence until 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge recognized Father’s Day and encouraged states to do the same. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an official proclamation calling for the third Sunday in June to be recognized as Father’s Day. And to think – it’s all thanks to Sonora Smart Dodd’s hard work and love for her father!
Father’s Day Events and Activities Around Spokane
Of course, Father’s Day has evolved a lot since the early 1900s. Nowadays, many people get together to celebrate Father’s Day, showering Dad (or the Dad figures in their lives) with love and sometimes gifts, crafts, activities – and of course, food!
If you’re looking for fun things to do with Dad this year, take a look at the events, activities and more below.
1) Father’s Day at Riverfront Park
Riverfront Park is the place to be on Father’s Day weekend! From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., head downtown to enjoy discounts on Looff Carrousel rides (Dads ride free with the purchase of one regular ticket!), SkyRide (Dads ride free with the purchase of one regular-priced ticket), and more.
Plus, if Dad gets hungry or thirsty, head to the Sky Ribbon Cafe for delicious drinks and fun food options.
After you’re done enjoying the Carrousel and SkyRide, head over to one of the many playgrounds at Riverfront Park, or take a short walk around to see the Hoopfest court. Don’t forget a picnic blanket if you want to enjoy some snacks under the Pavilion!
2) Father’s Day at Mobius
While you’re downtown, head over to Mobius, where Dad’s, grandpas and uncles will all get $2 off their admission for the whole day.
All month long, enjoy Mobius’ STEAM Lab of Weaving and Reusing Workshop, plus more fun events.
3) Dad’s Day Dash
SNAP’s Dad’s Day Dash will take place at Manito Park for a 5k or 1 mile fun run/walk beginning at 9 am.
Learn more and register here!
4) Father’s Day BBQ Beer Brunch at the Spokane Club
Celebrate Dad or another special man in your life at the Spokane Club’s Father’s Day BBQ Beer Brunch on Sunday, June 18 from 10 am to 2 pm. The BBQ Beer Brunch is free for Member Dads!
If you’re not a Spokane Club member yet, we highly encourage you to sign up and let them know Everyday Spokane sent you! The Spokane Club has been instrumental in helping us meet new people, find new friends, plus enjoy exercise and other fun events in a beautiful downtown setting. Check it out if you haven’t yet!
5) Double Dad Dare Ya with Coil + Hogwash
Try something new with a 90-minute aerial arts intro class at Coil Studio, then enjoy a handcrafted drink of your choice downstairs at Hogwash Whiskey Den!
Absolutely no experience necessary. This fun Father’s Day workshop is for dads of all varieties: bio dads, pet dads, step dads, moms, nonbinary parents, or simply people who embody “dadness,” as long as you’re 21 or older!
Double the fun (quadruple?) by bringing a buddy! Dads unite!
Drink coupons can be redeemed for up to a week after the class date. Non-refundable.
Register for this event here.
6) Donuts with Dad at Brew It Coffee Co.
On Sunday, June 18, head to Brew It Coffee Co. from 8 am to 4:30 pm for free donuts while supplies last! There will also be coloring for the kids and photos with Dad.
7) Father’s Day Game at the Ballpark
Take Dad out to the ballgame at Avista Stadium on Sunday, June 18 beginning at 1 p.m. The Spokane Indians will be celebrating all the amazing Dads, Step Dads, grandpas and father figures in attendance. Plus, this year Spokane native Craig T. Nelson will be there – plus, stay around after the game for Pizza Factory Catch on the Field!
Get your tickets here.
8) Brats and Brownies Week at Beacon Hill
Get a meal the whole family can enjoy from one of our favorite places – Beacon Hill! That’s right, Beacon Hill is at it again with delivering an incredible meal for Father’s Day. Trust me when I say run, don’t walk, when it comes to ordering from Beacon Hill.
Beacon Hill’s food is fun, creative, and delicious! Here’s what you’ll get this Father’s Day:
- Sonnenberg’s Beer-braised Brats (Dad just finishes on the grill.)
- Outdoor Rolls, Stone Ground Mustard, Caramelized Onion Spread
- Candied Bacon and Whiskey Baked Beans
- Classic Potato Salad
- Half Dozen Beacon Hill Brownies
Place your order soon here, because these always sell out!
9) Shaken, Stirred and Smoked with Davenport X Spiceology
The next Davenport x Spiceology dinner is taking place at the Davenport Grand’s Table 13 on Friday, June 16. Enjoy “an evening of smoke, spice, beer, wine, whiskey and more. Six courses, two chefs, one unforgettable evening of food and drink. The evening will kick off at 6pm in the Grand Restaurant with a welcome drink and starter bite, and guests will be seated in Table 13 at 6:30 for dinner.”
Get your tickets here!
10) Father’s Day Pies from Birdie’s
Get your Dad something he really wants: a pie (or several…) from Birdie’s! You can choose from an array of yummy pie options, including Peach Crumble, Salted Caramel Candy Bar, German Chocolate (my fave!), chicken pot pie (my husband’s fave!) and many more. Birdie’s also has gluten-free options!
Place your order here.
Gift Ideas for Father’s Day
1) Subscription to the Grill Masters Club
Speaking of grilling, if you want to get your grill-happy father a great gift, get him a subscription to the Grill Masters Club!
Known as ‘the best BBQ box’, your Dad will receive a monthly delivery of the best grilling and BBQ goodies hand-selected by a certified BBQ pitmaster. What could be better than that?!
2) Celebrate Father’s Day with Some New Hops!
Maybe Dad is less into grilling and more into trying cool new brews – in that case, get him a subscription to the Hop-Heads Beer Club!
Every month, your gift recipient will receive a variety of hoppy beers from two or more breweries, plus a newsletter detailing tasting notes, beer and brewery profiles, and recommended food accompaniments. If your Dad (or the Dad in your life) loves hoppy beer and learning about it, this is the perfect gift!
3) Gift Basket from Harry & David
Not sure what to get for the Dad in your life? I got your back! Whenever I wasn’t sure what to get my father-in-law (who lives out of state, so taking him around to local events wouldn’t work!), I always visited Harry & David.
There’s a gift for any kind of Dad at Harry & David, from mixed nuts to gourmet cheeses, cheesecake medleys and, of course, all different kinds of in-season fruit.
4) Bartesian – Robot Bartender
Does your Dad love cocktails, or entertaining, but doesn’t necessarily like being stuck behind the bar mixing drinks? Or does your Dad love tech and cocktails? If either one of these describes your Dad (or the Dad person in your life!), definitely check out the Bartesian.
We have a Bartesian, or as we call it, our “robot bartender”, and it’s amazing! You can pick from a variety of drink mixes, like Rum Breeze, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, Mai Tai and much, much more, than choose the strength of your shot (Light, Regular, or Strong – you can even choose to add no alcohol!) and just watch your robot bartender mix your drink. Yes, it is very cool and such a unique gift for Dad!
Take a look at how the Bartesian works in action below:
5) The Gift of Spirits from Around the World
Some of my best friends are now Dads, and just because someone became ‘Dad’ doesn’t mean they’ve lost interest in some of their favorite things – like trying new spirits! One of the best gifts I ever bought for a Dad-friend was a three month subscription to Flaviar, which delivers craft spirits from all around the world.
While I purchased my friend the whiskey subscription, you can also get Father’s Day (and any day!) gifts for rum, gin, tequila, mezcal, brandy, vodka and more. Choose from a monthly membership, 3-month membership or 12-month membership and getting a tasting box every month curated from Flaviar. Try it out here!
We hope you and your family have a lovely Father’s Day, however you choose to celebrate it.