Father’s Day, June 16, is on the horizon. What are you doing this year to celebrate and thank “Dad” for all he does? Buy him a tie? Take him to dinner? Isn’t it time you did something special, different and unique to celebrate Dad this year? Here’s a few fun suggestions.
Sail on a Tall Ship
24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point
Info www.ocean-institute.org or (949) 496-2274
Is your dad a bit of a pirate? Does he have a sense of adventure? Does saltwater flow in his veins? If so, a sail on one of the Southern California tall ships might make his day on Father’s Day this year. The Ocean Institute in Dana Point will be hosting its annual Father’s Day Adventure at Sea aboard the tall ship Spirit of Dana Point on the Saturday before the holiday. First, you’ll get breakfast on the institute’s historic wharf and then you’ll join the crew in handling lines and raising sails on a 2 1/2-hour trip at sea. You might even get to steer the ship!
Drive a Race Car
Auto Club Speedway Exotics Road Course, 9300 Cherry Ave., Fontana
Give dad the thrill of a lifetime and the chance to drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Indy Car, NASCAR or ride along in an exotic car with a professional driver.
Prior to driving on the track, all drivers will attend a detailed technical instruction in a classroom environment. Afterwards drivers will go on two discovery laps in an SUV driven by a lead driving instructor. Guests are then introduced to their personal driving instructors who sit in the passenger seat during the driving experience. The instructor ensures the drivers take full advantage of these powerful exotic vehicles while operating in a safe environment. After the experience, participants will receive a graduate certificate.
Father’s Day Barbecue Train
Fillmore & Western Railway, 351 Santa Clara St., Fillmore
Info www.fwry.com or (805) 524-2546
If you’re looking for a truly special adventure this year for Father’s Day, take your dad on a 2 1/2 vintage train ride through Heritage Valley with an onboard barbecue on the Fillmore & Western Railway.
Reservations are required to attend this special event. There are two train runs on Father’s Day: 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. Menu includes barbecue tri-tip and chicken or vegetarian pasta, potato salad, beans, bread and butter, and a chef’s special dessert.
Escape an Escape Room with Dad
Dads are problem solvers. It’s their nature. For dads who are fans of solving puzzles and horror movies, there’s truly no better way to make a memory than trying to get yourselves out of an escape room.
Fortunately, Los Angeles is loaded with these popular interactive attractions. Themes range from scary haunted rooms to others with a modern twist.
For those unfamiliar with the premise, an escape room is a real-life team-based puzzle game, where you are locked in an indoor space (almost always not physically locked in due to fire codes) and have to solve puzzles and complete tasks together to get out. There is also usually a narrative and story that motivates the game.
Some escape rooms allow you to bring a team of people with you to play for a set price, others will fill a room to a predetermined number of players, which may include strangers.
Here’s a menu:
12909 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342
A “funnel puzzle” where you will find numerous items and clues throughout the room. These items all come together to orchestrate your escape from a cannibalistic serial killer.
The Elevator Shaft
The highest tech room built at The Basement and it delivers an unmatched level of realism and intensity.
Chapter 3 of “The Basement” story with more complicated event and theatrical puzzles to solve.
The most ambitious room to date. Like, Chapter 1: The Basement, this is a non-linear funnel puzzle with multiple paths that must be traversed by different members of the group.
117 E 11th St, Los Angeles Ca, 90015
This room is like being inside a movie. Guests are immersed in a specially built set, with professionally crafted props. These props center around a very realistic bomb, which counts down from 60 minutes. Guests must solve all of the puzzles, and then disarm the bomb to successfully beat the game.
60 Out offers guests more than two dozen different escape rooms throughout Los Angeles county to explore. Visit Amityville, Titanic, Galaxy Quest, Wizard’s Workshop, Casino Heist, The Orphanage, Fire & Ice, Dracula and others for a different escape room experience each visit.
6434 Hollywood Blvd (corner of Wilcox), Los Angeles
This is a team-based virtual reality experience blending the escape room concept with a full 3D cinematic experience to deliver a unique and immersive adventure. More “kid-friendly” than most escape rooms.
Amazing Escape Room
16933 Parthenia Street, Suite 100, Northridge
The Amazing Escape Room in Northridge has five non-scary rooms including The Office, The Starlight Lounge, Mystery of the Red Dragon, The Roaring 20s and Escape the X Corporation.
Santa Anita Park, 285 Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007. Info: www.santaanita.com
Horse-racing offers the most exciting few minutes in sports as you wait tensely to see if your horse is first over the finish line. It’s a good bet that your dad would love a day at the races at Santa Anita Park on Father’s Day. Father’s Day ptoions include various brunches, including the Fifth Annual Drams for Dads Whiskey Tasting and Father’s Day Brunch, or a trackside “Summer Skewers and Brews” barbecue package offered on the Saturday before Father’s Day.
Take a Train
Travel around SoCal on a train. Metrolink will operate on it’s Sunday schedule and Amtrak trains will also be rolling along the rails. Here’s a few places you can go.
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
Travel to (or from) San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego in 5 hours 45 minutes. With multiple departures daily the Pacific Surfliner route offers a unique vantage on the Southern California seascape. To get a closer look, you’d have to be on a surfboard, which you’re welcome to bring onboard, since Pacific Surfliner trains have special racks to accommodate the bikes and boards.
Antelope Valley Line to Los Angeles Union Station. On Father’s Day trains run 8:45 a.m to 8:53 p.m. In the Santa Clarita Valley start your day by leaving from either the Newhall, Santa Clarita or Via Princessa stations to Union Station in Los Angeles.
Now you have to choose:
1. In downtown L.A. explore downtown areas like Olvera Street or Little Tokyo.
2. Transfer to the Metro Red Line to the 7th Street Station where you can board the Metro Blue Line to Long Beach.
3. Transfer to a Metrolink train to explore Orange County including Tustin and San Juan Capistrano
4. Take a ride on the Gold Line north to see where it goes.
Be sure to check timetables for trains returning to the SCV and note the times of the weekend trains, the schedule is different from weekday trains.
There are two “Golden Rules” of Amtrak travel.
1. Any train trip that doesn’t end with a bus trip is a successful trip.
2. Don’t believe the schedule. The train will get there when it gets there. Always have a contingency plan when traveling Amtrak.