Things to do on Father's Day in Edinburgh and Glasgow 2016

Things to do on Father's Day 2016

We look at ways to liven up the eternally less-popular of the parental holidays

The third Sunday in June is not far off, which means that Father's Day isn't far off either. Created by the daughter of a US Civil War veteran as a tribute to her own dad, who'd raised her and her five siblings after the death of his wife, it's never been taken quite as seriously as Mother's Day, perhaps because nobody's entirely comfortable with a holiday that was signed into US law by Richard Nixon. Nevertheless, dads have their uses, which vary of course from household to household, and if dispiritingly many of the ways to thank them tend to revolve around motor vehicles and all-you-can-eat buffets, it's their own fault for watching so much Top Gear.

No, to celebrate the father figures in your life, you need to think outside the patriarchy box. Here are a few ways to thank your local dad for being dad-ly, without assuming that the mere sight of a brisket juxtaposed with a steam engine will make him tear up.

Treat him to Father's Day on the Royal Yacht Britannia
Many a father secretly wishes for his own yacht – Dan Conner on Roseanne was even building one – so to have a go on someone else's is a pleasure, especially if you had the foresight to take your mother to Britannia on mother's day.

Take him to the Botanics
Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden is one of the calmest places in the country, and Dads Rock is organising a day there of dad-themed family fun, which should be perfect for the eternally stressed-out father. Book a table in advance at the excellent Gateway restaurant and you've got yourself a full day out.

Take him cycling
The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling comes to an end on Sun 21 Jun, and after a hearty brunch and a decent interval, a turn on a bike will do everyone good. The Edinburgh Lochs & Castles Tour is a gentle, three-hour tour using the cycle paths network, and should work off a few calories.

Marvel at Scotland's livestock
On some level, many fathers like to think of themselves as hardy countrymen supporting their family by the sweat of their brow, and a trip to the Royal Highland Show will either quickly make them realise that they aren't, and are glad about it, or delight them with displays of mighty beasts and shiny agricultural equipment. There's also good eating to be had, plus fun stuff for adults and kids to do.

Take a pub quiz
If there is a father who doesn't like to believe that he knows better, we haven't met him. Let him prove it at this pub quiz.

Take him to the National Piping Centre
When we think of the modern father, what images come to mind? One is surely that of a man gamely blowing quantities of hot air from his mouth with little regard to whether anyone's listening. The National Piping Centre are on the case, and you can take your dad there and have him try out the bagpipes. Or better yet, take him there, tell him he can try out the bagpipes, and then take cover in the restaurant before he gets a chance to. Fathers! Culture! Which brings us to the perfect end to the day:

Get him a ticket for Mogwai
If he's a certain sort of father he'll have one already, of course. In which case you could stay up late and listen to him tell you how awesome it was. If he should be in Edinburgh, The Listening Room hosts open mic nights on Sunday evenings.

Lastly, don't forget to give him a hug. Dads find them most helpful, and can convert them into energy.

Father's Day 2016 is Sun 19 Jun.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).


Glaswegian post-rock instrumental heroes.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Sun 7 Nov

£41.25 / 0141 353 8000

The Listening Room

Acoustic open mic session.

The Royal Highland Show

Part agricultural show, part food festival, part family fun day out, with everything from motor, equine and craft programmes to food and drink and children's activities.

Bad Boy Pub Quiz

The Bad Boy Pub Quiz: an evening of fun and frolics, musical statues, pass the pineapple, and the chance to win 'hunners' of money. Loads of great prizes to be won, and plenty of crap ones too!

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling lends a bit of sport and leisure to the capital's stacked arts and culture festival calendar. Alongside cycling events, from lengthy scenic tours to talks from well-known cyclists to family bike rides, the festival also features a related film and art programme.

Father's Day at the Royal Yacht Britannia

Make your dad feel like a star with a special day aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Dads Rock Father's Day

Dads Rock and friends are taking over the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh this year for a day of free family fun to celebrate Father's Day. Come and explore the Garden and enjoy creative activities, dancing, play, storytelling, songs, theatre, yoga and much more. Download more information about this event

Father's Day Experience at The National Piping Centre

Give your dad a Father's Day experience in which he can take bumbling to a whole new level when he tries out the bagpipes.

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