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Father's Day in Fredericksburg

Jun 12, 2024 06:00AM ● By Matthew Jones

Father’s Day is coming up, and you know what that means. Socks! Ties! Other stuff you probably wouldn’t use otherwise! But what are you actually going to do to celebrate Father’s Day? I propose you break it up into two parts: time with your family and self-care time. Your kids are what made you a dad, so part of the day should be focused on time with them. But you know what’s also an important part of being a dad? Not being completely and totally burned out. Self-care is vital to keeping your physical and mental health up so you can be there for your kids and yourself. Here in Fredericksburg, there are plenty of great ways to spend time with your family, plus lots of great self-care opportunities. Here are some ideas for activities you can do to make your Father’s Day great for both you and your family.


Do what relaxes you. Do what recharges your batteries. Find yourself some childcare, whether it’s a partner, a parent, or a friend, someone who can watch the kids for a couple hours so you can disconnect and not worry about them. Try one of my ideas here or do your own thing.

  • Go fishing. If sitting out in the sun with your rod is your happy place, carve out some time to do that. I’m not a fisher myself, so you would probably know the good locations better than me. Go out to your favorite spot and relax for a while.
  •  Get a massage or mani/pedi. This isn’t the usual dad fare, it’s true. But I got my first mani/pedi just the other month and I have to say, it was really nice. Feeling pampered is something that dads don’t often do. Taking some time to treat yourself with something out-of-the-ordinary might be just what you need to relax on Father’s Day. I recommend Collage Spa as a good local spot.
  • Spend time with friends, without your kids. If you’re an extrovert and spending time with other people recharges your batteries, going out with some friends is a great way to take care of yourself.
  • Get a coffee and read a book. One of my favorite places is Agora in downtown Fredericksburg near the parking garage. Their outdoor patio is perfect for relaxing with a tasty coffee or other beverage and reading a good book. If you don’t have a book, check out their mini-bookstore inside.
  • Exercise. Physical fitness is an important part of self-care. Running, biking, or swimming are my personal favorites. For you it might be lifting weights or doing some interval training at the gym. Whatever your choice, you can’t go wrong.
  • Do a wine/beer/bourbon tasting. If you appreciate the boozier things in life, there are lots of great places around the ‘burg to tickle your taste buds. if wine is your thing, I recommend Potomac Point winery or Mattaponi winery. For beer, you can’t go wrong with 6 Bears & a Goat brewery. If you want to taste some harder spirits, I recommend the tour and tasting at A. Smith Bowman distillery.

Family Time

Father’s Day is a great excuse to spend time with the family doing what you want to do. It could time spent with your whole family, or it could be just you and the kids. Here are some of my ideas for things to do around Fredericksburg. Some of these make more sense for younger kids, some for older kids.

  • Go to Alum Springs Park. I love this park in the summer. They have a fun little playground for the kids to run around on (and for you to join!). When everyone is getting overheated, head down the hill to the creek and do some splashing (for the little ones) or swimming (for the bigger ones). There are some grills available if you want to turn it into a proper cookout picnic.
  • Go to a water park. Thurston water park behind the Massad YMCA in Falmouth is a must-visit for us at least once per summer. There are plenty of shallow areas for the little ones, with deep areas and water slides for the bigger ones. It’s not as big as some other water parks, but it’s great for being a close local park. Heads up, you can’t bring outside food or drink other than water, so you’ll need to rely on their snack bar.
  •  Go boating at Mott’s Run reservoir. Mott’s is tucked away in the woods north of town and is a great outdoorsy spot. They have kayaks and canoes for rent and more than 11 miles of trails. There’s a nature center where you might be able to meet the resident snakes, Red and Pocket. This is a wonderful choice for a family that enjoys outdoor adventures together.
  • Get lunch at Sammy T’s, then play at riverfront park. Riverfront park is a great spot because it’s right next to downtown Fredericksburg. Go enjoy a good lunch at Sammy T’s or any other favorite downtown eatery. Then take your little kids to the park and let them run around like maniacs, and maybe join them! If you want, head to Italian Station for some gelato afterwards.
  • Pack a picnic and take the family to Wilderness Run Winery. There’s a nice rustic playground for the kids to run around on with climbing equipment, swings, and see-saws. They have wines and beers, for tasting and by the glass; if you partake, it’s a good treat for yourself while the kids play. You can find lots of seating there, with tons of perfect spots to share a packed picnic dinner with your family.

I still haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do for Father’s Day, but will definitely take my own advice and work in both self-care time and family time. Maybe I’ll see you out there!

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