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Father's Day Experiences to Build Memories (Not Stuff)

Girl sitting on father's shoulders walking through forest trails, hiking

The other day, my six year old daughter, Amelia, asked, “Why don’t they have a Kids’ Day?”. This was in response to the fact that Mother’s Day had just passed, and Father’s Day was coming up. I suppose every kid asks this question, and I remember having the same curiosity. In response, like a knee-jerk reaction, I gave the cliché parental rebuttal, “Because every day is Kids’ Day.” Cue the eye-rolls.

One of the joys of celebrating holidays is the emphasis on creating traditions. Although Father’s Day isn’t a holiday that has the most clear-cut traditions, that’s part of the fun! This means that you’re able to create your own. Personally, these are my tenets for ensuring a solid Father’s Day:

  • Experiences instead of stuff
  • Spend time in nature
  • Play
  • Nourish

Three images of people wearing gloves harvesting stinging nettles in the wild with garden clippers

Experiences Instead of Stuff

These days, it seems as if I’m going to a kid’s birthday party every other weekend. I’ve made it my mission to only buy Amelia’s friends experiences: passes to the wave pool, trampoline park, or skate rink, for example. I see the mountains of toys these kids are already getting. What’s one more present? I digress.

Being quasi-minimalistic in nature, another gadget or gizmo is not something I desire for myself as a father, either. Rather, I’d prefer to build the day and its traditions around the activities and leisure that I find most appealing. In the end, the fond memories we create will be what I cherish most. Amelia and I have been playing a lot of basketball and ping-pong lately, having epic dance parties, and going on lots of walks. Although not outside the norm, these are the same activities that would make my Father’s Day a success.

Father and daughter in forest playing and touching trees

Spend Time in Nature

Always rejuvenating, nature is a must for my Father’s Day. Amelia and I already gather spring water once a month for our household needs, but I’d like to make that an annual Father’s Day agenda item. The spring water spot that I go to is also conveniently located near one of my favorite hikes. The wildflowers will be bursting during that time, too—a true treat for a plant nerd such as myself!

While out and about, I like to bring books of botanical inspiration such as Michael Moore’s classic Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West or perhaps some handy plant flashcards. This way, Amelia and I can continue to learn together. You can check out this awesome resource to find a spring water source near you. While not on the docket for this year, my daughter and I both enjoy foraging in the woods near our Oregon home, and we had tons of fun nettle “hunting” earlier this spring.

pieces and board from wildcrafting herbal board game


As mentioned previously, if I can get some basketball and ping-pong time in with my kiddo, I’ll be a happy camper. Infusing play into your life, consistently, is crucial to supporting a healthy outlook. If you’re a fan of games, the Wildcraft Board Game is always a hit too. Why not make it a goal to play as much as possible during your Father’s Day?

plate of sprout salad on counter top with whisk and radishes and celery


I love to cook, and I try to include Amelia in the process as much as possible. Our current favorite recipe to make is a batch of plain and simple banana pancakes using organic pumpkin pie spice! While out on a hike, you can never go wrong with packing a delicious picnic basket. Here are some fun recipes from the Mountain Rose Herbs Blog that would make fine additions to your hiking menu:

And if we’re talking nourishment, I’ve got to give a plug for making a daily nourishing herbal infusion. To get me energized and ready for an active Father’s Day, it’s a must to start my day with a strong brew of organic oatstraw or organic nettle leaf

I love this time of year in general because we’re so close to the summer solstice. That means long, sunny, and beautiful days. You can really pack a lot into a Father’s Day! I’m looking forward to ending the day with a cold glass of homebrew.

I hope these four tradition-building tenets have inspired you, regardless of your fatherhood status. What do you plan on doing for the holiday?


Want more ideas?  

Explore Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Father's Day

You may also be interested in: 

Father's Day Activities from Mountain Rose Herbs


Topics: Herbal Gift Ideas, Herbalism, Green Living


Written by Mason on May 29, 2018

Mason Hutchison is the founder of HerbRally, a podcast and website that promotes herbalism education and events. He has completed herbalism apprenticeships at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies. Mason is the Events & Outreach Strategist for Mountain Rose Herbs. His day-to-day work involves organizing community events such as the Free Herbalism Project, as well as attending herbal conferences throughout the country. He is the co-organizer of one of the longest running herbal events in the US, the Breitenbush Herbal Conference. He is also on the board of directors for the Eugene Tea Festival. He has previously volunteered for the Occupy Medical herb team and the Native Plant Society of Oregon – Emerald Chapter. Mason is a proud father, avid basketball and ping pong player, spring water gatherer, and an enthusiast in the art of frugal nutrition.

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