He’s the one who taught you to tie your shoes, catch a baseball, light a fire, mow the lawn, pack the trunk, mix a cocktail. He’s who you call when your favorite sports team wins, when you remember to take your car in for an oil change, when your dog graduates summa cum laude from obedience school.
Now’s the time to celebrate the dads in your life. But how best to show gratitude for all the life skills taught, all the special memories made? By making news ones, of course.
Here’s a run-down of ways to share Father’s Day with Dear Old Dad.
Take a hike. The Roanoke region boasts an impressive array of hiking trails suitable for nearly every ability, from a two-mile easy loop at Happy Hollow Gardens in Roanoke County to the steep switchbacks of the Gauntlet at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve. From the breathtaking views of Tinker Cliffs to the beauty of the water at Bottom Creek Gorge. It’s easy to map your adventure from the listings at RoanokeOutside.com.
Toss back a tall one. The Roanoke area has nearly as many craft breweries as trails. Think: Big Lick Brewing Company, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers, and Twin Creeks Brewing Company, to name a few. A great way to sample those you haven’t hit yet is the Tour Roanoke Craft Beer Tour. You’ll be driven by bus to sip the goods at four local breweries, all while getting a behind-the-scenes look at how the beers are made and hearing the tales of how they came to be.
Rack up a stellar score. Roanoke Pinball Museum is a thrilling way to spend an afternoon. For a flat fee try your hand at dozens of pinball machines popular through the decades. Pinball not your cup of tea? Try Deciphered Roanoke, a downtown escape room where you can save the world from aliens or help coal miners return to the surface. It’s like a real-world video game. Suitable for players age 10 and up.
Become chef and bartender for the day. For dads who like to be the makers, Tour Roanoke’s A Taste of Naples (there is a Taste of Naples on Saturday June 16) puts them in the kitchen at one of the city’s top restaurants to craft their very own pizza. After hearing the history of pizza and taking a crash course in bartending, they’ll stir up a custom-made Negroni, all guided by the skillful hands of Fortunato’s talented staff.
Catch a show. Father’s Day weekend, you’ll find everything from Open Mike Night at 5 Points Music Sanctuary to rocking bands at the Daleville Summer Concert Series. There’ll be a jam at The Floyd Country Store Friday night, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and some big sounds coming from Rocky Mount’s Harvester Performance Center. A little farther afield, you’ll find the Maury River Fiddlers’ Convention in Buena Vista. Check out the events calendar at Virginia’s Blue Ridge to find the perfect outing.
Sip some ’shine. Franklin County’s moonshine heritage is on display in a special exhibit at The Hotel Roanoke from June 1-23. Even better, book Tour Roanoke’s Appalachian ’Shine and Spirits Tour (we have tour on Father’s Day, Sunday June 17) to visit these moonshine makers yourself. You’ll hear the lore and taste the liquor that made this patch of Virginia famous as you stop at the county’s two distilleries for flights of spirits and closer looks at the people, places and ways that brought moonshine into being.
Explore the outdoors. Newly re-imagined, Roanoke County’s Explore Park, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, offers trails for hiking, trail running, mountain biking and horseback riding. Head down to the banks of the Roanoke river for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Check out the visitor’s center with Virginia-made artisan crafts and exhibits displaying the history of the parkway. Bring a picnic. Or get an early peek at the plans for future cabins, “glamping” and a tree top ropes course.
Eat, drink, and be merry. On Tour Roanoke’s Downtown Food and Cultural Tour (tours held each week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) listen to tales of how the city began while noshing iconic dishes like The Hotel Roanoke’s peanut soup and Texas Tavern’s beloved Cheesy Western. See how Roanoke has changed in its 100-plus year history while sipping craft beer and sniffing Lebanese spices. Talk about memorable.
Tour Roanoke’s Father’s Day Special
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Christina is a freelance writer with a focus on local food. When she’s not digging in her garden or stirring up a new dish for dinner, she loves to sample Roanoke’s expanding culinary scene. Read more of what she’s writing at christinanifong.com..