Father’s Day 2012: Gifts and Celebrations for the Florida Dad

Give Dad the Gift of the Force for Father's Day with Ticket to Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando, Aug. 23 - 26, 2012
Give Dad the Gift of the Force for Father's Day with Ticket to Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando, Aug. 23 - 26, 2012

Hey, Florida! Father’s Day is less than a week away (Sunday, June 17 if you’re keeping track) and if you’re one of those last-minute planners and not sure what to give dear old Dad, here’s a quick list of suggested gifts and things to do on Father’s Day. Keep in mind, when it comes to gift giving, I’m all about practical items.

Up, Up and Away in a Kitplane with Team RV, Punta Gorda, Fla.
Up, Up and Away in a Kitplane with Team RV, Punta Gorda, Fla.

Give Dad a Thrill from Xperience Days

What’s on your father’s bucket list? Racing around the track in a NASCAR? Jumping out of a plane? Learning how to prepare a gourmet meal? If this sounds like your papa, try a gift certificate from Xperience Days.  The company has coordinated amazing experiences for more 100,000 people since 2004. Guess what? I’m hosting a giveaway for a $100 Xperience Days gift certificate which can be used toward any of their experiences. Enter here by midnight EST, June 15, 2012 (Giveaway has ended).

Give Dad the Gift of Disney

If Daddy is a Disney fan, first direct him to the Walt Disney World Dads blog, then consider an annual membership in D23, the official Disney fan club. Silver Membership is only $34.99 and includes an annual gift, discounts and access to exclusive events. Lucky you, I have a discount code for 10% off Silver and Gold Memberships (valid through July 31, 2012).

Even more exciting is I’m hosting a giveaway for a D23 Silver Membership! Get busy, you have through June 20, 2012, to enter here.

He may also appreciate fun Disney guidebook, Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets. It’ll keep him entertained during down times at the Disney theme parks.

Give Dad the Gift of the Force

Which Darth Vader quote is correct? “No. I am your father,” or “Luke, I am your father.”? If Dad knows, then he may have a slight Star Wars addiction. But that’s OK because he can mingle with his own kind (dressed as a storm trooper if he likes) during Star Wars Celebration VI scheduled for Aug. 23 – 26, 2012, in Orlando. The three-day convention is everything Star Wars ranging from talks to costume pageants along with displays of art, collectibles and merchandise. Importantly, it’s OK to come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character. Purchase at least a two-day ticket because having attended Star Wars Celebration V in 2010, one day wasn’t enough.

NASA Payload Specialist Samuel T. Durrance (Ph.D.) Speaks to ATX Participants
NASA Payload Specialist Samuel T. Durrance (Ph.D.) Speaks to ATX Participants

Give Dad the Gift of an Astronaut Experience

NASA has retired the space shuttle program but there’s still a need for astronauts as space exploration continues. Although your father probably can’t enlist as an astronaut, give him the gift of the Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) offered at the Kennedy Space Center. For $145 plus tax, he’ll meet an astronaut, experience weightlessness and learn how to fly a space shuttle! Learn more in my post about last year’s experience.

Give Dad the Gift of Cabs and Pinots

Most people associate beer with men but there are some guys who prefer wine. If you’re dad prefers Cabernets over ales, consider giving the gift of wine. Florida is full of wineries so either pick up a locally made bottle of red or white or see if your local winery offers wine making classes. I recently visited Catania’s Winery in Englewood and they offer classes throughout the year along with supplies to make your own wine at home.

For a quick gift, grab an eGift Card to the wine club Invino. It’s not Florida-specific but it’s easy! Joining is free and they’re constantly having wine sales where you can grab bottles for more than 50% off retail price. Thanks to Klout Perks, I tried it out in the last six months and although it seemed to take forever, the wine finally arrived with a lovely catalog. You can find something decent in the $25 range. Go ahead, give Invinoa try.

Dads Paddle Free on Father's Day 2012 with Grande Tours in Placida, Fla.
Dads Paddle Free on Father's Day 2012 with Grande Tours in Placida, Fla.


Celebrate Father’s Day with a Free Sightseeing Cruise in Punta Gorda

Cruise the high seas of Charlotte Harbor with dear old dad aboard King Fisher Fleet over Father’s Day Weekend. Best part is, dads cruise free! Headquartered at Fishermen’s Village, free excursions will be offered beginning Friday, June 15 with the 7:30 p.m. sunset cruise through Sunday, June 17 with the sunset cruise. Visit the King Fisher Fleet website  for a list of cruises and advance reservations are recommended by calling (941) 639-0969.

Give Dad a Free Paddle in Placida

Grande Tours Kayak Center in Placida is offering dads a free two-hour kayak or standup paddleboard rental on June 17 between 10 a.m. and noon. Reservations are not required. Visit the Grande Tours website for additional information.

Celebrate Father’s Day in Orlando

Looking for Father’s Day activities in Orlando? About.com writer Theresa Johnston has a list of activities in the article, “Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day.”

Celebrate Father’s Day with Cars & Cigars at Barnacle Historic State Park, Miami

Do a little shopping and/or dining in Coconut Grove before enjoying the Cars & Cigars festivities at Barnacle Historic State Park 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 17. Classic cars will grace the grounds and attendees who show a $20  proof of purchase from any Coconut Grove restaurant or retailer will receive a free freshly-rolled cigar. Admission into the park is $2, children under six are free. Visit the Barnacle Historic State Park website for additional information.

What will you be giving dad? Or know of a Florida Father’s Day celebration? Drop a line!

Disclosure: I’m blogging to support my traveling habit so this post contains affiliate links, however, opinions are my own.



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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