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Father-Daughter Getaway Ideas in Time for Father's Day
Consider giving Dad a trip to Europe, Canada, a national park or a theme park.
Daughters (and dads) will enjoy visiting Montreal.(Getty Images)
Struggling for a Father’s Day gift idea beyond the typical tie or grilling accessory? How about the gift of travel? Give your dad a gift card with explicit instructions to use for airline tickets, hotel rooms or attraction passes. I recently returned from a one-on-one, father-daughter trip to Dublin and London, and I treasure the time spent with my daughter more than any material widget or gizmo. Continue reading for plenty of father-daughter getaway ideas, including castles, gardens, theater, tea and even … bunnies.
Aer Lingus now offers direct service from Hartford, Connecticut, to Europe. Plus, travelers can stop in Dublin on the way to their final European destination and enjoy two cities for the price of one.
Stay at The Morrison, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on the River Liffey, steps from the iconic Ha’penny Bridge and Temple Bar district. A Dad-centric feature at The Morrison is “Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea” featuring steak sandwiches, sliders and various smoked meats accompanied by a pint of beer. Daughters (and dads) will enjoy visiting the 800-plus year-old Dublin Castle or heading to the countryside to see Malahide Castle.
For iconic views of Big Ben, stay at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London. Enjoy a traditional British afternoon tea and indulge in London Harry Potter experiences with your daughter. City Wonders offers a fully guided tour between central London and Warner Bros. Studios – The Making of Harry Potter. You can also spend an entire day in the theater watching "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" parts one and two in London’s West End.
Canada turns 150 this year, and to celebrate, admission is free to all national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. Currently, the U.S. dollar is strong against the Canadian dollar, meaning you get more for your money during your father-daughter trip.
Canada may turn 150, but Montreal is even older, celebrating its 375th birthday in 2017. Stay at the iconic Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, where John Lennon wrote “Give Peace a Chance” with Yoko Ono. The hotel is reopening after an extensive renovation. Take a stroll through Space for Life, home of the botanical garden, Biodôme and Montreal Tower – also the site of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. Special events take place all summer for Montreal’s 375th, such as open-air acrobatics by Cirque Eloize during La Grande Tournee.
Is your daughter an animal lover? Head to Canada’s largest city to visit the Toronto Zoo, home to the only pair of giant pandas in Canada. They also gave birth to two adorable panda cubs in March 2016. The Royal Ontario Museum recently opened a blue whale exhibit that offers a glimpse at an 80-foot skeleton of one of the largest known creatures on the planet. Stay at the Chelsea Hotel, within walking distance of the Royal Ontario Museum. The hotel has family-friendly amenities such as a kid-sized check-in, family pool with corkscrew waterslide and even onsite bunnies.
U.S. National Parks, Monuments and Memorials
Just because the National Park Service centennial has passed doesn’t mean you still can’t “Find Your Park.” Is your daughter obsessed with the musical "Hamilton?" Visit Alexander Hamilton’s upper-Manhattan home, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, located in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem in New York City. Enjoy a blaze of wildflower color by day and brush up on astronomy at a night at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Cedar City, Utah. Or stay at any number of U.S. National Park campgrounds throughout the country to unplug, get away and make s’mores around a campfire.
Is your daughter more into theme parks than national parks? There’s plenty of new additions at the top U.S. theme parks. For some special father-daughter time, how about a dessert party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to see the new "Happily Ever After" fireworks and projection show on Cinderella’s Castle? On the West Coast starting June 23, Universal Studios Hollywood lights up Hogwarts castle each evening with projections titled “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” set to John Williams’ Harry Potter film score. If your daughter is a thrill-seeker, SeaWorld San Antonio opens an innovative jet-ski type ride called Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster on June 16. After the ride, take your daughter over to Discovery Point for more animal interactions, including dolphins, sharks and schools of fish.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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