This coming Sunday is Father's Day here in the UK. It isn't in most of the rest of the world but for some reason, we celebrate Father's Day in June instead of September.
That's OK by me though as usually the weather is quite nice, so you can do outdoor type things too. Mind you, going by how wet and squelchy the weather has been lately, this year might be the exception.
We've always tried to ensure that Mother's Day, and Father's Day, is kept as simple as possible. Home made cards and presents, that sort of thing. It is about having the day made special, not having lots of money thrown at it. The thought is what counts here.
So, what do dads really want for Father's Day? I asked around and here's the most popular answers.
A guilt-free pass for the day
This was the number one favourite. Most dads I asked were pretty much in favour of this approach. Simply put, they could spend the whole day however, and where ever, they wanted without having to ask, or feel guilty for doing so.
Hence why one dad was spending the day at a car show this year, which entails getting up at 4am to drive there. Another dad was disappearing fishing, and yet another had plans to spend the day flying his radio controlled airplanes and helicopter.
Breakfast in bed vs the ultimate lie-in
As kids get older they really want to join in and show their appreciation. As much as having a guilt free day out appeals, your offspring may make you spend this day as a family regardless!
At the very least, dads get a lie-in on the day itself. But, talking to our PlayPennies fathers, and the dads at our street's Jubilee Party the other weekend, there's a bit of a divide here. You see, what they really want is the Ultimate Lie In.
This seems to involve the mum getting up really quietly, whisking everyone out of the house really early, and leaving dad with a blissfully silent house for the morning, and no-one to interrupt the footie on the telly. Hmmmm.
On the other hand, the joy the kids get out of making breakfast for dad, and then every scrunching up together in the bed to eat it with crumbs flying everywhere and a game of jump on and tickle daddy to finish seemed a bit inescapable too.
As much as they might say they want the empty house and Ultimate Lie In, I got the feeling that secretly they all loved the rough and tumble breakfast in bed thing too.
Family life, it is a complicated thing! How about a mix. Breakfast in bed, then peace to watch the telly uninterrupted for as long as they like?
Out and about
Quality time with the telly or a day to themselves isn't the idea of a perfect day for all the guys out there. Chris, a dad of ten year old twin boys, likes to go on a family day out. Somewhere, he says, that is a bit more of a 'guy' thing. It doesn't have to be expensive. "One year we went to a nearby village green, spent the morning sailing boats on the pond, then had a picnic".
Louis, who has three girls, relishes the day. "We tend to end up somewhere like a museum if it is wet, because they're free, and I get to pick. Last year we went to a military museum, and this year we're off to an RAF one I've always wanted to visit. It is never anything the girls would choose, but they always end up having a good time anyway!"
If you fancy going out for a good walk around the countryside then try the walkfinder on the Forestry Commission's website (you can also look for places to cycle and horse ride). Also have a look for events in your area on the National Parks website.
What do you do?
Have you come up with any unusual, off beat, or just different ideas for Father's day that don't cost the earth? If so please share your ideas here!