If you’re tired of getting the stereotypical answer: “I don’t know” or “nothing” in response to the ol’ “What do you want for Father’s Day?” question, you are definitely not alone. And since we all know experiences are better than things, here are your best bets for making some new memories around town with dad. Because if you’re like us, this year is just begging for something really fun, unique, and - most importantly - outside of the house!
1. Get the Adrenaline Up Jet Skiing
If Dad has been dreaming of somewhere more tropical, give him the next best thing and see the Neches River in a new way with jet ski rentals from Golden Triangle Watersports. Each rental comes with life jackets for the riders and a 30 minute safety course before the ride. If jet skis aren’t your thing, GTW also offers tubing for all ages!
2. Hop on a Pontoon
Wanna get that special view of the Neches River at a slower pace? Check out Neches River Adventures! Take a river cruise on the Ivory Bill, a comfortable, covered excursion boat operated by the Big Thicket Association that easily navigates both the depths and cypress-lined shallows of the “last wild river in East Texas.”
3. Kayak the River
Dreaming of something a little more adventurous? Enter Big Thicket Outfitters. Navigate the Village Creek Paddling Trail with a guided kayak or canoe tour. The 21-mile trail has multiple access sites, so float for as little or as long as you like before enjoying the beautiful white sandy beaches and sandbars, expansive shade from the tall trees, and amazing wildlife diversity of Village Creek State Park. Big Thicket Outfitters also offers experiences at their privately-owned clear water lake with white sand beach, where visitors can kayak, canoe, swim and camp in seclusion.
4. Go for a Guided Bike Ride
While we’re on the subject of fresh perspectives of our little corner of Texas, you wheelie should see Downtown Beaumont with the help of Spindletop Cruisers, Southeast Texas’ premiere glow in the dark bicycle party tour! This new service is making a big impact with their remarkable hour-long bike ride through beautiful, historic Downtown. Grab dinner and drinks downtown at the incomparable Suga’s Deep South Cuisine & Jazz Bar before you see the sights, hit the photo ops, and do it all against a soundtrack that will leave you wishing the night would never end.
5. Throw Axes, Drink Beer and See the Boats
Just a short drive from Beaumont, Port Neches packs a big punch and certainly too much to see and do in one day! Hit a few highlights by treating dad to a meal featuring fresh seafood and all the sights and sounds of the Neches River at the Neches River Wheelhouse before hopping over to Avenue Axe for an axe-iting time axe-throwing. To cool down, hit up Neches Brewing Co for craft brews, or The Avenue Coffee & Cafe for a little (or a latte) caffeine fix.
6. Cheers with a Beer
Cheers to you, Dad - Pour Brothers Brewery is the kind of place that is not only made for Dads, but perfect for the whole family. Challenge the kids to a family washers tournament, giant Jenga, or giant Connect 4 out in the beer garden, or make use of the overflowing board game shelves while you sample a variety of craft beers from their fancy self-pour tap wall. Both New York Pizza and Pasta and Dooley’s BBQ are located conveniently across the street for easy pick-up and delivery. If Dad is into the science behind it all, Pour Brothers also offers free brewery tours.
7. Fun for the Whole Family
On the same token, longtime local favorite Colorado Canyon never disappoints. This family-centric amusement center features two mini golf courses, laser tag, a fully-loaded arcade, and, one of the best kept secrets in Beaumont, gemstone mining. Visit their authentic panning sluice and see over 40 brightly colored gemstones from around the world, and 32 genuine fossils dating back as far as 1 million years. Grab a meal and check out the new murals at nearby Ko Korean Grill for the ultimate day of fun experiences.
8. Swing for the Fences
When I think of places that have it all for all kinds of Dads, 5 Under Golf Center immediately comes to mind (and many swear they have the best steak in town). Eat, drink, and play to his heart’s content with Toptracer hitting bays, indoor Topgolf Swing Suites, an open-air patio, restaurant, bar, big screen TVs, zombie dodgeball - good luck getting him outta there.
9. Play Some Games
If the Dad in your life is a little bit of an outlier that’s too cool for all the token outdoorsy Dad stuff, treat him to an experience at Book Stan. Pick out a special gift ahead of time or he can browse to his heart’s content in the 6000 square feet of comics, games, dice, minifigures and more that makes up “Southeast Texas overall nerd center.” (Their words, not mine). In addition to a fantastic retail space, they also offer regular Warhammer, Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons tournaments. Heaven for the gamers at heart.
10. Hit the Cajun Trail
If the dad in your life just loves good food, treat him to a father’s day foodie feast on the Cajun Trail! The Cajun Trail is a FREE foodie passport that rewards you just for eating at your favorite spots from the swings at High Tides to the sports-bar vibes of Walk-ons. Or go big and plan the whole day around earning those check-ins! Any of the activities on this list pair perfectly with yummy, local Cajun food!
BONUS: The newest addition to the local WOW list is Copper Bullet Lodge, an outdoor shooting range in Buna that offers pistol and rifle ranges as well as primitive set-ups for archery, and axe, spear, and knife throwing. Their Grand Opening party is scheduled for July 4 and promises food, live music, yard games, inflatables for kids and adults, and a fireworks show. Surely Dad won’t begrudge having to wait a couple of weeks for a gift like that?!