happy familyWake up call: Dad’s big day is this Sunday. If you haven’t made reservations at his favorite restaurant or secured tee times at his golf course of choice, you may be scrambling.

But if you’re in the Philadelphia area, you can relax. There are plenty of fun things to do to celebrate the day, without need of reservation (or a lot of money!).  Here are five of my dad-tested, kid-approved ways to celebrate in the city of brotherly love:

  • The Gary Papa Father’s Day 5K – Locals will tell you that Gary Papa was a beloved sportscaster with WPVI in Philly. Papa established this run to raise funds to combat prostate cancer. Papa lost his own battle with the disease on June 19, 2009, but the run is still going strong and celebrating its tenth year this weekend. Dads and their kids can run the race together, or just try strolling the one mile fun walk. Register on site or in person at the Art Museum beginning at 7 on Sunday morning.
  • The Academy of Natural Sciences  – Located on the Ben Franklin Parkway, this museum is the country’s oldest natural history museum. My husband and my kids love exploring the dinosaur hall, roaming the life-size dioramas of animals in their natural habitat and spotting live butterflies in the museum’s tropical garden. It’s always special, but on Sunday it’s even on special – the museum is offering a “Dads Visit Free” special in honor of the occasion. Open 10 am- 5 pm. Oh, and visit the museum café, where dads will be treated to free cookies. (Milk is optional and at an additional fee.)
  • The Brandywine Zoo – Across the bridge in Wilmington, DE, the Brandywine Zoo is offering a “Wild About Dads” day on Sunday. All day long, the family will be treated to dad-related activities and live animal shows.  So get out of the city and check out the papa llamas, tigers and bearded dragons in Delaware.
  • Philly Food Tours – Knowing my husband, this adventure is top of his wish list. Take a tour of Philadelphia featuring themed eateries.  Philly Food Tours offer five different, delicious tours, including a Flavors of Philly tour featuring cheesesteaks, tomato pie and of course soft pretzels. A good way to reward dad if he burned off calories at the Gary Papa Run – and a good deal as well. Book a tour by June 15 using the code DAD15P for a 15% discount.
  • Philly Mini Golf at Franklin Square – I don’t know why, but I’ve always associated dads and golf. But even if your dad isn’t a Tiger Woods, he’ll enjoy playing a round with the kids at the links of Philly Mini Golf, where each hole features an iconic Philly site. He can use his new putter at the Liberty Bell, or aim for a hole in one up the Rocky steps at the Art Museum. Afterwards, the family can relax on the city-themed carousel or treat dad to a cake shake – made with authentic TastyKakes – at Squareburger.
For more on Philly, check these articles out!
Philadelphia Activities Leading Up to July 4 – a survival guide to the busiest season in the city, courtesy of Kim Orlando 
The Magic Gardens – Discovery TMOM’s guide to this South Street staple
Biking Trips In Philadelphia –  my review of local bike trails – perfect if your dad is dreaming of the Tour de France