Celebrating Father’s Day for Seniors During Social Distancing
This year, Father’s Day will likely look a little different from other years. More social restrictions are being relaxed across the US as states reopen. But seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and in most areas, the safest option for them is to continue staying at home and physically distanced from others as much as possible. Social distancing can be difficult, and it may feel even more difficult on a special holiday. However, honoring rituals and celebrations can help maintain a sense of normalcy, boost morale, keep people connected, and make the day special. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to celebrate father’s day this year and help make your favorite dad(s) feel loved and connected. Here are seven ideas to get you started.
Plan a drive-by parade
If you know your favorite dad loves a little spectacle, a festive car parade with banners, balloons, and party music could lift spirits and make him laugh. Staying a safe distance away, the drivers can still drop off cards and gifts and let the neighborhood know how amazing their fathers, grandfathers, and uncles are.
Lift spirits with lawn/sidewalk art
Chalk-drawn sidewalk messages could be a simple “We love you, Dad”, words of encouragement, or a line from a song like “You Are My Sunshine”—along with other decorations or artwork that would make him smile. (If they’re on the higher level of a building, remember to make the image as big as possible for visibility.) And if they’re on their own property and love a good display, there are plenty of fun ways to decorate their lawn and front porch with their taste in mind, with some help from the dollar store or local shops.
Set up a time for phone games
If you have younger kids who want to do something special with Grandpa this Father’s Day, there are lots of ways they can enjoy a fun game or activity together on the phone! Have them play a few rounds of kid-friendly Mad Libs or a video chat game of “I Spy.” For more activity ideas, check out a recent blog post we shared here.
Send Dad his favorite takeout—or spirit
With so many restaurants delivering, whether on apps or through their own service, it’s easy to treat your loved one from afar. Check to make sure that he doesn’t already have dinner plans, and then order his favorite menu items from a local area restaurant. (And don’t forget about dessert!) There may be mileage restrictions, so check that the address is within the delivery zone.
And if your loved one enjoys relaxing with a glass of an alcoholic beverage, services like Drizly and BevMo offer a way to send favorite or new wines, whiskeys, or craft beers (even same day). And if you know that he loves a local brewery, it may be worth a call or website visit to see if they’re doing a special brew for Father’s Day and arrange for a delivery.
Video call party
If your family is missing time together, get the kids and adults on a group video call for Dad. Apps like House Party, FaceTime, Zoom, and Smilebox Live are all free at the basic level to help Dad see all his favorite faces. If your dad or grandpa has access to a smartphone and the internet, it’s just a matter of setting it up and sending a link. You can all toast Dad and remember funny and sweet family stories together.
Cook together—yes, even virtually!
For many, cooking or baking together is a family pastime that they’ve been missing during the pandemic—especially if your dad or grandpa loves wearing the chef’s apron. Luckily, the world of cooking and baking videos on the internet means we can learn and create a dish or dessert together—whether from six feet or 600 miles away. With a little planning, a simple recipe can be chosen and shopped for in advance. And by setting up a video call either on your phone or computer alongside your recipe video, you can consult each other through the steps—or eat together when you’re done.
Visit a museum together
Whether your loved one is a history buff or art aficionado, the world’s museums are yours to travel together with these online museum tours. Other world-renowned museums including the Louvre and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History also offer their own virtual tours online. And if he nerds out on space and stargazing, you and your loved one can explore NASA‘s Glenn research center and other labs, and try The Space Center Houston mobile app for some awe and inspiration.