Plenty of dads will be happy with a whiskey glass or new knife set. But if the dad in your life is the type who values memorable experiences more than fine goods, then make his Father’s Day with a special adventure that he’ll never forget. From flying with fighter pilots to crushing cars with a 30,000 pound excavator, here are some of the most memorable (and ridiculous) experiences you can get for dad this year.
Engage in Aerial Combat With Real Life Fighter Pilots
Always wanted to live out your Top Gun fantasies? Now’s your chance. At Sky Combat Ace, which has locations in Lake Tahoe, San Diego, and Las Vegas (natch), you can experience a stunt show tailored just for you, ride along in one of the planes for a first-hand view, or even get behind the controls and fly underneath the guidance of trained SCA fighter pilots. For the latter, you experience all the dog fighting moves and, best of all, actually score direct hits on “enemies,” and watch smoke spill out of their fuselage.
Crush a Car with a 30,000 Pound Excavator
Dig This in Las Vegas offers guests a number of experiences behind the controls of heavy machinery. You can get behind the sticks of a big dig bulldozer or an excavator and there are a number of different packages situated around each. Our favorite is the “Aggression Session” which puts drivers in control of a 30,000 pound excavator and lets them go HAM on a car for a half hour. If you think throwing jabs at a speed bag is a good stress reliever, just wait until you go several with an unsuspecting sedan.
Blow Some Stuff Up With a Tank
That’s right, you can drive a fully-functional tank. Fully-functional, as in loaded with artillery that you can blast at a whole pile of ugly neckties. The course, located in Uvalde, Texas (because, honestly, where else would this be?), has M4A2E8 Sherman tank, a modified German SD KFZ 251 Armored Half-Truck, and more that you can drive around set courses that include targets to shoot at and cars to crush with the treads. Tanks not your thing? This place is a playground for anyone who wants to blow stuff up and gives you the opportunity to use everything from anti-tank guns and artillery to c4 charges.
Up Your Grilling Game
Whether your smoked ribs are the thing are legend or you don’t know how to sear a rib eye, every barbecuer has something to learn. Weber grills puts on a variety of classes throughout the country for anyone who wants to up their skills. Short seminars like the Cooking With Beer and Bacon in Indianapolis are reasonably priced and teach you how to make both absolute classics and inspiring twists on the norm.
Unleash Your Inner NASCAR Driver
The Richard Petty Driving experience enables NASCAR-loving armchair drivers to get behind the wheel of an actual car. During the sessions, which are available at a number of tracks nationwide (including Daytona), drivers meet with crew chiefs, receive training and instruction, and then get behind the wheel of a NASCAR vehicle for an 8-minute track session. Oh, and passing is definitely allowed.
Play Soccer With The LA Galaxy
The ideal experience for any football-obsessed father, the LA Galaxy offer a legitimate fantasy camp every winter. Camp-goers gather at the Home Depot Center, receive training and tutelage from coaches and players, and also receive their very own custom uniform.