7 things to do, places to go and gift experiences for dad this Father's Day

Lee Valley White Water Centre

Lee Valley White Water Centre - Credit: Lee Valley White Water Centre

It's Father's Day on Sunday, June 20, 2021. Don't know what to buy your dad this year? 

Instead of getting him a pair of socks or another shirt and tie set, here's 7 suggestions for things to do in Hertfordshire, places to go or gift experiences to enjoy later in the summer.

Father's Day

Father's Day - Credit: Archant


1. Go white water rafting at Herts' Olympic venue

Lee Valley White Water Centre

Lee Valley White Water Centre - Credit: Lee Valley White Water Centre

For the adrenaline junkie...

With the Tokyo Olympics due to start next month, why not treat dad to some white water rafting at Hertfordshire's only Olympic venue?

The magnificent Lee Valley White Water Centre has reopened after lockdown and offers plenty of water fun for adventurous dads – and their families.

It's time to splash back and hit the rapids for a fun day out at Hertfordshire's legacy of the London 2012 Games.

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Located within the 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park, Lee Valley White Water Centre is a world leading destination offering a host of exciting sport and leisure activities.

The paddleboarding sessions at Lee Valley White Water Centre are fun for all the family.

Suitable for those aged eight and over, the paddleboarding sessions at Lee Valley White Water Centre are fun for all the family. - Credit: Eleanor Bentall

If you love an adrenaline rush, you will find gallons of fun at the centre, from white water rafting on the Olympic course to paddleboarding on the lake.

Then there's canoeing, kayaking, Hot Dog sessions in inflatable two person kayaks, Hydrospeeding – which is a mix between a float and a bodyboard – and the Water Wipeout inflatable obstacle course on the lake.

Hydrospeeding at Lee Valley White Water Centre

Hydrospeeding at Lee Valley White Water Centre - Credit: Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

Unleash your inner thrill seeker and enjoy an exhilarating activity on water at the Waltham Cross facility.

To book or buy a gift voucher visit https://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/whitewater


2. Visit the Hertfordshire Garden Show

Hertfordshire Garden Show at Knebworth House

Hertfordshire Garden Show at Knebworth House - Credit: Supplied by Knebworth House

For the green-fingered enthusiast...

Lots of dads love to potter about the garden, so treat him to a blooming great day out at the Hertfordshire Garden Show.

The event returns to the grounds of Knebworth House this weekend – Saturday, June 19 and Father's Day on Sunday, June 20.

To book tickets for the Hertfordshire Garden Show, visit www.knebworthhouse.com


3. Take him to the cinema

Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) brave the unknown in A Quiet Place Part II.

Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) brave the unknown in A Quiet Place Part II. - Credit: Paramount Pictures

For the film fan...

With cinemas open again, take dad to see the latest family film or blockbuster at your nearest independent picturehouse or multiplex.

Among the movies showing at the Odeon Hatfield, at the Galleria, this week are horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, Ryan Reynolds in Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard and Disney's Cruella, while In the Heights and The Father – starring Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins – are on at Cineworld in Stevenage.

Evelyn (Emily Blunt) braves the unknown in A Quiet Place Part II.

Evelyn (Emily Blunt) braves the unknown in A Quiet Place Part II. - Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Father can also be seen at Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar later this month, while the Odyssey in St Albans reopens on Monday, June 21 with the Oscar-winning Nomadland.

Community cinema Royston Picture Palace is screening Six Minutes to Midnight starring Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard this weekend.

If your dad loves high-speed action and motors, pre-book tickets to see the latest chapter in the Fast & Furious franchise with F9, which includes scenes filmed in Hatfield, set for UK cinemas on June 24.


4. Potter about at Living Crafts

Craftspeople will be demonstrating at Living Crafts in Hatfield Park.

Craftspeople will be demonstrating at workshops at Living Crafts in Hatfield Park. - Credit: Living Crafts

For the crafty type...

Living Crafts is back at Hatfield House this week for four days of art and crafts fun.

Running from Thursday, June 17 to Sunday, June 20 – Father's Day – there's hundred of craftspeople and designer-makers exhibiting and showcasing their work.

Visit www.livingcrafts.co.uk to book tickets.


5. Experience some animal magic at the zoo 

Tiger Siberia watching the fish at Land of the Tigers at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.

Tiger Siberia watching the fish at Land of the Tigers at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Cam Whitnall

For the animal lover...

Why not treat dad to one of the amazing animal experiences at Paradise Wildlife Park?

You can get up close and personal with some of the world’s most iconic animal species like never before at the Hertfordshire zoo. 

With your experience, you will have a dedicated keeper to tell you all about your chosen animal.

Tiger Aleena at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.

Tiger Aleena at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Cam Whitnall

From hand feeding big cats to tickling a tapir, PWP havs everything your dad could ask for this Father’s Day.

Alternatively, you could adopt an animal at the White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, site.

If your dad's more of a Jurassic Park fan, you can even adopt one of the dinos from the World of Dinosaurs.

One of the dinosaurs at World of Dinosaurs at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.

One of the dinosaurs at World of Dinosaurs at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Paradise Wildlife Park

New for 2021, the Herts zoo will be hosting Summer Evenings in Paradise, when you can look around as the sun goes down. 

World of Dinosaurs and World of Animals will be open for the evening period from 6.30pm, with the park closing its gates at 9:30pm.

You'll be able to see the lions and tigers, as well as other animals, at PWP late into the evening.

Lions Moto and Zuri at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.

Lions Moto and Zuri at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Cam Whitnall

There will be African drummers, stilt walkers, face painting, cider, gin and Pimm's carts, a barbecue and live music.

These special after-hours events will be held every Friday and Saturday from July 30 to August 28.

Tickets are selling fast. For more, visit www.pwpark.com/events/summer-evenings-in-paradise/ 


6. Step back in time

Hatfield House and gardens from the air looking towards the North Front

Hatfield House and gardens from the air looking towards the North Front - Credit: Hatfield House

For the history buff...

Having opened its doors again to tourists, book a visit to Hatfield House and learn the history of this 400-year-old Jacobean mansion.

For the 2021 season, those visiting Hatfield House will also be able to enjoy the special exhibition about the life of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, who was Elizabeth I’s most trusted and loyal advisor.

This exhibition, to mark the 500th anniversary of his birth, celebrates Lord Burghley's achievements and legacy.

For opening times, visit www.hatfield-house.co.uk 

Knebworth House and Gardens are also open and will be welcoming visitors on weekdays this week and next.


7. Head to the theatre

The Comedy of Errors at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans.

The Comedy of Errors at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans. - Credit: Pavel Goneski

For the culture lover...

Combine history and theatre with a visit to the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans.

Running until July 11, the theatrical feast is taking place at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium and there's Shakespeare and much more on show at the historical site.

There's also still time to book dad a trip to see the adult panto Senmeafella at Hitchin's Market Theatre before it closes its summer run at the end of the month.

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