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Make Dad’s day! 20 things to do for Father’s Day this weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:58 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 19:31 17 June 2020

A little boy playing catch in Christchurch Park with his grandad - this could be the perfect day out for Father's Day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A little boy playing catch in Christchurch Park with his grandad - this could be the perfect day out for Father's Day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Father’s Day is nearly here - so what can you do to treat Dad? With the easing of coronavirus restrictions, there are more options for ways to celebrate.

James Blyth, owner of Friday Street Farm Shop amongst his crop of strawberries Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJames Blyth, owner of Friday Street Farm Shop amongst his crop of strawberries Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Here are 20 ideas to help mark Father’s Day, which this year falls on Sunday, June 21. Visitors to any attractions are being asked to check in advance whether they need to book, obey social distancing guidelines and bear in mind that some facilities may be closed.

Strawberry picking

Pick your own has been proving hugely popular across the area, as a family activity which is outdoors and allows social distancing.

The view from Dunwich Heath towards RSPB Minsmere - both lovely places to visit for Father's Day Picture: JUSTIN MINNSThe view from Dunwich Heath towards RSPB Minsmere - both lovely places to visit for Father's Day Picture: JUSTIN MINNS

Farms where you could go picking this weekend include:

Goslings Farm Shop and PYO, located just off the A14 at Trimley St Martin, open on Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Contact number 01394 273361.

Friday Street Farm Shop, near Saxmundham, open 9am to 5.30pm daily except Sundays when it closes at 5pm. Contact number: 01728 602783.

MORE- Pick-your-own strawberry farms

National Trust

Covehithe Beach Picture: DAVID HARPERCovehithe Beach Picture: DAVID HARPER

There has been huge demand for the trust’s outdoor sites since they reopened, and it is essential to check and book in advance before visiting. Places have been booking up fast, but if you hurry you may still be able to book a slot for some of the sites. Sutton Hoo and Dunwich Heath may both still have some availability, but Ickworth is already completely sold out for this weekend.

Tickets for the week starting on June 22 will be available from Friday, so as an alternative you could give Dad a special Father’s Day present by booking a trip for another day when the sites may be less in demand. For full details of which National Trust sites are open and how to book, visit the National Trust website.

Celebrate Suffolk Day

As well as being Father’s Day, Sunday is also Suffolk Day. The annual celebration of the county is going ahead this weekend, but the plans have changed so it can be enjoyed safely during the Covid-19 restrictions. Get in the spirit of the day and combine the two occasions by putting up some bunting and treating your dad to a meal of Suffolk delicacies, or take him to a nearby iconic Suffolk spot for the day. Suffolk Food Hall is planning to put on a spread of Suffolk Day produce for sale, and Ben’s Farm Shop in Bury St Edmunds is offering a Taste of Suffolk hamper with local beers, Stokes chutney, Bury St Edmunds chilli jam and cheddar bannocks, a homemade sausage roll and chocolate brownie, Black Bomber cheddar and Fairfields crisps.

MORE - How to get involved in Suffolk Day

Treat Dad to some local beer

Treat Dad to an ice cream from i-Scream Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTreat Dad to an ice cream from i-Scream Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

To add to your combined Father’s Day and Suffolk Day celebrations, how about treating him to some Adnams beer or Aspall Cyder? You could also choose a beer from one of the area’s smaller craft breweries for a different tipple.

Have a pub quiz at home

Does your dad love showing off his knowledge in a pub quiz? Serve up his favourite drink and make up a set of questions to create the same atmosphere at home. Questions made up by children can often be especially tricky for older generations! If you don’t feel inspired to play quizmaster, though, why not try a trivia party game via a games console or PC?

Picnic in Christchurch Park

A beer from Adnams could help to celebrate both Father's Day and Suffolk Day Picture: ADNAMSA beer from Adnams could help to celebrate both Father's Day and Suffolk Day Picture: ADNAMS

The park offers a perfect setting for a picnic. Make your own sandwiches at home, or choose from a variety of goodies at the various bakers, tearooms and coffee shops which have now reopened for takeaways. The kiosk in the park is also reopening for refreshments and ice cream.

Ice cream

Ice cream parlours across the area are reopening for takeaways, with sundaes, gelatos and slushes all back on the menu. Harris & James in Southwold, i-scream! and BMC Cakery, both in Ipswich, and The Little Ice Cream Company in Felixstowe are among the places where you can get all kinds of unusual flavours and toppings.

Takeaway lunches and Sunday roasts

A garden barbecue could be the perfect way to mark Father's Day Picture: PA/GETTY/ISTOCKPHOTOA garden barbecue could be the perfect way to mark Father's Day Picture: PA/GETTY/ISTOCKPHOTO

With so many restaurants, pubs and cafes reinventing themselves as takeaways, you should be able to track down your father’s favourite meal. The Bildeston Crown is currently offering a Father’s Day special, a three-course meal featuring king prawn cocktail, roast pork with stuffing and blackberry bakewell tart, which needs to be ordered by Friday night for collection on Sunday. For more information, visit their website.

Have a barbecue in the garden

Is your father a keep barbecue chef? East Anglia has some wonderful butchers and farm shops, and many of them are currently offering special packs of meat for the barbecue. If you don’t have a barbecue grill, Hollow Trees Farm at Semer offers a whole BBQ box for collection, including everything from the sausages, burgers and salad to an instant barbecue.

You could either keep your barbecue to just the household or invite friends, as it is possible for up to six people to meet up in the garden under current rules. However, there are some strict government guidelines to observe to ensure your barbecue is socially distanced and that hygiene is observed.

Walk along Covehithe beach

If you’re looking for somewhere to get away from it all, this secluded beach could be the answer. You can only access it by foot or cycle, leaving your car near the church and following a footpath to the dunes. Of course, there are many other beautiful beaches around the area to visit with Dad as well.

Open Gardens

Relax this weekend by visiting one of the lovely gardens to open up to the public again via the National Garden Scheme, raising money for nursing and health charities. Pre-booking is essential. Gardens opening in Suffolk this Sunday include 246 Ferry Road, Felixstowe, from 11am to 5pm, The Old Rectory, Kirton, from 12pm to 6pm, Great Bevills at Bures from 2-6pm and Paget House in Saxmundham from 2-6pm. To book, visit the website.

Crazy golf - or foot golf!

A number of crazy golf venues around the area have opened up since they were allowed to do so in May. Stonham Barns has reopened its Smuggler’s Bay Adventure Golf, a pirate themed adventure putting course which includes holes that feature a ship wreck, a volcano and a cave and waterfall. Other golfing facilities include FootGolf. For more details, visit the website.

Go fishing...

If your dad is a fishing fan, there are plenty of options for a socially distanced trip. Walberswick Beach boasts a variety of species to catch, while fishing lakes in the area include Hawstead Fishing Lakes at Bury St Edmunds, Bromeswell Lakes, Marsh Trail Lakes near Beccles and Suffolk Water Park near Ipswich. You are likely to have to book in advance and the various sites also have other rules in place, so check in advance before visiting.

MORE: Whre to go fishing in Suffolk

Or crabbing

If your dad isn’t really an angler, he could still enjoy a crabbing trip. Walberswick is famous for its crabbing, although its long-established festival had to be cancelled because it was too popular, and Felixstowe Ferry and Ramsholt are also popular places to try. Remember to take a crabbing line and some bait.

Play a board game at home

Board games have made something of a comeback during lockdown, as the perfect way to get families together. Monopoly is usually the first one that springs to mind, but there are plenty of others to try - from Cluedo to Connect 4 and Guess Who, as well as newer games like Bananagrams. Ivory Goat Games in Ipswich is reopening on Saturday and stocks a range of unusual games. Zatu Games shop in Norwich has a great selection of more unusual games which can be bought in store or ordered online.

Visit a bird reserve...

The RSPB has opened up a number of its reserves, including Minsmere, North Warren and Aldringham Walks, Lakenheath Fen (from 9am-5pm only) and Wolves Wood in Hadleigh. It also has some reserves which are open 24 hours, such as the new Snape Warren heathland reserve near Snape. The RSPB is asking people to stay local to their nearest reserves and green spaces and warning that various facilities remain closed.

Or wildlife reserve

Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserves are open to visit, although the offices, centres and hides are all currently closed. Arger Fen and Spouse’s Vale near Sudbury, Redgrave & Lopham Fen National Nature Reserve and Foxburrow Farm at Melton, Woodbridge are among the trust’s best-known sites.

Walk or cycle round Alton Water

If you are looking for somewhere different for a day out, Alton Water Park has reopened and now offers activities including cycle hire, mini golf and limited watersports. Takeaway food is also available and the loos are open. Some facilities are still closed, however, including playgrounds.

Stream some comedy online

If Dad wants to sit back and relax on Father’s Day, there are plenty of stand-up comedians to watch via streaming, including Russell Howard, James Acaster, Katherine Ryan and Miles Jupp on Netflix, Billy Connolly on Amazon Prime, Dara Ó Briain on BBC iPlayer, and more.

MORE - The best comedians to stream online

Afternoon tea is served

You could prepare an afternoon tea yourself, or collect it from one of the various bakers and tea rooms offering take-away goodies. Many delivery services will already be completely booked up, but you may still be able to order a tea to collect, or take pot luck and choose from the cakes and bakes on offer.


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