Father’s Day comes and goes every year. It’s easy to get complacent and go to the card aisle at the local grocery store for a Father’s Day gift and call it a day. But what if there was a way to make the day more memorable or productive for your dad?

The trick to making your dad’s Father’s Day a little more special than usual is by doing something that’s appreciated or unexpected. Whether it’s tackling long-standing projects or giving a public shout-out, there are many ways to give your dad a productive and exciting Father’s Day.

1. Get Involved in Father’s Day Contests and Brands

There are all sorts of appealing promotions and product contests that come out around Father’s Day. Some of these contests simply involve entering a name into a proverbial hat or participating in a vote. Others involve a more fun and interactive entry method.

For example, Ace Hardware recently announced a contest in which the winner receives a custom-made pair of grilling shoes and a grill. The relatable and fun aspect of the contest is the stereotype that dads often have a pair of “grilling shoes.” These “dad’s grilling shoes” are typically beaten down, grubby, semi-retired athletic shoes. Rather than just submitting your dad’s name into a portal, entry into the contest requires a photo upload of his grilling shoes. So if your dad’s grilling shoes are a long-running joke in the family, snap a photo and get him in the running for cool prizes.

National contests aren’t the only option. A wide variety of local contests can be a fun way to celebrate your dad. Radio contests for various holidays and events have been going on for decades, and Father’s Day is no exception.

But with most radio stations operating corresponding websites, contests can be more interactive. From father-son lookalike contests to entries that require you to write about your dad’s qualities, you can show off your dad in a public space. At the bare minimum, you can find that embarrassing family picture of your dad and share it with the world.

2. Tackle the Honey Do List Together

There’s a popular joke that can be found on various merchandise, from keychains to t-shirts. I saw this on a cool Father’s Day mug on Pinterest — “If a man says he’ll fix it, he will. There’s no need to remind him every six months.”

While the sentiment is clearly for laughs, most dads do have a long list of repairs around the house or yard. Depending on your dad’s personality, he might either avoid the honey-do list at all costs or just struggle with finding the time. Either way, he might be far more excited about completing some projects if you offer to help. As an added bonus, you can form valuable memories of working and learning with your dad in a low-key way.

So set up the sound system with some tunes your dad likes to jam out to and get to work. Speaking of music, you can pair up your assistance with a subscription to a music service such as Spotify or ads-free Pandora. Sure, you might end up in a situation where you’re up on a ladder while your dad is fiddling with his new song list. But after all, it’s one day a year, so just make sure the ladder is secure — and let him fiddle.

The bottom line is that you can help your dad with his to-do list and make it fun. By giving dad the gift of your time and adding touches to make it fun — you can turn chores into a great day.

  1. Organize a Family Outing

Maybe your dad loves nothing more than spending time with his family. But, that doesn’t mean the family has to sit around and watch television. There are plenty of activities you can do as a group that your dad will enjoy.

Depending on the age range of your family members, specific options such as whiskey tasting might be a possibility. For families with smaller children, game-centered activities might be the way to go. For example, bowling or laser tag has the potential to be an exciting, bonding experience on Father’s Day.

Of course, the activity of choice for your dad might be something that the rest of the family wouldn’t typically vote upon as a first option. Having the whole family agree to participate in an adventure, not in the regular routine, could be especially meaningful to your dad.

4. Set Up a Dad Date

There are some stereotypes about how dads typically spend their Father’s Day. Most of them involve grilling, cards, and handmade gifts from children and grandchildren. If these activities genuinely constitute the perfect day for your dad, great! Set up a dad date if your dad is the social type but rarely has time for activities outside the home or workplace.

You can check everyone’s availability and organize fun activities by getting in touch with your dad’s friends. Examples could be a round of golf, a trip to the go-kart track, or just a game of cards in someone’s basement. Of course, it requires your dad’s friends to be open to veering away from their own standard Father’s Day activities. But if they’re open to something, it might just be what the group as a whole would most enjoy for the day.

Whatever your dad and his friends enjoy doing but rarely get the opportunity to do so should be your focus. It can be as wild as a parachuting outing or as mild as a few movie tickets and some extra cash for popcorn.

Make it More Than Just Another Day

Father’s Day can be far more than just grilling with the family and a handmade card. You can make it more than just another day by putting in a little thought and being creative. So think about what your dad would appreciate and how you can give him a day to remember.

[Related: Creative Father’s Day Gifts for the Best Dad Ever]

Image Credit: by Ace Hardware