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Father's Day activities: 2012 events for NYC families

Show Dad some love this month with our selection of Father's Day activities around the city.

  • Father's Day at the Audubon Center

  • Father's Day at the Audubon Center

  • Cool Jazzy Dads at Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Father's Day Celebration at the Clayton Williams Garden

  • Father's Day Celebration at the Clayton Williams Garden

  • Father's Day Cards at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Father's Day Cards at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Sunday Story Hour and Father's Day Scavenger Hunt at DiMenna Children's History...

  • Sunday Story Hour and Father's Day Scavenger Hunt at DiMenna Children's History...

  • Father's Day Workshop at Film Biz Recycling: Ashley Lucas

  • Father's Day Workshop at Film Biz Recycling: Ashley Lucas

  • Photograph: Susana Caldeira

    Portugal Day

  • Photograph: Susana Caldeira

    Portugal Day

  • Father's Day Sing-A-Long

  • Father's Day Heroes and Father's Day Sports Cap Creations, Sony Wonder...

  • Father's Day Party at Taste buds Kitchen

  • Photograph: John Karsten Moran

    Wave Hill Family Art Project

  • Photograph: John Karsten Moran

    Wave Hill Family Art Project

  • Photograph: Joshua Bright

    Wave Hill Family Art Project

Father's Day at the Audubon Center

With Father's Day just around the corner (June 17, to be exact), we've been scoping out the most exciting Father's Day activities across the city to make your family's patriarch feel extra-special all month long. From a to letting him indulge his inner geek at the New York Hall of Science, there's no shortage of ways to show Dad just how much you appreciate him this year. Read on for our roundup of can't-miss Father's Day activities.

RECOMMENDED: What to do on Father's Day weekend

"I Love Dad" Craft Lesson
Kids and their dads can spend Father's Day together at this fun arts-and-crafts event at one of two Bit'z Kids locations, where little ones show Dad they care by fashioning such colorful creations as toolbox picture frames. To reserve a spot, register at bitzkidsnyc.com. Thu June 7 at 4pm. *Bit'z Kids Upper West Side, 410 Columbus Ave between 79th and 80th Sts (212-724-1415, bitzkidsnyc.com) *Bit'z Kids Tribeca, 275 Greenwich St between Murray and Warren Sts (212-571-0803). Free. Ages 2 to 8.

Father's Day Workshop
Children's book illustrator Ashley Lucas will help kids make Father's Day cards out of recycled greeting cards and paper using cutting and tearing techniques. Kids will also make art on recycled paper, which they can display in a frame from the Film Biz Prop Shop and present to dad on his special day. R.S.V.P. to Ashley.lucas.art@gmail.com. Sun June 10 1--2pm. Film Biz Prop Shop. Families with up to two children $25. Ages 5 to 13. 

Father's Day Cake Decorating Workshop
No dad would say no to the gift of food—especially if it's a beautifully-decorated dessert. Professional pastry chef Sara Pereira will teach kids pastry bag and frosting techniques and help them to cut letters out of cake using a stencil. RSVP to lindak@partymakers.com. Tues June 12 3:30pm--4:30pm. Linda Kaye's Birthdaybakers Partymakers, 195 E 76th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-288-7112, partymakers.com). Free. Ages 4 and up.

Father's Day Chocolate Making
During this two-hour chocolate-making session at chocolatier Aditi Malhotra's factory, participants prepare chocolate lollipops, caramel kisses, and chocolates molded into the shape of diamonds, stars and seashells. What's more, families get to take home all their handmade confections, plus a bag of house-made mendiants, grignotines and a special white-chocolate truffle. And as if everyone didn't already feel like royalty, crowns and tiaras (and aprons, of course) are provided. Call 212-473-3200 by June 11 to reserve a spot in a private or group lesson. Wed June 13--Sun June 17 11am--5pm. Christian Vautier Le Concept, 254 Broome St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts (212-473-3200, facebook.com/cvleconcept). $45 per person. Ages 4 and up.

Family Workshop: Father's Day Heroes
Little ones will have their photo snapped, then use it to create a superhero pop-up card for their Super Dads. Thu June 14 noon--1pm. Sony Wonder Technology Lab. $5. Ages 2 to 6.

T's for Dad and Me
Inspired by the nature at Wave Hill, kids and their dads sketch summery pictures onto T-shirts using fabric markers and special crayons. All materials are provided. Sat June 16, Sun June 17 10am--1pm. Wave Hill. Free with garden admission; admission is free until noon. Ages 4 to 10.

Family Workshop: Father's Day Sports Cap Creations
Kids discuss their dads' favorite hobbies, then decorate a baseball cap with fabric markers and glitter glue to give to Pop the very next day. Sat June 16 noon--1pm, 2--3pm. Sony Wonder Technology Lab. $5. Ages 2 to 6.

Clayton Williams Father's Day Celebration
At this Harlem celebration, families can take in a live performance from the kids at the Harlem School of the Arts (2pm), have a photographer take their picture (which can be framed and purchased for a suggested donation of $5), go on a garden tour and make origami ties in honor of Father's Day. Sat June 16 1--4pm. Clayton Williams Memorial Garden, 303 W 126th St at Frederick Douglass Blvd (greenthumbnyc.org). Free. All ages.

Father's Day Pizza Party
Budding chefs and their papas prepare a pizza feast complete with fresh mozzarella and basil, then gobble it up in celebration of the big day. Pizza will be accompanied by cool beverages. Sat June 16 at 1:30pm, Sun June 17 at 11:30am. Taste Buds Kitchen. $20 per person. Ages 2 to 8.

Portugal Day
Families are invited to celebrate Portugal on Father's Day with ethnic dishes like pastis de nata (Portugese custard cakes) and by listening to lively music by Nathalie Pires. But first, kids will run races of various distances between 50 and 800 feet ($8, in advance $6) while parents cheer them on from the sidelines (9:30am); each runner gets a participation medal. Sun June 17 7:30--11:30am. Central Park West at 69th St. Free. Ages 2 and up.

Father's Day at the Staten Island Zoo
In case you missed the Staten Island Zoo's two-for-one admission special on Mother's Day, all is not lost: The zoo is offering the same deal on Father's Day! This time, gather the brood, hop a ferry and pay a visit to those baby zoo animals. Sun June 17 10am--4:45pm. Staten Island Zoo. Free with zoo admission. All ages.

NYSCI Celebrates National GeekDad Day
Families can celebrate Father's Day in an outdoor studio, using repurposed, recyclable and found materials such as wood, plus tools including bungee cords, clamps and rope, to invent new objects and fun things to do with them. Sun June 17 11am--4pm. New York Hall of Science. Free with museum admission. Ages 6 to 14.

Sunday Story Hour: Celebrate Father's Day!
Little ones can sit back and enjoy a reading of A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubbino, a story about a father and son's stroll through the Big Apple. Sun June 17 11:30am--12:30pm. DiMenna Children's History Museum. Free with museum admission. Ages 3 to 7.

Little Artist Workshop: Ocean Daddies
Children learn about how "ocean daddies" care for their little ones by watching some of the museum's resident marine life (think underwater creatures like horseshoe crabs and starfish). Afterward, they'll paint an underwater scene with others, to be put on display in the museum. Sun June 17 at 11:30am. Brooklyn Children's Museum. Free with museum admission. Ages 2 to 5.

Father's Day Scavenger Hunt
Dads and their budding history buffs can sharpen their detective skills together by embarking on a museum tour and Dad-themed scavenger hunt. Sun June 17 at noon. DiMenna Children's History Museum. Free with museum admission. Ages 5 and up.

Father's Day at the Audubon Center
Why have the kids buy Dad a store-bought gift this year when they can just as easily head to this hands-on workshop at the Audubon Center? Young artists create cards from recycled materials (1--3pm), then hit the park's nature trails with their families on a walking tour. Sun June 17 at noon. Prospect Park Audubon Center. Free. All ages.

Father's Day at Mini Jake
Parents can snack on Bagel Smith bagels and Oslo coffee while youngsters play on a jungle gym made out of cardboard boxes and connector system Makedo (noon-3pm) and older kids ages 7 to 14 try out Lego Ninjago. Sign up on minijake.com to enter a Father's Day giveaway for a chance to win a Diaper Dude Survival Kit and a Badger Balm sun protection gift bag, which will be given away at 4pm. Sun June 17 noon--4pm. Mini Jake. Free. Ages 0 to 12.

MillionTreesNYC Father's Day Tree Care & Flower Planting Workshop
Environmentally conscious children can help their dads (and moms!) weed and cultivate the soil of tree pits, then plant flowers to help beautify Sunnyside, Queens. After taking a tree adoption pledge, participants over 18 (that would be Dad or Mom) receive a free tree-care stewardship kit, including a collapsible bucket, hand trowel, soil cultivator, weeding tool, gloves and a tree care manual, so your family can continue the green good deeds in your own neighborhood. Be sure to wear closed-toed shoes. Sun June 17 1--3:30pm. Greenpoint Ave and 44th St, Sunnyside, Queens (646-235-8603, nycgovparks.org). Free. Ages 5 and up.

Cool Jazzy Dads
Youngsters can jam to music by renowned jazz legends while creating cards for their cool-cat dads. Sun June 17 at 2:30pm. Brooklyn Children's Museum. Free with museum admission. Ages 2 to 5.

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