Father's Day is a special time of year. Not only is it an opportunity to say thanks to someone who raised you, it's also usually a great opportunity to gather the whole family together.
Obviously, this year is different, and we won't be able to treat dad to a pint at the local pub and a Sunday lunch with all the trimmings. With social distancing rules still in place, many of us won't be able to hug our fathers either, but there are still ways you can safely mark the occasion.
BBQs aside, here are a few creative ideas for making this Father's Day a memorable one…
Golf courses have largely reopened in the UK and Ireland, offering the opportunity for dads to get some fresh air while perfecting their swing.
A great mindful activity, golf can help reduce stress and anxiety, and all that walking in nature provides gentle exercise too. As courses are open and spacious, you're able to catch up with family at a safe distance.
It's a good idea to check the rules in your local area before you book. In England, players can play with members from the same household or one player from another household, providing you stay two metres apart at all times. In Ireland meanwhile, the rules are slightly stricter and only members who live within 5km of their local course can use facilities.
If the weather is good, croquet is an ideal way to spend a sunny afternoon outside. The relaxed, low-impact nature of the game means it won't be too strenuous for older family members, and as each player takes it in turns to make their shot, you can easily stay more than two metres away from one another. And if you don't know the rules, YouTube tutorials can explain.
Setting up a couple of easels in each corner of the garden is a fun way to take part in a creative, socially-distanced activity together. Even if you haven't painted since school, throwing some paint onto a canvas is a fantastic stress-busting activity that can help ease the pressures of lockdown.
You could even print a few photos of dad – or get him to pose – and ask everyone taking part to paint their own portrait.
Did you know gardening has been linked to a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms, (according to a 2017 analysis of 22 different studies in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports)?
If your dad is lucky enough to have some green space, you could treat him to some new plants at the garden centre, and help him dig them into the flower beds. Or perhaps there's a local community garden where you can meet? Even if you're working at opposite ends of the patch, you'll still feel like you're busy achieving something together.
If your dad is self-isolating and you don't want to take the risk of a socially-distanced meetup, you could try organising a virtual event instead – like a wine tasting.
Tasting rooms might be closed right now, but there's no reason you can't have a couple of bottles delivered to your dad, along with some pairing foods like cheese, grapes and chutney.
Many wineries are offering virtual tastings, where a sommelier will join you on a video call to explain the tasting notes. If you're on a tight budget though, you could always replicate the idea yourself, getting Dad to guess the prices of each bottle – from cheap supermarket plonk to a fancier wine. Bottoms up!