Father's Day in Minnesota: What Dad Really Wants This Father's Day

Nicole Fallon

father and two children at a lake

Image credit: Josh Willink/Pexels

May was all about Mom; now it’s Dad’s turn in the spotlight, and it’s time to search for the perfect Father’s Day gift. 

Instead of buying Dad another necktie or watch, why not plan a whole day of activities together? There are plenty of places to explore, eat, and shop right here in Minnesota -- and there’s no better way to thank your dad for his love and support than treating him to some of his favorite things.

Whether you go out on Father’s Day (June 16) or plan your adventure for later in the month, here’s our recommended itinerary for a fun-filled day of celebrating Dad. With brunch, bike riding, and artisan gifts on the docket, any dad is sure to enjoy these local Minneapolis-area experiences.

Stop 1: Take an early morning bike ride on the Dakota Trail

Start your Father’s Day adventure by biking with Dad along the Dakota Rail Regional Trail. This 13-mile paved trail follows the route of the former Dakota Rail Corridor, taking you around Lake Minnetonka through St. Bonifacius, Minnetrista, Mound, Spring Park, Minnetonka Beach, Orono, and Wayzata. The Dakota Trail opens to the public as early as 5 a.m., so you can start your day early and see as much of the trail as possible. Park at the Wayzata trailhead on Grove Lane to make it easy to get to your next destination: brunch!

Stop 2: Enjoy brunch at Birch’s on the Lake

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from your bike ride, head about 2.5 miles west of the Dakota Trailhead in Wayzata to Birch’s on the Lake, a gorgeous waterfront brewhouse and supper club that sits on Long Lake. If Dad is a beer aficionado, he’s sure to love Birch’s exclusive house-made craft brews (you can’t get these beers anywhere else in the world!). The restaurant opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and the Supper Club takes reservations if you want a guaranteed table.

Stop 3: Find Dad’s perfect gift at Gathered Goods

Nine miles south of Birch’s is one of our favorite Tonka Bay shops, Gathered Goods Company. We love this boutique store because it curates artisan apparel, accessories, and home goods from more than 45 local Minnesota vendors, as well as one-of-a-kind items from Haiti. Walk Dad through the men’s section to find him a one-of-a-kind Father’s Day gift he’ll cherish. While Gathered Goods is only open Tuesday through Saturday, you can still check out some of the other stores near Tonka Village Shopping Center if you’re going on a Sunday.

Stop 4: End your day with cookies and milk at The Cookie Cups

When you’ve found dad’s perfect gift at Gathered Goods, drive back up north three miles to Shoreline Drive, home of The Cookie Cups’ Wayzata bakery. Indulge Dad’s sweet tooth with one of our popular Cookie Cups flavors like White Chocolate Caramel, Fudge Brownie, or Cookies & Cream. Or, if he prefers savory, try our Mac & Cheese, Deep Dish Pizza, or Meat & Potato cups. Choose a drink on our menu -- coffee, tea, hot chocolate flavored steamers, or cookies’ best friend milk -- to go with your afternoon treat.

No matter how you and your dad choose to celebrate Father’s Day, make sure he knows how much you love and appreciate him!

Think Dad would enjoy a Cookie Cups gift certificate or cooking class instead? Click the links or stop by the store for more details.

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