Father's Day is June 18, and it's a holiday that's become known for its traditional complacency. Think about the cliché gifts like coffee mugs and neckties. Think about the usual dinners at the local steak house.
It's time to break that mold. Here are 10 ways to celebrate Father's Day locally this year:
<sh>1. Tour the Tavern
<bt>Gadsby's Tavern Museum
134 N. Royal St.
Gadsby's was a favorite haunt for one famous father — namely the Father of Our Country. On Father's Day, dads won't have to drop a Washington or a Lincoln to tour this historic landmark, which will offer visiting fathers free tours from 1-5 p.m. Cost is $4 for all other adults and $2 for children ages 11-17. Visit www.gadsbystavern.org.
<sh>2. Devour the Custard Cookie
<bt>The Dairy Godmother
2310 Mount Vernon Ave.
Liz Davis, owner of The Dairy Godmother, said her Del Ray frozen treats shop will offer a special item for Father's Day. It begins with a 6-inch chocolate chip cookie. Butter Pecan frozen custard is layered on top, and then a second cookie is placed on top. A whipped topping finishes off the culinary creation, which retails for $19.99 and feeds eight. Visit www.thedairygodmother.com for more information.
<sh>3. Give Dad the Green
<bt>Raise a tasty beverage to dear 'ole dad at one of Old Town's trio of Irish pubs.
Murphy's Grand Irish Pub is located at 713 King St. The pub offers brunch beginning at 10 a.m. and is open until after midnight. Call 703-548-1717 for more information.
Pat Troy's Ireland's Own is located at 111 Pitt St. and opens at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. There is a live Celtic harpist playing during Sunday brunch. Call 703-549-4535 for more information.
Daniel O'Connell's Restaurant is located at 112 King St. and features four bars and eclectic Irish cuisine. Call 703-739-1124 for more information.
Keep in mind that these pubs will be packed during the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, and that Brazil and Australia are scheduled to play at noon on Father's Day.
<sh>4. Cruise Lake Accotink
<bt>Lake Accotink Park
7500 Accotink Park Road
Cruise the shoreline of Lake Accotink while listening to a history of the park, lake and the surrounding area. Refreshments are served on board the boat. Reservations are required for this Father's Day event, with cruises leaving the dock at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m. Boarding fees are $3.50 for Dads, $7 for other adults, $4 for children, while babies small enough to sit on laps are free. For more information or for VISA/Mastercard reservations, call 703-569-0285. The cruise is canceled in case of rain or gusty winds; refunds are issued only if cruise is canceled.
<sh>5. Sample Some Brew
<bt>Whole Foods Market
1700 Duke St.
Yorkshire brewer Samuel Smith's collection of organic beers will be sampled from 2-6 p.m. on Sat., June 17 at the Whole Foods Market on Duke Street. The organic beers range from a full-bodied lager to a more delicately flavored golden ale.
<sh>6. Tour Lee-Fendall House
<bt>Lee-Fendall House and Garden Museum
614 Oronoco St.
The historic home to generations of the Lee family, the Lee-Fendall house will have free tours for fathers and grandfathers when accompanied by their children on June 18. Tours are scheduled for 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The house is both an intimate study of 19th century family life and a collection of some of the Lee family's heirlooms. Visit www.leefendallhouse.org for more information.
<sh>7. Take Dad Out to the Ballgame
7 County Complex Court
The Potomac Nationals, a minor-league affiliate of the Washington Nationals, have several promotions for their Father's Day game against the rival Frederick Keys. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will get a Potomac Nats hat. A few Potomac players will be available before the game to take pictures and give autographs. Following the game, fathers and children will have the opportunity to run the bases and, if they brought their gloves with them, have a catch in the outfield of Pfitzner Stadium.
The game begins at 1:05 p.m., and gates open one hour before the game. Visit www.potomacnationals.com for more information.
<sh>8. Discover Your Forefathers
717 Queen St.
Genealogy has become one of the nation's favorite pastimes, as generations of families are discovered through different research techniques. Genealogy classes are held at the Barrett Library, Special Collections, 717 Queen St. and are offered through a partnership with the Fairfax County Public Schools Adult Education Division. To register with a major credit card, call the Adult Education Division at 703-227-2377, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Seating is limited, so register early. The instructor, Chuck Mason, Jr. CGRS, is a locally well-known genealogist and former president of the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society.
<sh>9. Hit a Round of 18
<bt>Cameron Run Regional Park
4001 Eisenhower Avenue
Cameron Run boasts one of the region's most challenging and popular miniature golf courses. The course costs $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for children and senior citizens. The course is open all day on the weekend, but visit www.nvrpa.org for updated summer hours.
<sh>10. Wood Carving at Great Falls
<bt>Colvin Run Mill
10017 Colvin Run Road
The Northern Virginia Carvers lead an afternoon woodcarving event on Father's Day at Colvin Run Mill, an award-winning restoration and a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The mill will feature free carving lessons from noon to 4 p.m. There is a nominal fee for the wood blanks. Fathers accompanied by children can also take free tours of the mill and the miller's house. Handcranked ice cream samples are available for 75 cents a cup.
<sh>11. Fly High at the Air and Space Museum
<bt>On the Mall
6th and Independence Ave.SW
Information 202 633-1000
At the Lockheed Martin Imax Theatre, you can take a trip to Mars or pretend you are a fighter pilot. There are 22 exhibition galleries, a flight simulator, the Wright Brothers 1903 plane and the Spirit of St. Louis. If you are lucky, you can join a docent-guided tour which might well be given by a retired pilot who can give you a first hand glimpse of the daredevil days of flying. If that's not enough, there is the Albert Einstein Planetarium with its 20 minute tour of the Universe, a three-level museum shop and a food court. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.