Vancouver Weekend: We're Thinking....Father's Day 2017

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      Need something to do this weekend? Here are five outings where you can show your old man some love this Father's Day (June 18). Looking for a few more ideas? Check out our round-up of pops-appropriate events for Father's Day 2016 here.

      Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery, 4090 Hastings Street, Burnaby

      Most dads can never refuse dessert, especially if it’s a treat from their offspring. If your father is keen on the sweets, then we recommend bringing him to Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery: an old-school gem situated in the heart of Burnaby Heights.

      As soon as you step through its doors, you’ll be overcome with a nostalgic feeling that reminds you of flipping through Archie’s Comics back in the day. (Shout out to Pop Tate’s Chok’lit Shoppe.) Aside from the well-known fictional reference, Glenburn has a persona of its own. Its diner-style bar and stools—coupled with the pastel-hued kitchenware—are the perfect backdrop for photography-loving dads.

      As for the menu, expect to indulge in everything from sundaes to milkshakes, malts to sodas, floats to ice-cream cones, and much more. The spot’s specialty sundae menu will make even the most decisive people second-guess what they really want—how do you choose between the Brownie Sundae (brownie, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream) and the PB Supreme (chocolate ice cream, peanut butter sauce, hot fudge, and chocolate sprinkles)?

      If milk doesn’t sit well with pops, dairy-free dessert options are also available.


      North Shore Paintball

      North Shore Paintball, 100B Lower Capilano Road, North Vancouver

      Remember when you were 10 and your father decided to take the family on a road trip to Kamloops instead of that long-promised Disneyland vacation? Remember that time when you were 14 and he gave his mint-condition Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee rookie card to your kid brother, who didn’t even know what the letters NHL stood for? And remember when he sold his 1971 Triumph T100 Daytona at auction instead of handing it down to you on the grounds that it was “too dangerous”?

      This Father’s Day, thank your old man for being such a great dad by blasting the living crap out of him with a paintball gun. At North Shore Paintball, you’ll have over a hectare of terrain in which to wear your pops down and finish him off in numerous variations of team elimination, capture the flag, and attack-and-defend.

      If you really want to show Dad a good time, spend the extra cash to upgrade your weapon to the "BFG"—a Tippmann 98 with cyclone feed and response trigger, capable of shooting over 14 balls per second. You can probably figure out what “BFG” stands for. Don’t say it out loud, though, because swearing is against North Shore Paintball’s regulations, although your dad will probably break that rule as he begs you for mercy. It’s all in the name of good family fun, of course!


      Vancouver TheatreSports League's SuperDad show.

      The SuperDad Show at the Vancouver Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street, Granville Island

      The poster for Vancouver TheatreSports League's new special-occasion show says it all: a middle-aged guy wearing a fanny pack, cargo shorts, and a jaunty wool-knit vest. Take that as fair notice that no dad cliche is off-limits for the city's best improvisors in their family-friendly Father's Day–afternoon show, taking place this Sunday (June 18) at 2 p.m. at the Vancouver Improv Centre.

      Feel free to holler out your own favourite follies of the ol' man (we're thinking barbecue tyranny, sandals with socks, and groan-worthy jokes): the shows here are always driven by audience suggestions, with a talented cast who'll take them and run. They'll ensure you give dad the gift of laughter.

      And if he's up for it, grab a cabaret-style table at the front. Make sure you hit the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge patio for a cold one before the show. And tell pops to wear his best polo T and loafers.


      Mike Usinger

      Parallel 49 Brewing Company, 1950 Triumph Street

      With the possible exception of Bill Gates Sr., no father really enjoys thinking "Hey, I sired a nerd." One of the unstated goals of Father's Day then is to show your dad that you're cooler than the next kid. Thanks to a recent six-month renovation, that objective is easily achieved with a trip to Parallel 49 in East Van.

      While the new beer-store and tasting room is reason enough to pop by, it's the street kitchen where things really get funky. Start with the food truck. Literally parked on-site right inside the restaurant, the rolling kitchen's exterior is emblazoned with hip-hop–inspired graffiti recalling the heydays of Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, and the Beastie Boys. Any one of those artists might pop up on a Parallel 49 iPod playlist; whoever is charge of music knows their stuff, which is to say on a good day you'll hear everything from the Clash to Joy Division to Snoop Dogg.

      Where the East Van brewery used to be restricted to beer-sponge snacks like pepperoni-sticks and pretzels, it now boasts a full menu featuring everything from fish tacos to braised-duck corn dogs. But it's the on-tap offerings that'll really show your dad he didn't raise no soda pop–swilling Urkel. There are 40 different varieties of beer, from the standards like Craft Lager to out-there offerings such as a Gong Show Belgian-style quadruple aged with fresh habaneros in Jack Daniel's barrels.

      A couple of pints of each while the Gorillaz's "Clint Eastwood" pumps out of the overhead speakers as the guys at the next tables debate whether Nas is a better rapper than Drake, and your dad is guaranteed to finally stop asking you why you insisted on living your life like it's a casting call for Revenge of the Nerds V.


      West Coast Mini Putt

      West Coast Mini Putt, 7391 Elmbridge Way, Richmond

      While you may not be an avid golfer or even have an old man who considers hitting a white ball into an open area with perfectly groomed grass an enjoyable pastime, there’s nothing wrong with spending a few hours pitching and swinging in order to spend some quality time together.

      But as great as that Father’s Day plan sounds, it’s not usually easy on the wallet. Enter Richmond’s West Coast Mini Putt: a state-of-the-art 18-hole mini-golf facility where you don’t have to rent or own expensive golfing attire. Show up in jeans, a T, and your favourite pair of sneakers and you’ll be good to go. Dad will appreciate the establishment’s glow-in-the-dark feature and the creative artwork on the walls—a twist on classic mini-putt destinations.

      If this activity seems a little calm for your adventurous pops, make it a competitive round by keeping score and allowing the winner to be treated to dinner. (In this case, you’ll be treating dad, anyhow.) Be sure to make a reservation in advance to avoid waits or dad’s disappointment when he realizes that the spot’s been fully booked for the day. 

      Running every Thursday, Vancouver Weekend spotlights five Straight-approved places around the city worth discovering.