A dozen ideas for Dad

Celebrate Father's Day June 18

Written by Amy Bird

1. Casting call

Whether you want to test your acumen at the American Bass Anglers fishing tournament for "weekend anglers," 4 a.m. - 4 p.m. June 18 at El Dorado Lake, or bait fish at Sedgwick County Park, there are multiple lakes in and around Wichita where you can hang a line. For a complete list of where to go, visit kansasangler.com or the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks site at ksoutdoors.com. The ABA tournament is open to ABA members 14 years and older check out centralmidwestbass.com for complete details.

2. Vertical ambitions

Hit the wall, literally, at Bliss Bouldering and Climbing complex Wichita's only full-service rock climbing facility. The gym is open to all skill levels. Day passes are $16 per person and rental packages are under $10. Visit climbbliss.com for information.

3. Bullseye

Test your marksmanship at area ranges. Diamond Archery has an indoor and outdoor archery range. Beginner courses are offered, along with daily drop-ins and private lessons. On Father's Day, dads who bring their own equipment shoot for free. Rental/range fees are $20. For more information, see diamondarchery.com.

Range 54, a family-friendly pistol and rifle range, also offers training courses and daily rates/rentals. Children must be 10 years or older and accompanied by an adult to shoot. Group rates are available, along with a lounge for those who come to watch. On Father's Day, lane rental is free for dads. For complete details, go to range54.com.

4. Strike!

The Alley Indoor Entertainment on the east side of Wichita has bowling, along with go-karts, a laser maze and an arcade to make it fun for the whole family. If you want to make a full day of it, you can also catch a movie next door at the Warren Theatre. Check out thealleywichita.com for hours and pricing. If you're looking for bowling on the west side of Wichita, check out West Acres Bowling Center at westacresbowling.com.

5. Putter around

Wichita has several mini golf destinations, including All Star Sports on the west side and All Star Adventures on the east side (allstarwichita.com), Exploration Place (exploration.org), and an outdoor course at O.J. Watson Park (wichita.gov). For those looking to hit on a larger scale, reserve a tee time at an area public golf course at golfwichita.com.

6. Chrome cruisin

Take in the Father's Day car show at the Sedgwick County Zoo and get your fill of exotic animals and cool cars. Dads get in free when accompanied by a paying child or adult. For details visit scz.org.

7. Gadgets galore

Celebrate your super hero by checking out the Hall of Heroes exhibit at Exploration Place. The traveling exhibit on super heroes features movie props, costumes, hero gadgets, memorabilia and rare artifacts from the big screen, including a full-scale "half" replica of the 1960s Batmobile. After taking in the exhibit, you can peruse the permanent exhibits, see a live science show, experience the dome theatre and planetarium, or play a round of mini golf outside. For more information, including show times and admission price, visit exploration.org.

8. Speed racer

If you are looking for adrenaline, head to the track at 81 Speedway for NCRA Sprints, NCRA Modified, and NCRA Mod Lite racing. Gates open at 5 p.m. and races start at 7 p.m. Check out race81speedway.com for pass prices and details. If you'd rather be behind the wheel, circle the track yourself on electric race karts that reach speeds of 45 mph at Xtreme Racing and Entertainment. Visit xtremewichita.com for hours and pricing.

9. Catch the breeze

With lots of open space and more often than not a healthy wind, Wichita is ideal for kite flying. Find a unique one for dad at Wings of the Wind, and pack a picnic for the park. Just make sure to pick out your kite before Father's Day Wings of the Wind is closed on Sundays. For store hours and location, see wingsofthewind.com.

10. Airplanes and ice cream

Kansas Aviation Museum is having a Father's Day Ice Cream Social on Sunday afternoon 1-3 p.m. Find out why Wichita is considered the air capital of the world as you tour historic aircraft and aviation memorabilia at Wichita's first municipal airport. Fathers get in free with a paid child admission and the first 50 families to attend will get free ice cream. Go to kansasaviationmuseum.org for more information.

11. Play ball

Bond with dad over a ball game. The Wingnuts play the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks on Father's Day at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. On Father's Day, lower box tickets are BOGO. All Sunday games this summer also feature a water inflatable for kids for "Splash Down Sundays." To buy tickets in advance, visit wichitawingnuts.com.

12. BBQ

Fathers can take a class Friday or Saturday at All Things BBQ (sign up at atbbq. com) and try out their new skills Sunday in the most quintessential of dad's day events: the backyard barbecue. If you'd rather partake than make, plan ahead most Wichita barbecue joints are closed Sundays. A few local spots to keep on your radar: B&C Barbeque (wichitabcbbq.com), Bite Me BBQ (biteme-bbq.com) and Pig In Pig Out (piginpigoutbbq.com). Happy feasting!

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