Scenic Ride If your family enjoys biking, take dad to Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park for a picnic and bike ride. This hilly, 13,467-acre state park borders the Mississippi River and offers a 5-mile paved bike trail that is largely shaded. Miles of hiking trails also thread through the leafy hardwood canopy here. After exploring, visit the nature center at Poplar Tree Lake. You’ll find live and stuffed examples of park wildlife. Additional perks include two fishing lakes and a swimming pool. • Free admission. $4/person for pool. Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. • Go to tn.gov/environment/parks/MeemanShelby/#events
Gadget: Schwinn 17-Function Bike Computer Computes speed, time, distance, and calories burned. Secures easily to bike handlebars. Makes workouts more efficient. • $19.99. Available at Amazon.com
Rustic Escape For a weekend escape, try bunking at the rustic cabins at Chickasaw State Park. The park offers 13 cabins and lots of tent camping, but we’re most enamored with the funky, Depression-era log cabins. Some even boast peaceful views of Lake Placid. Head down to the sandy shore, where kids can build sandcastles or splash in the water; paddle boats and fishing available, too. Horse lovers can take trail rides or tie up at Wrangler Campground, fully equipped for horse owners with water and electric hook-ups. • Cabins start at $75/night. Go to tn.gov/environment/parks/Chickasaw/ Gadget: Thule Caravan Vehicle Roof Cargo Bag Perfect addition for vacation travel. Carries up to 110 pounds of cargo in durable, waterproof nylon bag. Fits Thule rack systems. • $100. Available at Outdoors, Inc.
Smart Protection If Dad’s tied to his smart phone (and who isn’t nowadays), he needs something to keep it protected. OtterBox provides rugged, waterproof covers that safely encase your favorite handheld devices, from iPhones and iPads to Blackberries. The silicon wraparound corners provide great protection when your phone gets dropped. The silicon screen protector also keeps scratches at bay. From $20 to $50. • Available at otterbox.comMusic Lessons Ever wondered how a guitar is made? Take Dad to the Gibson Guitar factory in downtown Memphis for a look at the process. The 45-minute tour showcases the time-honored craft of instrument making. • Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $10. Go to bit.ly/dyVpD4. While there, step into the Rock N Soul Museum (Beale Street and Third) for a music lesson in how the Delta blues shaped rock and pop. • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. $11/adults, $8/ages 5-17. • memphisrocknsoul.org. Gadget: Quality headphones can make all the difference between music sounding good — and sounding great. Able Planet makes a line of head-phones worth the price of a listen. Designed to be noise-canceling gaming headphones, they’re ideal for casual listening or travel. • Starting at $70. Available at ableplanet.com.
Lather Up Who says dads don’t appreciate a little pampering now and then? Your man can put his best face forward with a visit to Gents, The Gentlemen’s Cut (802 South Cooper). This men’s day spa places an emphasis on wellness and grooming, with services that range from stylish haircuts, hot lather shaves, and beard detailing, to manicures, pedicures, and massages. The shop takes reservations on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Prices start at $20. • 725-3772. Dress In Style We know — ties are sooo cliché for Father’s Day. But Flashback, the Vintage Department Store (2304 Central Avenue), offers a fashionable twist to a perennial favorite. This funky clothing and home furnishings shop specializes in collectibles from the 1950s to the 1980s. With an eye for detail, proprietor Millett Vance presents a mod assortment of ties and fashion that never go out of style. • 272-2304 • Available at flashbackmemphis.com Gadget: Dad’s gadgets getting the best of him? Get organized with Mobile Edge. The Mini Messenger Gadget Bag is a durable, stylish nylon tote ideal for stashing netbooks, power transformer, back-up batteries, and cables. Well-stitched and comfortable to carry. • $40. • Available at ebags, bit.ly/izy5to
Scale a Wall Give Dad a bird’s-eye view of the world at ClimBridges, where adults and kids can scale a 35-foot, state-of-the-art climbing wall. Belayers and harnesses provided. Athletic shoes recommended. Free wi-fi and concessions also available. Public climbs take place Friday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. Summer dates include: June 3 and 17, July 1, 11, and 25, and August 5 and 19. • $15/adults, $10/ages 17 and under. 260-3707 • Go to bridgesusa.org/climbridgesGo Underground Spelunking is a great way to stay cool and Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View, Arkansas, offers a fascinating cave worth exploring. Several trails guide you through the enormous cavern. The more decorative upper story can be viewed by walking along the half-mile Dripstone Trail. The 1.2 mile Discovery Trail winds along the cavern floor past curious formations of stalactites (these hold tight to the ceiling) and stalagmites (these grow up from the cave floor and might reach the ceiling). For real adventure, try the Wild Tour. You’ll don coveralls, hard hats, and knee pads to venture deep into unimproved parts of the cave. Reservations required. Tour begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Children must be 10 or older and accompanied by an adult. $75/person. • Admission: $10.50/adults, $5.50/ages 5-12, 50 cents/under 5. Hours: 9:30 a.m., last tour leaves at 4:30 p.m. • Go to bit.ly/lmDEIH