published Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Don’t panic: We’ve got you covered for Father's Day

Fire Ball, a new ride at Lake Winnepesaukah, inverts riders on a 360-degree loop. The amusement park is offering admission specials for Father's Day.
Fire Ball, a new ride at Lake Winnepesaukah, inverts riders on a 360-degree loop. The amusement park is offering admission specials for Father's Day.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

OK, admit it: Sometimes, Father's Day sneaks up on us.

The Times Free Press Life section staff has prepared this handy last-minute guide for anyone who forgot or procrastinated.

Below are lists that include impromptu outings, Father's Day specials at area restaurants and gift ideas for hurried shoppers.

TAKE DAD OUT TO EAT

• Aris' Harbor Lights, 9718 Hixson Pike in Soddy-Daisy, is offering a breakfast brunch today with four specials. Mimosas and Bloody Marys also are on the menu from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Countryside Café, 8223 Mahan Gap Road in Ooltewah, is adding three entrees to its Father's Day menu, along with Red Velvet Cake.

Wood-roasted glazed ham, wood-roasted chicken wings and prime rib will be listed among today's 30 entrees and sides. Along with Red Velvet Cake and the restaurant's popular banana pudding, other desserts will include blackberry and strawberry cobblers made with fresh local berries.

Countryside will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• El Meson, 248 Northgate Mall and 2204 Hamilton Place Blvd., is offering half off meals for dads when a second entree is purchased, as well as drink specials. The restaurants are also home to Coca-Cola Freestyle, drink machines with more than 100 flavor choices.

• Outback Steakhouse, 2120 Hamilton Place Blvd., is offering "Create Your Own Dinner" special on Father's Day. Dad makes his pick of Outback steak choices, then chooses one of four add-on entrees and a side item. Prices start at $11.99 for the 6-ounce sirloin combo and go up depending on the steak.

• If dad likes a little swing or bop with his mimosa and Eggs Benedict, the Dave Walters Trio will be playing live jazz music at 212 Market Restaurant, 212 Market St.

-- Compiled by Barry Courter

INDULGE DAD'S SWEET TOOTH

Five desserts to share with dad.

• Treat dad to a thick chocolate milkshake and help a nonprofit in one purchase. For every Frosty bought today, Wendy's will donate 50 cents to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

• GiGi's Cupcake stores on Gunbarrel Road and Highway 153 are offering special Father's Day pricing: $15.99 for a six-box of cupcakes. Every family member can choose a favorite. Also in honor of Dad, GiGi's will add Father's Day-decorated cupcakes to their showcases today. Check GiGi's Facebook page to see them.

• Turn a family watermelon cutting into family fun with a generational seed-spitting contest. See if dad can beat the current Guinness Record for seed-spitting: 68 feet, 9 1/8 inches.

There are basically three rules to follow: Everybody spits from the same starting line, the seed can not be assisted by wind, and distance is measured from the start line to where the seed first hits the ground, not where it stops after a bounce or two.

• Strawberry shortcake is an easy dessert that even preschoolers can help make. Publix and Bi-Lo are running weekend specials on these berries at $5 for two 1-pound packages.

Whether you make shortcake, slice a pound cake or just purchase prepackaged strawberry cups, top that cake layer with sliced berries and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped topping for the crowning touch.

• Give dad a gift certificate for a frozen hot chocolate from the Hot Chocolatier, 201 W. Main St. Owner Wendy Buckner compares it to a "frozen Frappuccino, minus the coffee. It's all chocolate, and comes in either milk chocolate or white chocolate flavors." A frozen hot chocolate is $3.50 for a 12-ounce cup.

-- Compiled by Susan Pierce

MAKE YOUR DAD MORE FASHIONABLE

Geeky dad: Superman (or Batman and Wonder Woman) socks may be the ultimate gift for the geekiest of geek dads, $9.99, at thinkgeek.com. Product warning: Socks do not allow wearer to fly.

Athletic dad: The New Balance 840 running shoe, an all-around good shoe for running and walking, is ideal for people with any orthotics issues. It has a wide toe box, good depth and support. J&S Shoes, Signal Mountain.

Preppy dad: A fun way to express yourself, bow ties are no longer limited to grandpas, funerals or black-tie events. They are great for bold dressers who like to make a fashion statement. Wilson & Bow, East Ridge.

Swimmer dad: Men's color-blocked styles are an updated classic, a more adventurous approach to color and pattern. Belk, Hamilton Place and Northgate Mall.

Casual dad: A classic polo for a cookout or sporting event. The contrast stitch pocket polo sells for $29.95 at gap.com.

-- Compiled by Karen Nazor Hill

WATCH A MOVIE WITH DAD

• For fathers of young sons, watch: "Road to Perdition." A father tries to protect his son and make up for his mistakes in Depression-era Chicago. Also try: "Life Is Beautiful."

• For fathers of grown sons, watch: "The Thing About My Folks." -- An impromptu father/son road trip leads to a rekindled relationship and greater understanding. Also try: "Big Fish."

• For fathers of young daughters, watch: "Paper Moon." --Father/daughter team Ryan and Tatum O'Neal star in this film about a con man and the orphan girl who is most likely his daughter. Also try: "To Kill a Mockingbird."

• For fathers of grown daughters, watch: "Father of the Bride." -- A father has a hard time letting go. Watch the 1950 version with Spencer Tracy or the 1991 remake with Steve Martin. Also try: "The Wrestler."

• For divorced dads, watch: "Bye Bye Love." -- Three men face life and fatherhood after divorce. Also try: "Kramer vs. Kramer."

• For dads-to-be, watch: "Knocked Up." -- An immature young man struggles to change his ways when he gets a girl pregnant. Also try: "She's Having a Baby."

-- Compiled by Holly Leber

PLACES TO TAKE DAD TODAY

There's only so much fun you can pack into one day, so here are two ideas for entertaining Dad today and three ticketed events to consider as gift-giving options.

Chattanooga Market: The theme of the day is Brew & Bluegrass, compliments of five local breweries and two bands. Admission is free to the market. Adults can buy samples of the beer, two choices from each brewer, for $1 each. For an extra $5, families can try their hand in a Lego building contest to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area. The market is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Reggie White Blvd. www.chattanoogamarket.com.

Lake Winnepesaukah: You can pack the car and save on gate admission and unlimited rides today. The park will admit a "carload" of up to five people for $75; additional passengers also get discounts. The park at 1730 Lakeview Drive in Rossville will be open noon to 10 p.m. www.lakewinnie.com.

James Gregory: Chattanoogans love this Southern-fried comedian, and he loves Chattanooga, returning to The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road, the last 26 years. Catch his next all-ages shows Friday, Saturday and June 29-30. All tickets are $25. www.thecomedycatch.com.

Crosby, Stills & Nash: It's been more than four decades since David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash first harmonized in their first concert at Woodstock. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will perform at 7:30 p.m. July 10 at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. Tickets are $49.50 to $80 plus fees, with a limited number of VIP seats available for $180. www.ChattanoogaOnStage.com.

Blue Man Group: They are hard to categorize but instantly recognizable. The trio's multimedia shows are a mix of music and comedy, but mostly the performers are known for that all-encompassing blue face paint. They'll be at Memorial Auditorium at 8 p.m. July 26. Tickets are $32.50 to $57.50 plus fees. Be warned: The first few rows on the main floor are considered "poncho" seats. www.ChattanoogaOnStage.com.

-- Compiled by Lisa Denton

BUY A BOOK FOR FATHER'S DAY

• "Be a Better Dad Today! 10 Tools Every Father Needs" (Regal) by Gregory W. Slayton. The businessman, professor, former diplomat and father of four offers Bible-based tips on forming a "Noble Family Vision" and building support systems.

• "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?" Confessions of a Gay Dad (Touchstone) by Dan Bucatinsky. This uproariously funny but touching book is about a gay couple raising an "adorable and infuriating" adopted son and daughter.

• "A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver" (Henry Holt) by Mark Shriver. The youngest of four children of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver takes a personal look at the man who was known as the founder of the Peace Corps and architect of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, and who also excelled as a husband and father.

-- The Tampa Bay Times

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