Father's Day brings the inevitable scramble to find a good restaurant, and a decent gift for the old man. Instead of a necktie or a bottle of cologne, another option this year might be to skip brunch and bring Dad to one of these male-oriented museums.
The following places feature events and attractions, and offer fathers reduced or complimentary admission—as well as a fun time.
—By Harriet Baskas, special to CNBC. Follow Road Warrior on Twitter at @CNBCtravel.
Posted 20 June 2015
Reno's National Automobile Museum exhibits more than 200 rare, collectible and celebrity cars. The museum also has a wide variety of auto-related artifacts and memorabilia, including advertising signs, gas pumps and vintage clothing.
Dads who arrive at the museum driving a collector car—or have their family in tow—get free admission on Father's Day. The museum will be holding a "Size Matters" contest and awarding prizes for longest drive, biggest ride and largest grille.
On Father's Day, pay for one adult admission at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and get dad in for free to see the exhibits. The offerings include a Harley that once belonged to Elvis Presley, the custom "King Kong" motorcycle with two engines, and the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle: Serial Number One.
Through Sept. 7, the museum is presenting a special exhibit highlighting the career and influences of William A. Davidson (known as "Willie G."). He serves as chief styling officer emeritus and brand ambassador at Harley-Davidson, and is the grandson of one of the company's original founders.
Seattle's Museum of Flight is home to an air traffic control tower, hundreds of incredibly detailed airplane models, and a wide array of spacecraft, military jets, passenger planes and "celebrity" airliners that include the first Air Force One and a Concorde supersonic airplane. On Father's Day, all dads accompanied by children get free museum admission and can participate in family activities that will include Lego building with Dan "the Lego Man" Parker.
The Museum is Flight is also celebrating the 99th anniversary of the Boeing Company that day and will be offering discounted admission of $9.99/adults and $6.99/youth for Boeing employees and up to six of their guests.
In the land of the famous candy, dads get free admission on Father's Day at both the Hershey Story Museum Experience and the Hershey Gardens. The museum tells of Milton Hershey's storied life and career, and the creation of the town named in his honor. (The 45-minute Chocolate Lab workshop costs extra, but includes chocolate.) The 23-acre botanical Hershey Gardens offers 11 themed gardens, a butterfly house and a children's garden.
No need to sing the same tune as your dad at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, where special exhibits pay tribute to a broad range of musicians that include Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, Ravi Shankar and Taylor Swift, as well as the late comedienne Joan Rivers. On Father's Day, admission is free for all dads and any father who is a Grammy Museum member, or signs up to become one that day, will receive a complimentary 2015 nominations album.
This year, Father's Day takes place on the same day as the summer solstice. That means there's more to do than usual for dads in New York City, who can attend any of the more than 1,200 free concerts scheduled to take place throughout the city during the Make Music New York festival, held annually on the longest day of the year.
If you and your dad aren't in New York City for Father's Day, don't worry. Make Music is an international solstice celebration taking place on June 21 in almost two dozen cities around the country, and in hundreds of others around the world.
If your dad is the sort of fellow who likes to fix everything with gray duct tape, he'll appreciate the artistry on display at the 12th annual Duck Tape Festival (yes, that's spelled like the fowl and not the adhesive) taking place Father's Day weekend in Avon, Ohio. Admission to the festival is free, and activities include a parade and a fashion show featuring floats, outfits and sculptures made entirely of—you guessed it—colored duct tape. The event typically draws thousands of visitors.