How to Say Happy Father’s Day 2021 to a Friend: Messages, Quotes & Activities

Updated

If you’re lucky, your dad has been one of the most important people in your life, even if he’s no longer here. The best dads are providers, teachers, and in many cases, friends. With Father’s Day right around the corner, you might be thinking about ways people pay tribute to dads and the best way to say "Happy Father's Day" to your dad or another loved one.

Jump ahead to these sections:

There are many ways. You could send him a card featuring your favorite Father’s Day quote. Maybe you’ll set aside time for a Father’s Day activity. If you can’t see your dad this Father’s Day because you’re living in different parts of the country or world, you might want to know how you can still share your feelings on his special day.

Here are the dates for Father's Day for the next few years:
2021: Sunday, June 20
2022: Sunday, June 19
2023: Sunday, June 18
2024: Sunday, June 16
2025: Sunday, June 15

Even if it’s not Father’s Day, maybe you want to find a way to show your gratitude on your father’s death anniversary. This guide will help. Consider letting Dad know you care with these ideas.

Father’s Day Quotes

Many people have special relationships with their fathers. That’s why there are so many touching quotes about dads. The following are just a few of the more noteworthy:

“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived, and let me watch him do it.” —Clarence Buddington Kelland, Author

Being a strong father isn’t always easy. You need to strike a delicate balance. On the one hand, you want your children to grow up to be good people.

On the other hand, you don’t want to dictate how they should live their lives. That’s why, on Father’s Day, many of us reflect on the fact that some of the best fathers in the world are those who set a positive example while allowing their children to remain independent and make their own choices.

“Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.” —Victor Hugo, Author

Remember, a father is more than just a dad. They’re a dynamic person who can touch the lives of others in many ways. This is particularly worth thinking about if your father has passed on.

On the first Father’s Day without Dad, you can remember not only the role they played in your life, but the role they played as a son, friend, and so much more.

“Without my dad, I wouldn’t be here.” —Maria Sharapova, Tennis Player

This may be a simple quote, but it expresses a profound truth. In a very literal sense, no one would exist without a father (or mother, of course). However, a father’s influence also determines who a person becomes when they grow up. 

Father’s Day Messages for a Text, Post, or In-Person

While a quote from someone else might make a nice addition to a Father’s Day card, you also want to wish your dad a Happy Father’s Day in your own words.  These are a few messages to help you do so:

Text message: “Good morning! I just want you to know you’re an amazing father, and I hope you have the best possible Father’s Day. You deserve it.”

Whether you’re sending a text because you can’t see your dad in-person this Father’s Day, or you simply want to surprise him with a message in the morning before seeing him later, waking up early to send this simple message ensures that when your dad wakes up, it’ll be to a text that immediately lets him know you’re thinking about him.

Post: “Why I love my dad…”

The exact content of this social media post will depend on your personal feelings about your dad. You want to avoid being too generic.

Your dad will feel far more appreciated if you post a message explaining the specific reasons you love him. Additionally, by posting this message publicly on social media, you’ll let him know you’re not afraid to tell all your friends and family (or at least those who follow you on social media) exactly how you feel. 

In-person: A (very specific) thank you

One of the simplest but most effective ways to wish your dad a Happy Father’s Day in person is to thank him for the role he’s played in your life. However, you might want to add a layer of genuine feeling and gratitude to this message by reflecting on a very specific memory or reason for thanking him. Doing so shows you took the time to authentically think about what your dad has done for you throughout your life.

Maybe you want to thank your dad for a time he was there for you when you were going through a difficult experience. Maybe one day your dad took you on a special trip you still remember. Maybe he taught you a lesson that’s always stuck with you. 

The exact memory or reason you cite when thanking your dad on Father’s Day will naturally be specific to your own life. Just remember that being specific is key to making sure Dad knows you mean it when you say “Thank you.”

Father’s Day Activity Ideas to Do Together

Wishing your dad a Happy Father’s Day may not be enough if you want to thoroughly express your feelings. Spending time with him might also be important to you. If that’s the case, keep these activity ideas in mind:

Father’s Day movie night

Plenty of fathers bond with their kids over a love of movies. On top of that, plenty of movies, from Field of Dreams to October Sky, touch on the importance of the relationships fathers and their children have with each other.

Are you and your dad both movie buffs? If so, you might find that watching movies that explore this relationship together is a fun, heartfelt way to let your father know how you feel about him.

Play chess (or another favorite game)

Teaching a son or daughter how to play chess or a similar game is another way fathers spend time with their children. One-on-one games aren’t merely fun.

They also give fathers and their kids the opportunity to spend more time talking to each other. If you have memories of playing these types of games with your father, set aside some time on Father’s Day to revisit this activity together.

Hike

These examples all have one major element in common: they involve spending more than just a few minutes with Dad. On Father’s Day, you want to let your dad know you care about spending the day with him.

Thus, if both you and your dad enjoy the great outdoors, enjoying a hike together is a good idea for a Father’s Day activity. 

Father’s Day Ideas If You’re Apart 

Unfortunately, not all of us can see our dads in-person on Father’s Day. Luckily, these ideas prove you can still spend time together.

FaceTime

A simple phone call is a common way to say “I miss my Dad” on a Father’s Day you can’t spend together. That said, in this day and age, you can take this simple option a step further by setting aside an hour or two to FaceTime (or use a similar video chat tool) with one another.

Your dad may be happy enough to hear your voice, but he might be even happier to see you as well.

Play games online or virtually

The fact that you can’t see your dad on Father’s Day doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t spend the day playing games together. Today’s technology can help. Chat apps such as Houseparty allow you and your dad to play games even when you’re apart.

Depending on how tech-savvy your dad is, you might also consider surprising him with a virtual reality headset as a Father’s Day gift. This allows the two of you to play games together in a virtual setting that’s more immersive. Thanks to VR apps like Wander, you could even “walk around” one of your favorite places together via Google Maps Street View.

Plan a watch party

Many of these examples illustrate how technology makes it possible to modify certain Father’s Day activities when you’re too far apart to spend the day together in person. Through video chat, you and your Dad can watch the same favorite Father’s Day movie even when you’re in different parts of the world, commenting on it the same way you would if you were watching the movie together.

Another option to consider if you and your tech-friendly dad both have VR headsets: many VR apps let users watch movies and TV shows together. Some even simulate the experience of watching movies in a theater. That might appeal to your dad if he’s a big movie fan.

Honoring Dad on His Special Day

Whether you’re wishing your dad a Happy Father’s Day in-person, saying Happy Father’s Day when you’re apart, or looking for a way to say Happy Father’s Day in Heaven, these are all ideas worth considering. They’ll let a great man know you appreciate all he’s done for you.

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