From white knuckle rides to bushcraft challenges, make it a Father's Day with a difference this year. If you’re stuck for what present to give, why not give dad a white knuckle ride for Father’s Day, with a chance to ride the rapids at Lee Valley White Water Centre, in a fast moving raft.

Or, for budding Ray Mears fans, dads can have a go at a Father-Child Bushcraft Challenge atthe WaterWorks Centrenature reserve. This is a Father’s Day Special Workshop, with Lee Valley Regional Park rangers offering a bushcraft workshop to learn skills such as how to light a campfire and use a bushcraft knife and axe to craft their own camp tools.

And for a family day out with fun, games and animals, dads can get in free to Lee Valley Park Farms all day on Sunday 19 June.

While some dads might prefer a more sedate gift with which they can put their feet up, many would be pleased to be given a thrilling experience for a Father’s Day to remember.

White Water experience

For the white knuckle white water rafting at Lee Valley White Water Centre, vouchers are £65 for an adrenaline boosting experience, riding down the 300m Olympic course, where Team GB won gold and silver in the London 2012 canoe slalom event.

Rafters at the Waltham Cross venue in Hertfordshire, need no previous experience to enjoy white water rafting and all equipment is provided, including wetsuits, boots, helmets and buoyancy aids. Those taking part are accompanied by a raft guide who takes them through a safety briefing on the lake before tackling the rapids.

As well as the white water rafting which is for anyone aged 14 and upwards,  there are a host of other activities that dad can have a go at, at Lee Valley White Water Centre, not least Family Rafting for youngsters aged 10 and over, at a cost of £100 for a raft for five people.

Alternatively family and friends can treat dad to a ‘Hot Dog’ - a two person inflatable providing a heart pumping introduction to kayaking on the rapids. Special Father’s Day deals are available, with a Hot Dog activity session and meal plus drink in The Terrace Bar & Café for two for £100 for the total package. Dad can invite a son or daughter or friend or relative to share the fun experience (for ages 12 and above).


For the bushcraft workshop, those interested meet at the WaterWorks Centre in Leyton, east London before heading into the nature reserve to put their skills to the test. Children aged 12 and over can take part with their dads. Refreshments are available to buy in the café but you can also bring a picnic. Starting at 10:00 until 15:00, it costs £10 per person.

Dog Lovers

For dog lovers, on Father’s Day 19 June, there is also the Great British Greyhound Walk. Families, including dad, can grab their leads and join in this two hour walk around Gunpowder Park in Waltham Abbey, with their Greyhounds, Sighthounds or Lurchers. Starting at 10:00, this FREE walk is a chance to take part with other friendly owners during this leisurely stroll while taking pictures, stopping for water (if the weather’s warm) and engaging in friendly chat. Rehoming kennels will also be attending the event with hounds looking for homes.

Dads go free at Lee Valley Park Farms

At Lee Valley Park Farms in Waltham Abbey, dads go free on Father’s Day on 19 June. As a special treat, fathers get a deal on hot dogs and bacon sandwiches on the day at just £3 each in the Orchard Café and events are geared to learning about animal dads. So why not treat dad to a day out at the farms, full of animal attractions as well as fun and entertainment for the family. At the farms, which are open every day of the week, the fun never stops. As well as on Father’s Day, during the whole summer there are a host of activities and attractions, including taking a thrilling toboggan ride and meeting the 300 animals, including cheeky Meerkats, llamas, guinea pigs, rabbits and exotic species such as Bearded Dragons.

There are also indoor and outdoor play areas, plus a chance to take a ride on Tex the Tractor to a working dairy farm. Visitors can round off the day with delicious homemade cakes and freshly prepared food in the Orchard Café. As well as holiday activities, the farms also run special events such as children’s parties and self-guided tours for schools.

Lee Valley park Farms: Open daily until 30 October 2016, 10:00-17:00
Price: Adults £9.50, children/concessions £8.50, under 2s free (book online for 10% off) Address: Lee Valley Park Farms, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 2EF. To find out more:  or 01992 892 781.

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