Celebrating two dads on Father’s Day: Tips and ideas inspired by real families

As a dad, I appreciate Father’s Day. Even though my family has never made a really big deal out of it, it’s always so nice to have that annual square on the calendar that recognizes me for doing my favorite job in the world.

In my house, I’m the only dad being celebrated. But in an increasing number of homes, there are two loving dads deserving of a little (or BIG!) shoutout every third Sunday of June. A Double Dose of Dad, if you will. So I thought I’d talk to some gay father friends of Hallmark about celebrating Father’s Day with two dads—how their families make sure that not one but TWO dads are feeling the love on their special day, and how you can, too.

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Danny and Reed  

Danny and Reed shared that, in a way, their first Father’s Day together wasn’t Father’s Day at all.

“We were married in June,” Danny said. “But a short while later, we had a ceremony where Reed adopted Liam and Lleyton, becoming their new dad.”

“After the judge granted the adoption, the boys set off confetti-shooting fireworks, like you might at a gender reveal,” Reed laughed. “Like, it’s a boy!”

Or in their family’s case, two boys!

Since then, for Danny and Reed, celebrating Father’s Day with two dads has always been centered around time together, but never just the two of them. As a family, these four guys are all about sharing experiences, exploring the outdoors, and, as both dads put it, “adventuring.”

“We’re almost always on the water, and almost always outdoors,” Reed said. And because it’s in June, Father’s Day is no exception—the weather is often cooperative enough for the dads to plan a lake day of fun and bonding with the boys.

If the guys aren’t out on the lake on Father’s Day, there’s a good chance they’re still outdoors.  

“It doesn’t take much to just decide on a summer night to fire the grill up for a family cookout.”

But they also make time for family trips, like the time they went to Kennedy Space Center.

“The ultimate ‘dad’ thing to get excited about,” Danny chuckled.

And with three sets of grandparents, no matter what they’re doing Father’s Day, celebrations often include many of the extended family members, too—a tight-knit togetherness that Danny and Reed consider a tradition in and of itself.

Zakk and Bobby  

Like Danny and Reed, Zakk and Bobby also prefer a Father’s Day that’s all about family.

 “We tend to think up celebrations or activities that promote togetherness, typically around a shared meal,” Zakk said.

That approach leaves things pretty open to the couple’s interpretation, from hosting a more traditional family dinner to something a little more unexpected, like the year their Father’s Day took on an international flair and they introduced their kids to high English tea, complete with polished silver and china.

 One thing Zakk and Bobby agree on when celebrating Father’s Day with two dads is flexibility.

“We have a busy, blended family and often include our extended family,” Bobby said. “Each individual person has their own love languages, so adaptability and an open mind are essential.”

Fun ways to celebrate Father’s Day with two dads  

Breakfast…for two. Danny says he and Lleyton are the cooks in the family, so they work together on Father’s Day morning to make a scrumptious family-friendly breakfast to honor both dads.

Easy-cleanup cookout. No dad wants to work hard on their day, so Zakk and Bobby make sure to have plenty of paper plates on hand when their family (blended plus extended!)  celebrates with them at a relaxed backyard barbecue with delicious, summery iced tea.

Road trip! Like Danny and Reed’s trip with their boys to Kennedy Space Center, there are roughly a bajillion places to go that both dads would consider “ultimate.” Planned together as a couple, suggested by the kids or facilitated by other family or friends, getting out to explore shared interests is a fun bonding experience for two dads and their family. We’ve got 40+ Father’s Day activity ideas here if you need them.

Hidden notes. Great on Father’s Day or any day, Danny, Reed and their boys like to leave sticky notes with fun, sweet, heartfelt messages written on them for each other to find. And a random little “Love you, Dad/Papa/Daddy” sure can go a long way. 

Cards and gifts. Of course, we’re fans of cards here and, well, we know where you can find some of those. Also, the handmade kind from the kids certainly do the trick and often become cherished family keepsakes. And while neither of our couples mentioned specific gifts ideal for Father’s Day, as long as it shows consideration for the dads’ qualities and interests, a Father’s Day present is a nice way to show you care that really doesn’t have to cost much.

An illustration of two men in a same-sex relationship holding their two young sons.

Ideas for celebrating other LGBTQ+ parents on special days  

When we spoke, neither of our dad couples knew yet what they were going to do to celebrate Father’s Day this year, but they did have some thoughts on how they hope to show support to their loved ones who are also LGBTQ+ dads.

 Be there.

With a wish, a call, a listening ear—just knowing they have support can mean a lot for parents with a unique family configuration. Like one with two dads!

LGBTQIA families are so diverse,” Zakk and Bobby said. “Sometimes families aren’t even able to spend these days together. We’re really lucky to have supportive families who love us and our children. We try to provide the same for other friends who may not have as positive situation as we do, and for all our parent friends.” 

Be empathetic.

Danny pointed out that they really had to work to become dads; it took planning, time, organization, and “some science and a lot of dedication.” And not every gay man who wants to be a dad has the same journey.

It’s like a dream for a lot of gay people to be able to have a family,” the dads said. “So as their loved ones try, or once they do start their family, it’s important to bring them some love.”

Or barbecue, which Danny and Reed once brought to the hospital for friends welcoming their child. (Which sounds like love, to me.)


Being a dad—which I said at the start is my favorite job in the world—is a big, huge deal for any man. And for some dads, it’s a big, huge deal shared with another dad, which brings its own joys, challenges and unique feelings around Father’s Day. 

So whether you’re one of two dads celebrating the other dad in your life, family or friends of two dads or a kid trying to figure out how to celebrate two dads, we really hope these ideas help you make the day meaningful and personal, with the celebration from the heart and the love just as big as it can be.


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