Father’s Day in Colombia (and around the world) is always observed on the third Sunday of June each year. In 2019, Sunday June 16th marks el Día del Padre (Father’s Day), and while Dads deserve recognition all the time, this special day is the perfect opportunity to really spoil the father figure in your life. Similar to Mother’s Day in Medellín, Father’s Day reflects the strong family values of Colombians, and as it falls on a Sunday – a day typically spent with relatives – the occasion normally includes extended family members, gifts, singing and showering of attention.
If you’re lucky enough to have your dad, grandad or important person in Medellín for the day – or you’re just curious how Paisas celebrate the event – we’ve rounded up some inspiration for things do this Father’s Day in Medellín.
Unfortunately, there are no games scheduled for Atlético Nacional or Independiente Medellín (the two biggest teams) in Medellín during June. However, Paisas are fútbol fanatics, and that doesn’t stop matches taking place across the city. On Father’s Day, pack your boots and head to either a local neighborhood park, Estadio (pitches here have to be reserved in advanced), or Jardín Botánico and treat your Dad to a friendly kick around. The best thing about this activity is that it’s completely free, great exercise, and you’re bound to come across other families playing – so you can extend your team and organize a game of Padres versus Niños.
Take part in the Ciclovía
Maybe soccer isn’t your Dad’s favorite sport, but if he enjoys seeing Medellín on two wheels, the Ciclovía is an ideal activity. As one of the best things to do on Sundays, the main road closes between Envigado up to El Centro and allows people to skate, run or cycle the full length of the city. Wake your Dad up early (the Ciclovía begins at 7 am) and plan a surprise route for you to take together; along the way you can stop off for coffee and breakfast, or simply race each other to the finish. To really make a fuss of your Dad, gather friends and family to meet him at the end and share some well-earned drinks.
If you don’t own a bike in Medellín, don’t worry – EnCicla is a free bike rental service for locals and tourists. You need to register your Civica card beforehand to use the bikes, but once signed-up, it’s a brilliant way to explore.
Have a picnic at Cerro el Volador
With Medellín’s abundant lush greenery, make the most of the (hopefully) warm weather and hike to the top of Cerro el Volador. The hill in Robledo spans 106 hectares – making it the largest natural park in the city. The walk up is relatively easy, taking around 45 minutes via a steep but clearly-marked path. Along the way there’s a butterfly sanctuary, a fresh juice stand, picturesque nature and impressive snippets of the rooftops below. Bring a Father’s Day picnic with you (with all his favorite snacks) and once at the top, take in the 360 views while toasting to your Dad. Cerro el Volador is a hotspot for Paisas flying kites too, so pack your own and prepare to spend hours feeling nostalgic in the great outdoors.
Be amazed at the Planetarium
If you want to show your Dad that he means the world to you, why not literally show him the world? Medellín’s planetarium (Jesus Emilio Ramirez Medellín), located close to Universidad metro station in Zona Norte, is a fantastic day out for all ages and is a great way to spend quality time with your Dad while learning about the universe.
The modern building is instantly recognizable from its 57-foot dome, where visitors can watch a series of films exploring gravity, the moon, alien lifeforms, and the great depths of space. There’s additionally a science museum at the planetarium, complete with interactive exhibits and cool displays about the galaxy, written in both Spanish and English.
Entrance price varies depending on your strata, however, children under 2 always get free admission. On Sundays, the planetarium opens at 10 am and closes at 6 pm.
Enjoy the outdoors at Parque El Salado
Down in Envigado, Parque El Salado boasts a stream, climbing wall, canopy, wildlife, picnic areas and plenty of nature walks. Visitors here normally come to swim in the cool waters on hot days and tuck into a hearty lunch afterward. Alternatively, guests can wander through the trees and plants, and maybe even spot animals like exotic birds and monkeys! There are various lookout points along the pathways showcasing the stunning skyline of Medellín, and whether you want to relax among nature with your Dad, or have an active day climbing and swimming, Parque El Salado caters to both.
The eco-park is excellent for a mini escape from the urban city, and is easily accessible by bus from Envigado metro station. Entrance is $4,500 COP per person, and the climbing wall and canopy activities cost an extra $4,000 – $9,000 COP.
Dine at a steakhouse
After a busy day taking your Dad around Medellín, round up Father’s Day with a meal at one of the delicious steakhouses in the city. Although not quite Argentina, steak is very popular and there’s a whole host of spots to tuck into the finest cuts of meat. San Carbón in Las Palmas serves up quality steaks and has a vibrant atmosphere with live music and dancing. Lucio Carbón y Vino in Envigado has a more intimate ambiance, best suited to those hoping to give their Dad a sophisticated dinner. For a casual dinner with mouth-watering steaks, La Pampa has several restaurants around Medellín and always has friendly service. Alternatively, Don Diablo is the newest steakhouse on the scene in Poblado and has been praised for its experimental approach infusing classic American fare with fine-dining.
From big surprises to small gestures, however you spend Father’s Day be sure to take advantage of Paisa’s proud family culture and show plenty of appreciation for your Dad. And if your Dad is in another country, give him a call – it might just make him book a plane over to Medellín!