Stuck on how to let Dad know you care this Father's Day without breaking the bank? Our roundup of fun activities makes the most of the weekend and your wallet, with more choices weighing in on the low-budget end of the scale. The idea: Take the focus off store-bought gifts by spending time with Pop, and do it without taxing your budget. And don't worry about looking cheap; dear old Dad's probably been drilling "money doesn't grow on trees" into your head since you first asked for an allowance.
SPEND A LITTLE
Cruise in for classic cars
What: Queen Creek eatery and coffee house Rhino Caffe is opening its parking lot for local car clubs to wheel in and pop their hoods. Dads can browse a mix of classic cars, hot rods, custom sand-buggies, motorcycles and vehicles from the sheriff's and fire departments, A disc jockey will play a mix of tunes and the restaurant will host prize giveaways.
When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Rhino Caffe, 22721 S. Ellsworth Road, Suite 107, Queen Creek
Cost: Car show is free, but dinner will cost you
Information: (480) 987-2140 or www.rhinocaffe.net
See the sun come up
What: Catch a rare sunrise viewing inside the artist-created skyspace at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Designed to enhance awareness and capture the magic of the sky in moments of dramatic flux, it's the perfect place to watch the sun come up this weekend, when the summer solstice happens. No food, drink or photography allowed.
When: 4:45 a.m. Saturday; sunrise is at 5:19 a.m.
Where: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St.
Cost: Free, but reservations are required
Information: (480) 874-4612 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunt for scorpions
What: Take a walk through the desert at night, searching for scorpions with the help of a park ranger, who will impart interesting and useful information about the creepy buggers. Just be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring a flashlight - one with a black light is best.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa
Cost: $6 per vehicle
Watch two manly competitions
What: Watch 10 guys choke down four burgers and a pound of fries in a burger-eating contest, then order your own basket of dude food and watch the U.S. battle the U.K. in the season finale episode of "The Ultimate Fighter."
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Big Daddy's Smokehouse, 3941 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 101, Phoenix (Ahwatukee Foothills)
Cost: Food and drink specials are $1-$10. $20 gets you into the contest, if there's space available.
Information: (480) 704-1418 or www.bigdaddyssmokehouse.com
Hang with skateboarders
What: Ooh and aah at cool tricks and grimace at wipeouts during "Turning up the Heat," a skateboarding competition that has kid, teen and adult skaterboarders competing in three categories.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Pecos Park skate plaza, 17010 S. 48th St., Phoenix (Ahwatukee Foothills)
Cost: Free to watch
Information: (602) 534-5298
Sing along with a Song Sung Blue
What: No band tries harder to replicate the vocals and glitter of Neil Diamond than AZ Diamond, a tribute band that gets it right down to the cheesy shirts. Even without Neil's signature coir-mat chest hair, vocalist Eddie Kij - aka Eddie Diamond - leaves audiences feeling so good, so good, so good.
When: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday
Where: Lone Butte Casino, 1077 S. Kyrene Road, Gila River Indian Community near Chandler
SPEND A LITTLE MORE
Have a blast
What: Blast everything in sight with a paintball gun, then dig into specially priced $2 combos of hot dogs, fries and a soft drink before heading back to the 16,000-square-foot indoor field for more splotch warfare.
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Baller's Arena, 140 N. Country Club Drive, Mesa
Cost: $40 per person for entry, equipment rentals and 500 paintballs; combo plates are $2 apiece
Information: (480) 668-7868 or www.ballersarena.com
Drink for a cause
What: Sample beers within the old-fashioned, gentlemanly confines of a horse-racing track. Two dozen breweries - including locals Four Peaks, SanTan and Papago and out-of-staters Stone, Odell and Full Sail - will bring their best for the Draft Magazine Craft Beer Festival. Call ahead for a reservation; the fest is limited to 500 beer fans.
When: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Turf Paradise, 1501 W. Bell Road, Phoenix
Cost: $60 per person; proceeds benefit Eight, Arizona's Public Broadcasting Service TV station
Information: (602) 496-2877 or www.azpbs.org/eightboxoffice/
Rev your engine
What: Enroll in Father's Day RPM, a four-hour, high-performance driving course that has participants lapping this racing school's 1.6-mile track, reacting in real time to accident simulators and maneuvering ProKarts - the compact, low-to-the-ground rockets that pro race-car drivers start out driving.
When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday
Where: Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, 2000 S. Maricopa Road, Gila River Indian Community near Chandler
Cost: $375, which includes the course and a $375 credit you can apply to a future multiday course
Information: (800) 842-7223 or www.bondurant.com