If you’ve retired the typical Father’s Day gifts of cologne and power tools and want to give dad a unique present this year, we’ve compiled some Father’s Day inspiration. From ideas for the sentimental dad to fun gifts for the dad who adores a great gag, there’s something for everyone on this list.
For the sentimental dad:
I’d like to think of my dad as the sentimental dad, because for every silly or fun thing I’ve gotten him over the years, what always seems to stick are the sentimental items.
My dad loves to entertain, and he’s always bringing cocktails and delicious food to friends and family who come to visit. One year, I got him a serving tray personalized with family photos. It was a huge hit and something he frequently uses and always remarks, “I just love this serving tray!”
For Mac users, the free app iMovie allows you to easily make a photo slideshow set to music. Copy it to a blank DVD and create personal packaging. This is especially a good gift if you have access to your old childhood photos and a scanner. Get ready for some instant dad tears!
Another great idea for the sentimental dad is using photo gift websites. My favorite is Shutterfly. This year, I used it to make my dad a personalized table runner for the holidays. You can make your item deeply personal with song lyrics, your Dad’s favorite poem, and more.
For the fun dad:
For the dad who enjoys a nostalgic evening with his kids, or perhaps something a little more adventurous, try taking dad on an experience or outing that celebrates the two of you. Maybe your dad treated you to nights at your favorite ice cream shop in town every summer. Recreate that magic and treat him to an evening at the ice cream shop in honor of Father’s Day. A nostalgic outing is a surefire hit. Maybe dad used to coach your Little League team—see if you can find your old team’s schedule and head to a game, for old time’s sake.
For the more adventurous dad, planning a weekend getaway could make for some fun Father’s Day memories. Take dads who adore car racing to a NASCAR race anywhere in the country, or perhaps try a hike at your closest national park.
For the silly dad:
Dads who love a good joke would enjoy a night out at your local comedy club. If you can’t make it to Chicago’s Second City or Minnesota’s Brave New Workshop, try looking for comedy clubs or open mic nights in your city. Some inspiration for great comedy clubs to try near you can be found here.
Another favorite gift is the coffee table book “Awkward Family Photos,” named after the popular website of the same name that posts hilariously awkward family photos. Be sure to write to dad about how normal your family looks in comparison!
Etsy has countless hilarious and creative T-shirts for dad, like this one joking about the “dad bod” term and this one with the phrase every kid and teen hated growing up: “Because I said so.”
For the new dad:
As we move through our 20s, chances are there are more new dads you may know. The book “100 Reasons to Panic About Dadhood” is a funny look at the wonders of first-time fatherhood.
New parents can sometimes get stressed caring for a newborn. Amazon makes a “Pocket Nanny” that helps new parents remember the details about caring for a new baby, from diapers to naps and everything in between.
No matter what you choose to give this year, something meaningful that reflects on your relationship with your father will not only be greatly appreciated, but treasured for years to come. Happy Father’s Day!
Originally published on June 14, 2017.