There’s a reason why the dad that’s had to shop for has become somewhat of a stereotype. Dad’s are tough, and most of them seem to believe that they already have everything they could possibly need. At least, that’s the case in my family.
You can’t very well go ask him what he wants for father’s day. Still, even if you did, he would probably fire back a response along the lines of, “Ohh, I need a new blade for the chainsaw, but other than that, I have everything I need.”
If the chainsaw is all that he needs, well, that’s perfectly fine, but there are a few things to think about that your dad doesn’t need but would want. He works hard, and just because he doesn’t have extravagant taste doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a thoughtful (if not unnecessary) gift.
With father’s day coming around the corner, we figured doing a little thinking on the subject would be beneficial to all of us. Whether you’ve got a dad who already has it all or the dad who wants nothing, here is a list of gift ideas for dad to consider as you shop.
Gifts for the Active Dad
These gifts are for the dad that’s always on the move. Whether he’s picking up a new sport or training for a triathlon, these dads never stop.
An Insulated Water Bottle
First on our list of gift ideas for dad is an insulated water bottle. For millennials, carrying around a water bottle is second nature. But for people who grew up in a different time when standards were different, they can get forgotten. On top of dehydration, disposable plastic water bottles present a big issue as well.
A nice 32oz. Hydro Flask brand water bottle will run you just about $40 and will keep your active dad’s water cool all day.
Soft-Shell Backpack Cooler
Next on our list of gift ideas for dad is a trendy softshell cooler bag. Whether your dad loves enjoying a cool beer on top of a mountain or at the 9th hole, a softshell cooler is a great gift for the drink lover of the family. These drybag style backpacks offer superior cooling power and sleek, trendy design. Your dad needs some help looking cool sometimes, trust me, they all do.
These packs are made by many different brands and range from 30 to $200.
Proper Pumping Power
Active dads always seem to need something blown up with air. Whether he needs his bike tires pumped or the inflatable raft for the 4th of July, if he doesn’t have one already, your dad needs an air compressor. Now buying one new can cost an arm and a leg, but if you start looking at used air compressors now, you should be able to find one by Father’s Day for somewhere around $100.
Gifts for the Project Dad
Is your dad obsessed with the intricacies of different types of roofing material? Or is he giddy at the prospect of a new lawnmower blade? These gifts are great for the dad who’s always out in the yard. Whether he’s starting a new project, finishing an old one, or working on three simultaneously, these dads need the right tool for the job.
Services He Won’t Buy Himself
Your dad probably won’t ask for help finding something at Lowes. He’s certainly not going to shell out the cash for that garage door installation that has been on the back burner for three years. So maybe it’s time you skip the middle man, go over his head, and get him that forklift rental or awning services he’d never get for himself. It’s entirely possible he never knew he wanted or needed a forklift until he’s maneuvering the junk piling up in his backyard around himself, or an awning to relax with family on the deck after all that heavy lifting.
If dad doesn’t need help around the house but needs help planning the family vacation. Vacation services and travel agencies can take a lot of weight off your dad’s shoulders, and consider that one in every ten Americans planned to take a family vacation in 2019, chances are your dad is thinking about it too.
These things can, of course, be very pricy. But these are the kinds of gifts that go a long way and save your dad a lot of back pain.
On Property Transportation
Here comes the big-ticket item on our list of gift ideas for dad. If your dad has a yard that’s big enough to be a nuisance to carry yard tools around, chances are he would love an easier way to get around.
A nice all-terrain 2×2 can be very expensive, and if you can splurge on your dad, he would be forever appreciative. However, if you need to pinch your pennies, keep your eyes peeled for used golf carts for sale. A used gas-powered golf cart would really save your dad the trouble of walking across the property yet again. There’s always the potential for some kid-friendly fun riding along with dad, too!
Many yard supply stores may offer you a mower package deal at a great cost. This could be a great way for you to get your dad a new mower and a mode of transportation around the yard.
Small Yard Accessories
Yard tools are essential to this list of gift ideas for dad. Garden supply stores are chuck full of little knick-knacks for the yard loving dad. Whether he needs a new pair of gardening gloves, seeds for next season, or a new spade, these are easy little things you can get a few of that will score you a lot of brownie points.
Gifts for the Car Lover Dad
It seems like every family has one. The next category on our list of gifts for dad is the car enthusiast. If you don’t know much about cars, this category can be very intimidating. Still, fear not, these men are easier to please than you think!
Custom Canvases and Pictures
Whether your dad is into used cars, hot rods, or supercars, they will love this gift.
Take a picture of your dad’s beloved car, or find a shot of his dream car online, and any Staples or Office Max will turn it into a masterpiece for your dad. You can either have the picture blown up and printed onto a stretched canvas or print it onto a metal plate. Either option is affordable and makes even the most stubborn of car guys fall to his knees.
Small Detail and General Maintenance Items
By nature, many car guys are also a perfectionist. This means that some of the cheapest and most simple gifts can score the biggest for them. For example, let’s say your dad’s car is missing a tire pressure cap. You know, those super easy to lose plastic caps? Well, you can buy him metal ones that match his car online. That’s exactly the type of little touches that car dads love.
Even more basic maintenance items like an adjustable hose clamp, a new set of spark plugs, or even a fresh batch of fuses will make your dad tickled pink that he doesn’t have to worry about going out to buy those items himself.
Every list of gift ideas for dad should include vintage swag. But keep in mind that this one isn’t for everyone, so you have to take a second to think about what kind of car guy your dad is. Basically, is he the type of guy that would wear a pair of vintage European racing gloves, or is he more the vintage MG Motor Company baseball cap kind of guy?
Whatever type of car guy your dad is, there something that’s right up his alley, you just have to look hard enough for it.
Gifts for the Crafty, or Stay-At-Home Dad
Does your dad enjoy classical jazz’s calming sounds, or is he the type of guy to finish two or even three books a week? These types of dads are always learning, debating, and thinking. The intellectual list of gifts for dad is a mile long, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Masterclass Year-Long Subscription
Masterclass is an online program that allows subscribers access to hundreds of lessons on a huge number of topics, taught by professionals, celebrities, cooks, writers, doctors, comedians, and more.
No matter what your dad is interested in, Masterclass is a great gift for him if he loves to learn. Subscription options, packages, and prices vary, making this an option on any budget.
If you have a dad who loves to cook, he probably loves cooking on cast-iron. All the rage in today’s cooking world, you can get just about everything in cast-iron.
But, before you go buying him a cast iron utensil set, start simple. A set of cast iron skillets would be the perfect way to get him started. Three skillets in 8, 10, and 12 inches will get him nearly everything he needs to become a cast-iron addict.
A New Pet
Have an animal lover in the family? If he is, it could be time to learn how to introduce a new dog to the family! Make it a year he’ll never forget with a dog to cherish for years to come. Not only that, but the bonding and family time required to train and get to know the pup could bring the whole family closer together.
Gift Cards, Gift Cards, and More Gift Cards
This is the easiest item on this list of gift ideas for dad. Whether it’s Home Depot, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore, gift cards are always a safe bet. And don’t worry about him thinking that a gift card isn’t a thoughtful gift, it is, and he thinks so too. This way, he doesn’t have to decide what he wants right away; he can fester over the decision for weeks or months even before he decides exactly what he needs.
Corny Dad Gifts for Classic Dads
You just can’t make a proper list of gift ideas for dad without talking about the corny dad energy that we all know too well. There will always be a few corny dad things that never get old. Embrace your dad’s unavoidable lameness and give him something that will really bring a smile to his face.
Daily Dad Joke Calendar or Book
You will kick yourself for getting him this somewhere down the line, but for now, it’s all in good fun. He’s going to make dad jokes, either way, so you might give him a little more material to work with.
Any book store will have a plethora of corny dad joke related books and calendars. These are great small cheap gifts that will put a smile on his face every day. On top of the joy he will get, it will make him think of you every time he gets a chuckle from one of the jokes, hopefully just not while he’s on the toilet.
Custom Bobble Heads
As our list of gift ideas for dad grows longer, it also grows stranger, and I think that’s how dad would want it anyway.
Whether you want to get your dad a bobblehead replica of himself or a set representing his favorite band, a custom bobblehead will always brighten his day.
Use some of your dad’s weaknesses to laugh about to bring a smile to his face.
No matter who your dad is or what he loves Father’s Day is the time to show him just how much he matters to you, even if he is hard to shop for. With this list of gift ideas for dad, I hope you can go out into the world and see through the eyes of a dad, as burry as that might look. Take this year as an opportunity to show your dad how much you love him and his corny dad energy; you’ll be glad that you did.
Fact: nearly 100 million Americans – four in 10 U.S. adults – are planning to take a family vacation in 2019