12 Thoughtful Father’s Day Gifts That Aren’t Ties
There’s something about Father’s Day that gives even the most thoughtful among us a case of “gifter’s block.” Perhaps this is why Father’s Day gifts usually border on the cliche — like a tie bought in a rush, or a random item featuring his favorite sports team’s logo. Instead, make 2019 the year this tradition ends. Here’s a list of gifts dad will actually love to receive, from little luxuries that’ll make his day to trips that’ll create memories that last a lifetime.
Gifts to Improve His Daily Routine
He might not directly say he’s into self-care, but he knows the concept on a physical level. In other words: Your dad needs a break. While he’d never use the word “pampering,” these gifts help recharge his batteries — whether he realizes it or not.
1. NES Classic Edition
A miniaturized version of the 1985 game system, the NES Classic Edition will definitely bring him back to his glory days of gaming. Designed to plug into any TV, the easy-to-set up console comes ready to play with 30 games (including old favourites like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Kirby’s Adventure). Also cool: You can play using different Display Modes, like a CRT filter (which replicates the experience of playing on an old TV) or Pixel-Perfect (each pixel is a perfect square for crystal-clear visuals).
2. JBL Pulse 3
Bluetooth speakers can be hit-or-miss for quality, but the Pulse 3 proves to be an exception. It delivers a decent audio experience in the form of a portable, waterproof speaker that also comes with a lava lamp-esque light show. When he needs some “dad time,” this is the speaker that can go along wherever that may be, from the basement to the backyard. He can even it toss it in the golf cart to add a soundtrack to his next nine.
3. Yeti Rambler 30-oz Tumbler
He might have the brand’s signature cooler already, or he already knows everything about how they can keep anything at the perfect temperature for days on end. The tumbler does the exact same thing, whether he wants to keep his morning cup of coffee hot all day long or wants to keep his Saturday brew of choice chilled to perfection even after he leaves it in the sun for his afternoon nap. Fun fact: Someone very wise discovered that a pint of ice cream perfectly fits inside this design, carton and all.
Pro Tip: Yeti also offers customization options, like logos, monograms, and personalized messages. We’ll leave it up to you whether to go with something sentimental or sarcastic.
4. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Let’s be honest, your dad looks like a geek in AirPods. And while we’re not saying he’s losing his hearing, these Bose headphones are known to have supreme sound quality. Plus these headphones have noise-cancelling technology. A little peace & quiet might be the perfect gift this year.
5. A Good Pen
For some reason, many dads appreciate a fine writing instrument the way others would appreciate a work of art. Give him something a little nicer than those $2-for-10 pens with the Shinola Tactile Turn Titanium Glider Pen. It’s designed with a perfect balance for an effortless writing experience.
Pro Tip: The real spirit of this gift is upgrading something he uses every day. If your father isn’t the letter writing type, maybe opt for a nicer version of grilling accessories, kitchen gear (especially high-quality knives), or his favorite tool (tactical flashlights are another dad-pleaser).
Experiences He’ll Never Forget
One of the ways traditional gift guides fall short is failing to recognize the one thing most Dads want: To spend quality time with his family. Dad may define that as yelling in unison at a sporting event, quietly sitting alongside each other, or sharing a meal as a family. But no matter what, it’s time well spent.
Pro Tip: Groupon is a great place to check out if you’re on a budget. They have everything from escape rooms to pilot training courses.
6. Father's Day Ale Trail
Does dad love craft beer? Is he tired of being the driver? Get him a ticket to the Father's Day Ale Trail! The craft beer bus tour drives dad around town, stopping at 4 different breweries, and ends with a BBQ at the Wooly. What else could a beer-lover ask for?
Don't hesitate on this one - these tickets sell out every year!
7. Toronto Jazz Festival
The TD Toronto Jazz Festival is one of the premier jazz festivals in North America. With over 1,500 musicians from June 21st to 30th, there's surely something dad will enjoy. Swing by on opening weekend, as the Festival closes down Bloor Street to host 175 FREE concerts!
Pro Tip: If dad's not much of a roller coaster enthusiast, get a different "high" stakes thrill at the Guelph Grotto Climbing Gym!
9. Take a Butchery Class at Trotters
Get dad the 'nose-to-tail' experience at this Downtown Guelph butcher shop! Tour their facilities & learn about how they source their animals, and then get hands on, learning popular meat cuts and mix and stuff your own sausages. End the night with a house made charcuterie board and some beverages, and take home the goods you worked so hard on!
Gifts He Can Eat or Drink
If Dad has everything he could possibly want, is tough to shop for, tends to regard physical gifts as clutter, or doesn’t have time for an experience, a consumable gift might be the way to go.
If you think your dad would like to try some new brews straight from the tap, there’s a cool new way to make it happen (without having to turn the garage into a home brewing laboratory). Part beer-of-the-month club, part Keurig-for-craft-brews, Hopsy is a great way for your dad to try new beers from around the country without hunting them down around town.
Pro Tip: If your dad doesn't have the counter space for a whole new brew system, maybe just upgrade his current situation with some clever beer-lover accessories from Uncommon Goods. This site may actually be the hidden gem of this blog post - like the name suggests, it's got uncommon gift options for people with all kinds of interests.
11. London Beer & BBQ Show
Summertime usually means at least one barbecue festival nearby. Get him and the family tickets, packaged with a gift basket of his favourite sauces, beer, and other grilling must-haves. Or go big and promise to take him on a trip in October to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchberg, Tennessee.
12. Buy Him Dinner... for the Whole Week!
Why get dad dinner for one night when you can get him a week of delicious and easy-to-make meals? Whether he's the head chef at home and could use an easy week, or he... less than skilled in the kitchen, these pre-measured meal boxes with step-by-step recipes are a great way to try something new and make dinner one less thing to worry about.
Pro Tip: Want to make dinner even easier? Get dad a Skip the Dishes gift card (and maybe help him create an account) and let him try something new for dinner without lifting a finger!