What do you buy for the man who has everything else (aka almost every dad ever)? Great question. And since Father’s Day is right around the corner, it’s time to start asking it.
Even if your dad has a lifetime’s worth of junk cluttering his garage and rightly says he doesn’t need anything, here are a few ideas for every budget to show you care — without adding to the existing piles.
Less than $25
What father doesn’t like music? Almost every time my dad and I are together, at least one of us is showing the other a new song we’ve discovered. Why not compile all those hits into a “For Dad” playlist? Add your father’s favorites, songs he introduced you to, bands you’ve seen in concert together, or your own recommendations you know he’ll love. It’s a thoughtful gift that won’t break the bank. Bonus: Make it a collaborative playlist so he can add his own songs, and you can both enjoy it!
If your dad still needs a push into the 21st century, maybe start by gifting him a Spotify subscription.
When your pop has a free afternoon, where can you find him? The golf course? A tree stand? The lake?
No matter his hobby of choice, he can no doubt use some new gear or supplies: new guitar picks (or this cool pick punch so he can make his own), a thermos, Scent Killer hunting wipes or soap, a waterproof dry bag, ammo or reloading supplies, golf or tennis balls, a fresh water bottle for his bicycle, fishing lures, boat erasers, a backpack cooler, reflective gear for evening walks, a headlamp, grill tools or dry rubs, and so much more.
Meat and Cheese
Maybe this is my Wisconsin talking, but the best gifts are the cheesy ones — literally. Pair some cheeses with gamey jerky for a tasty “I love you.” This Crave Brothers cheese sampler comes with their delicious “farmer’s rope” string cheese. You can’t go wrong with anything from Star Dairy in Weyauwega, Wisconsin. If you’re looking for something a little more unique — or to spend a bit more — check out what Madison-based Fromagination has to offer.
DVD or Blu-Ray Box Set of His Favorite Show
On-demand streaming is great until the woke scolds start nuking your dad’s favorite episodes over some leftist “-ism” or “-phobia.” The complete series of “The King of Queens” and “Gilligan’s Island” have provided hours of entertainment over the years after my brother and I bought them for Father’s Days past. Whatever your dad’s favorite show is, he’ll be happy for the hard copy when the digital version gets yanked from Netflix.
A Subscription to The Federalist
Maybe your dad could use a new Bible this Father’s Day. Whether his is falling apart or he’s new to Scripture reading, there’s a perfect copy for him. Check out this imitation leather brown study Bible or this journaling study Bible with space right in the margins for taking notes. Here’s a nifty large-print sportsman’s Bible with a camouflage cover. If you’re looking to spend more, this sleek, U.S.-tanned and hand-bound leather Bible is assembled in Texas, comes in regular or large print, and can be personalized.
If your dad has a record player or collection, he’d love a new — or old — vinyl. Pick out a sleeve showcasing his favorite frontman, or find out what vinyl he’s missing from his stash and see if you can dig one up.
Portable Mosquito Repeller
One of my dad’s favorite gadgets is a portable mosquito repeller, like this one from Thermacell, which provides all the benefits of Off! without the stinky, sticky Deet cloud. It’s great for countless outdoor activities: working on the car, fishing, camping, dominating at cornhole — you name it.
Brewery or Distillery Tour
The only thing more fun than kicking around a brewery (Is my Wisconsin showing again?) is doing so with your dad. Schedule a tour at his favorite brewery or distillery, or find out which one he’s been meaning to check out and go explore it together. Give yourself enough time to grab a drink or two. Cheers!
If your father would prefer to tinker with suds at home and you have wiggle room in the budget, consider getting him started with some home brew equipment.
Air Tag or Tile Tracker
Is there any dad out there who actually knows where his wallet or keys are? Didn’t think so. After this Father’s Day, however, your dad will never have to rummage through the pockets of yesterday’s jeans again, all thanks to the Bluetooth technology of Apple AirTags or Tile trackers. The Tile’s handy designs come ready to slide on a key ring or into a wallet. If you opt for an AirTag, don’t forget a corresponding keychain.
A Bottle of His Favorite Spirit
Your dad might not be able to justify springing for that bottle of Blanton’s Single Barrel or (*insert the name of his favorite liquor here*), but maybe this Father’s Day, you can. You don’t have to get too fancy. Just his go-to spirit will do, or perhaps a reserve version of what he usually buys.
Smart Meat Thermometer
For the grillmaster dad, smart meat thermometers are prime. This wireless KitchenAid option has a magnetic dock for charging and connects to an app on his phone or tablet. Check out this similar option from Meater, which as of this writing is on sale on Amazon.
The most memorable gifts are the ones that translate to experiences, so why not opt for tickets to an event or show your dad would enjoy? Is his favorite band or comedian coming to town this year? Does he get a thrill from roller coasters? How about a football game? Whatever your dad’s “thing” is, consider giving the gift of experiencing it together.
Dinner Together at a Steakhouse
The corresponding Father’s Day card writes itself: “Dads like you are rare.” (You’re welcome.) You really can’t go wrong with a night out at a good steakhouse — unless your Dad is vegan (God forbid). In that case, a meal for two at his favorite restaurant will do. Once again, shared experiences are always a hit.
Does your father live far away? This year, give him the gift of togetherness with an airline gift card or flight voucher. He’ll be on cloud nine.