11 Creative and Special Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Artemis & Leto, Artemis and Leto, Father's Day gift, Father's Day gift ideas

Just as you pat yourself on the back for a successful Mother’s Day, here comes Father’s Day! But we’ve got you covered here at A&L with our list of creative and special Father’s Day gift ideas.


My Dad is one of these hard-to-shop-for people. He’s got a few hobbies, but he either has everything related to them already or I simply can’t afford something he might want (like an antique tractor or a vintage muzzle-loading rifle [he’s a rural guy who grew up on a farm]).

So like many (adult) children facing Father’s Day, I turn toward staples like socks, coffee beans, and John Wayne movie collections. Such things are good, but this year I’m aiming for more imaginative gifts for both Mother’s and Father’s Days.

You will notice that many of these gift ideas are the same or similar to those I came up with for Mother’s Day. Being general gift ideas, it is my hope that you will adapt the general concept to your particular parent and their interests.

Happy gift giving!

Cook His Favorite Meal

Your Dad most likely cooked something for you at some point, even if he wasn’t much good in the kitchen per se (like my Dad). Maybe grilling or BBQ was more his style. Either way, make him something delicious. But, if you’re a less-than-stellar cook, you could alternatively take him to his favorite restaurant, but you won’t get extra points for the sweat and tears of your own labor.

Book Him a Relaxing Massage (aka “Sports Recovery Massage”)

If your Dad is a little more urban/“metro” than my Dad, then consider booking him a relaxing massage at a local spa. Or, if your Dad is more rigid in his male gender identity, then book him a “sports recovery massage” at the local YMCA or sports therapy clinic. This is especially nice if your Dad has a sporty-type hobby like golf or jogging.

Join Him in a Sport or Athletic Class

If your Dad is the athletic type, join him in his favorite sport: a round of racket ball, a long trail run, maybe some surfing or stand-up paddling. Or, join him in learning a new sporty skill, like how to roll a kayak, or improving on an existing skill set, such as a lesson with a tennis or golf pro.

Sign Him and His Dog Up for an Agility Class

Maybe your Dad is a dog guy. Sign him and Fido up for an agility class. This could also turn into a hobby, which means more options for dog-related gifts in the future.

Do a Road Trip or Scenic Driving Tour

Why not plan a nice day or weekend trip to somewhere he’s never been? Plus, the fact that you’ve joined him will make it a memorable trip (unless you hate road trips, then it’ll be miserable for both of you, so maybe pick something else…).   

Buy Him a Top-Quality Carry-On

My Dad doesn’t travel much, and his luggage shows it (I think it’s from the 70s). If you think your Dad needs a better carry-on bag, this is a great time to get him one.

Take Him on a Wine, Beer, or Orchard Tour

I love all kinds of food and drink tours, so maybe this one would be a subtle gift-to-myself situation. Regardless, what Dad wouldn’t like to be driven from vineyard-to-vineyard, or sample a flight of microbrews, or fill bags and bags of heirloom apples? In fact, one year my sister and I took my Dad on a tour of the Hood River Valley, and he loved it because he got to see an old apple orchard tractor, which apparently are quite unusual in their design (check it out if you live in the Pacific Northwest U.S. – simply wonderful orchard touring out there!). *Again, A&L is not affiliated with the Fruit Loop. I just wanted to link to it to show you one possible example.

Try to Help Him Fulfill a Life-Long Dream

Does your Dad have a life-long dream that he has yet to fulfill? Maybe he’s always wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon, so you could offer to train with him in preparation for his qualifying race (and the Boston Marathon, if you both end up qualifying). Even if you live far away, you could be virtual training partners, sharing workout stats via phone, email, instant message, or a training app.

Whatever your Dad’s specific dream, is there anything you can do to help him live it? It doesn’t have to be the whole thing. A step in the right direction or even a symbolic gesture will likely make him deeply happy. Give it some thought – it could make you Child-of-the-Year.

Make a Charitable Donation in His Honor

Some fathers are big givers. They like to volunteer and walk dogs for the Humane Society. For this father-type, making a donation to their favorite charity might be a really great gift.

Get Him a New Tech Gadget

Maybe your Dad is a techno-geek. This type of person is pretty easy to shop for because there’s always a new fancy phone, watch, or fitness tracker. Although it’s not the most creative gift, these early-adopting tech-nerds will love their new gadget!

Interview Him with Story Corps

You probably know this project from listening to NPR. But, if you are not familiar with Story Corps: It’s a non-profit organization that aims to preserve average people’s stories. They do this by recording a conversation/interview between two people who know each other, with one asking questions to the other. For example, I might want to capture my Dad’s experiences as a drafted Vietnam Vet by interviewing him about it. This recording would then be archived at the U.S. Library of Congress.

A pretty unusual Father’s Day gift, yes? You can either do the interview at a Story Corps venue (throughout the U.S.), or use their Story Corps App and record anywhere. Oh, and you can also donate to them in your Dad’s name; thus, giving him two of the gifts on this list. Serious bonus points!

(Sorry to my non-U.S. readers, I think Story Corps is just in the U.S. But, please check to see if you have something similar, and if you do let me know what it’s called in the comments section below.)

I would love to hear if you end up getting your Dad something inspired by these ideas, just leave a comment below!

     –Good luck, we’re all gonna need it!

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