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Great Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Great Fathers Day Gift IdeasWith Fathers Day right around the corner, I figured I’d throw out some great Fathers Day gift ideas to readers today.  Does anyone else think dads can be really hard to buy for?  It’s nice to buy something new and different for dad, but what?  Another tie?  As I pondered our Father’s Day gathering (we kids and our families always join dad at a local park for BBQ and games), I came up with some ideas both on the frugal side, and the not-so-frugal side.

1.  Buy dad a subscription to his favorite magazine or newspaper.  Wall Street Journal, This Old House, Golf Digest, Money Magazine; whatever his fave reads are that he wouldn’t likely go out and spend for on his own.

2.  Pick up a specialty version of one of his favorite foods.  Does your dad like hot sauce or salsa?  Find a specialty sauce at an authentic Mexican store.  Ice Cream?  Make up a variety pack of Ben and Jerry’s.  Want to un-frugal your gift?  Do a “hot sauce of the month” or “ice cream of the month” gift instead.

3.  Take him out.  Most dads that I know aren’t much for spending money at a restaurant, so think about taking dad out to eat for Father’s Day.  Want to spend it up?  Make up a nice invitation with a date for a different restaurant each month, and take him out each month.

4.  What’s your dad’s favorite music genre?  Make up a collection of some of his favorite music, or some of the music from when your dad was a kid.

5.  Focus on his hobbies.  Pick up something nice that he can use while practicing his favorite hobbies.  Is he a golfer?  Get a customized or monogrammed golf towel.  Is he a baseball fan?  Take him to a game or buy him a baseball encyclopedia.  Does your dad like to camp or fish?  Get him a nice camping chair or a high end fishing rod.  Want to spend it up?  Plan a trip with him to the baseball Hall of Fame or take him camping at a well-known park he’s never visited.

6.    This is your life.  Remember the old Sesame Street game show with Guy Smiley?  Put together a scrapbook (one of my bffs just did one through Shutterfly – it turned out great and was only $21!) with pictures and stories starting from when your dad was young up to what he’s doing now.  Most of these online photobook places make it easy for even the most “uncreative” of people to put together a nice book.

7.   Give him out-of-the-ordinary gift certificates.  For whatever you can do that would be nice to take off his plate.  Can you mow the lawn for him?  Can you cut his hair?  Paint the house?  Organize his garage or basement?  Go for a walk or bike ride with him each week?  Think of something your dad would really appreciate and then print out a free online certificate describing his gift. You can also find some funny ecards that are easy to personalize!

Great Fathers Day gift ideas can be hard to come by, but with a little thought and creativity, you can find something that’s just right.

Got any great Fathers Day gift ideas to share? 


*Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos


  1. Brit says:

    I’m great at buying for Mother’s Day but hard for dad’s. I guess because I want them to really like their gifts. Some dads are not like us and say “oohh I want this” like me, I mean like some moms. 🙂 I think this year I’m going to go with number 7 and surprise him and my dad.
    Thank you for the post, Laurie.

    • Laurie says:

      Glad you found some usable ideas here, Brit, and I totally agree that those dads are often much harder to buy for. 🙂 Have a great week!

  2. These are great ideas Laurie! For me, so much of it comes down to just spending some quality time with the kids that weekend. I’ve got all I need so I’m the happiest with that. 🙂 We usually go out for dinner or something like that.

  3. Stacy says:

    My husband is not the easiest to buy for so I lean toward giving an “experience,” like a day out where he can just enjoy being with the family. And a gift card for something not in our weekly budget is always a big hit!

    • Laurie says:

      The “experience” plan always is a good one, IMHO. And we do gift cards here too. When you’re on a tight budget, it’s a huge blessing to get a gift card to spend money on something you normally wouldn’t spend money on. Great ideas, Stacy!

  4. I agree dad is hard to buy for. He really has everything he needs and more. I was happy I was home this time last year and we got to spend time together. Honestly I have no idea what I’ll do this year, but I’ll consider your tips. I like the magazine subscription one! He reads a lot!

    • Laurie says:

      That sounds like the perfect way to spend Father’s day, being home with your dad, and I’ll bet it was the best gift he could’ve gotten. 🙂

  5. I’ve got a great idea for dad…a tie! Just kidding =) My dad likes to go out to eat so that’s what we’ll do…maybe not on Father’s day though, it’s always too crowded and rushed. I’ve also gotten him a subscription to Money magazine…he likes reading it and he gives it to me when he’s done with it.

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, funny, Andrew. 🙂 Love the going out to eat idea. When you don’t go out a lot, it’s always a nice treat, isn’t it? LOL, double bonus on the Money magazine – you’ll have to think of another great mag you want to read and give it to him this year. 🙂

  6. I loved Guy Smiley from Sesame Street!!! And I think that is a great dad gift idea. I was just talking to my hubby about what he wanted for Father’s Day and he asked for oven mitts or olive oil. Cooking is his hobby and he appreciates anything big or small from the category. Unfortunately for me, my dad’s hobby is expensive wine’s so he is just going to get a handmade card from my son for Father’s Day.

    • Laurie says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who loved Guy Smiley. 🙂 Awesome ideas for the hubs, Shannon. I love to cook too, so I know he’ll like whatever you pick out in that area. LOL, I’d be getting my dad just a card too if that was his hobby – yikes!

  7. Kara says:

    This is a great list! Thanks!
    I always bake my Dad something because as much as he loves to eat, he doesn’t love to bake!

    • Laurie says:

      Good idea on the Groupons, Stefanie. Rick’s mom got myself and my sis-n-law Groupons for a spa one year for Christmas: what a wonderful gift that was! 🙂

  8. Since my dad is in the UK and it costs a fortune to send anything we just send greeting cards. Mum and dad might put money in my bank account for my birthday and Christmas but they told me not to bother buying them anything because they don’t need it. You know how some parents are lol. My wife sends her dad a card as well and he’s more than happy with that, even happier just to see her when she goes home.

    • Laurie says:

      You know, the older I get, the more I just want to be with the kids, Mr. CBB. Gifts aren’t nearly as important as just getting to talk to or be with your children. That’s the best gift of all. 🙂

  9. E.M. says:

    My dad is very difficult to buy for! He is pretty content with what he has, and he’s very simple. There’s a new book in a series he reads that is coming out, so I already told my mom to make sure he doesn’t buy it. Other than that, we usually go out to eat.

  10. I simply want to spend time with the family on Father’s Day. So maybe plan an event where we could all be together. That being said, gifts related to hobbies are always great. One of the best ones I ever received from my wife was a package of golf lessons when I was into that years ago.

    • Laurie says:

      Sounds like a great gift, Brian! I agree about spending time with the fam: that’s usually what we do too, and it’s awesome.

  11. Dads are harder to buy for than Moms! 🙂 And this is an excellent reminder that Father’s Day is around the corner and I need to figure out something for Chris! Maybe something hobby-related, those kinds of gifts always seem to go over well.

    • Laurie says:

      I’m sure you and the girls will figure out something perfectly wonderful for Chris, Shannon – you’re always so “thoughty” that way, as my mom likes to say. 🙂

  12. Kim says:

    I usually just give my Dad something to eat. He also really likes funny cards. Sometimes the card more than the gift!

    • Laurie says:

      Funny how mushy parents can get over a nice card, isn’t it? My dad loves gifts like a big can of mixed nuts or a summer sausage and cheese package. 🙂

  13. anna says:

    I usually treat my dad to a breakfast since it guarantees some quality time just the two of us, but I think it’s a good idea to focus on his hobbies. Maybe this year I’ll get him something tangible on a hobby that he enjoys. Great list Laurie!

    • Laurie says:

      That’s so sweet, Anna!!! Breakfast together is a wonderful gift, and I’m quite certain, being a parent, that your dad LOVES hanging out and eating breakfast with you. Great choice, I think. 🙂

  14. Liz says:

    I think my dad is the hardest person on my list to shop for. Every xmas, fathers day and birthday are always a struggle. These are some great suggestions. I was trying to think of an experience or something for his hobby- woodworking.

    • Laurie says:

      Oh!! Woodworking! Rick loves to wood work too. Maybe you can find a great wood working museum to go to, or a wood working magazine, or a gift certificate to a Lowe’s or something?

  15. That’s a fantastic list of ideas Laurie! Fathers always do seem hard to buy for, but I think all 7 ideas would be amazing for 99% of dads out there.

    Like many of the other dad’s that have commented, I usually just love to spend time with my family, maybe dining out somewhere. A game of golf with my father in law is also becoming a very nice tradition!

    • Laurie says:

      What great traditions, both time with your own family, and golf with the FIL. Very cool that you guys get along well and can have fun together like that. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Time (and effort) often improve that, Melanie. I know my relationship with my dad has gotten MUCH closer over the years as I’ve gotten older. So great that you always do something for him, too. It’s the little things that count. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Fancy food is always awesome, Holly!!! I’m sure they appreciate that very much, and of course, just getting to spend time with you and those adorable little girls. 🙂

  16. I’m so glad you wrote this, Laurie because I thought Father’s Day was later this year. Oops! I typically give my dad lots of gift certificates to his favorite store, Menards, because he is hard to buy for. He used to cut out pictures of the items from the store flyer so the store clerk could easily find it for me! LOL! This year, I’m doing something a bit different – more along the lines of #6 for both my mom and dad. At their age, they pretty much have everything they want, so those sentimental things seem to resonate the strongest with them.

    • Laurie says:

      What a great idea, Tanya. 🙂 Yes, those sentimental things do indeed resonate strongly with parents – always some of the best gifts to get. 🙂

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