Gift Ideas for Dad’s Day from The Café

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Gift Ideas and Thoughts for Dad’s Day

You know it’s coming ….. The advertising is everywhere ….  People are talking about it … Guilt is starting to rise …

Every year, around this time, I get asked the same question from friends, “What are you getting Scott for Father’s Day?” as they’re trying to figure what to get their dad (or husband).” And the question comes from the kids too: “Mom, do you have any good ideas about what to get Dad for Father’s Day?”

The problem for me is that, in our family, Scott is usually the one who comes up with the great gift ideas for just about everyone. I just go to him when I need an idea and he comes up with something both thoughtful and brilliant. Then I toddle off to the store, or pull out my computer and order the gift online.


So when Father’s Day rolls around, it’s just a bit tricky. The good thing is, Scott does have an Amazon Wish List,which is super helpful; I can just take a peek at it and find something he really wants.

I thought you might be in a similar situation though, wondering what in the world to get your dad or husband. So I asked Scott and our son Nick (who also is very creative when it comes to gifts) to come up with a “Best of the Best” Father’s Day gift idea list. I told Scott I was going to use his suggestions on the blog, but, (shhh, don’t tell him… ) I might just steal an idea from his post!

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Hey Café-ers! Scott here!

Instead of scrambling around at the last second and getting your dad one more gift he doesn’t need and perhaps, doesn’t want (you know – the fourteenth tie or another T-shirt with a, “World’s Best Dad” graphics on it) – how about doing something very cool this year?

My son, Nick and I have compiled a list of gifts that we think many dads would love to get on this special day. Find out what floats your dad’s boat as you come along with us and find his dream gift.

We’ve also added some pics and inspirations that epitomize what being a father is all about.

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Free’s Good!

  • Although we often overlook this, dad’s are soft touches for a thoughtful letter or handmade card or gift that truly comes from the heart. Those well-thought-out cards are as good as gold to dad and, more than likely, he’s got a special file or folder somewhere that holds them all (mine dates way back to when our two were little – over 30 years ago!). It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, just full of remembrances, words of appreciation, a funny drawing or thoughtful artwork, highlighting all that he has done and sacrificed for you through the years. A guaranteed winner for any dad!
  • Another “sort of” free one. Make Dad something; a cake, cookies (these are some of my favorites!) – Heck, why not make him a special lunch (this is wonderful)? (Kids – remember cooking is under Mom’s supervision of course – we don’t want to give him the “gift” of burning down the house!! Not good).
  • How about a handmade “gift certificate”, offering a free massage, doing dad’s Saturday chores, or going for a hike and picnic together is always a winner!

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Under $25

  • What about an iTunes card? Or better yet, what if you “gift” Dad some of his favorite artists? He’ll love you for it!
  • A box of fine chocolates? Guaranteed to please that sweet tooth-lovin’ guy in your family!
  • How about a couple of really nice steaks, or a gift certificate to your local butcher or meat specialty store.
  • What about compiling a bunch of digital photos of Dad and family, and have one of the online photo companies put them together into a nice cocktail table booklet?
  • If your guy’s a photo buff, this would be a great gift. It’s a super helpful book on how to capture family memories with a digital camera.
  • How about a gift card to the local movie theatre? Find the latest action/adventure flick and cut out a picture of it to go with the gift certificate. For $25 you could go with him – now there’s a little side perk!
  • This fridge magnet/bottle opener is a staple in our son, Nick’s household. No more searching through a drawer of kitchen gadgets to find that tiny little bottle opener!
  • After using a grill glove for the past two years, Nick can’t imagine grilling without one, and neither can I! For high heat applications, this is a must!
  • Here’s another idea from Nick – The idea of wool being hot or itchy is a misnomer. Wool wicks moisture and resists getting stinky like no other material. A lightweight merino wool t-shirt or socks are ideal for any kind of exercising or outdoor activities. These socks are made in America and come with an ironclad warranty. They’d be a treasured gift for any active, outdoorsy dad.

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Under $50

  • Restaurant gift certificates – there isn’t a man on the planet that doesn’t love to eat. Find out his favorite haunts and gift him a meal. If you live a distance away from your dad, many restaurants will mail the gift card right to him.
  • Today, Bluetooth portable speakers are everywhere; and the prices are so low! The portability is fantastic – you can tote these little guys anywhere, and they literally sip battery power (most get 6-10 hours on a charge). This Cambridge Soundworks Bluetooth speaker for $27 is an amazing little speaker. Simple to connect to your cell phone or iPad, and great sound for the money.
  • The other day, I was at a big box store and they had really nice, high-quality American Flags for sale. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at the displays and thought, “I really need to get a new flag!” Maybe your dad’s thinking the same thing.
  • A car wash and wax! Dad’s like their cars clean. If you do it yourself, make sure to check out what Dad’s favorite car care products are. Dad’s can be a little picky in this area. (Little hint here – don’t wash his car on a hot day in bright sunlight – Dad will spend the next month trying to get the water spots off!

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Under $100

  • ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen Professional Thermocouple Cooking Thermometer – a wonderful way to significantly reduce Dad’s “burn rate” on the grill! Super fast, super accurate – this is any griller dad’s dream thermometer. I received one last year and it’s indispensable! New app-controlled thermometers are also available now for use with your dad’s iPhone; super cool!
  • Higher end Bluetooth and wireless network speakers are getting more and more impressive. Prices are all over the place; from great little boxes like this Bose, to more expensive units (over $100) that are changing the home audio entertainment landscape like Sonos, Bose, JBL, and more.
  • Dad’s love to grill, but hate to burn. Grilling cookbooks are all the rage these days, a number of great chefs have their versions out. Check out: Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ and Weber’s New Real Grilling, or The Barbecue Bible.
  • Bluetooth headphones – Dad’s love to veg out and get away from the noise sometimes, and what better way than listening to some tunes on a pair of wireless headphones. For a little more, get some Sony or Bose headphones, they’re awesome!
  • As a die hard Apple fan, our son, Nick wanted to hate this product, but after his Apple TV failed him on numerous occasions, he finally made the switch. Nick says, “It’s an incredibly intuitive product that just flat out works for streaming Netflix, Hulu etc.”

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Over the Top!

Maybe you’re at the point in your life where you can significantly give back to the man who gave you so much! Here are a couple of Father’s Day gifts that will truly blow the guy away!

  • Power Tools – If your dad is one of those guys who loves to make and fix things, power in the hand is what he’s hoping for. Stick with quality power tool manufacturers like Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita, etc. Your local big box or small town hardware store can also help you make an intelligent choice.
  • Apple Watch – It’s new, it’s sleek, it’s incredibly versatile and it’s the “I want it!” for the summer of 2015.
  • Weber Grill – Genesis S330 Stainless Steel propane grille. This is an amazing, versatile, solid performer. I’ve owned a Weber for over 15 years and it keeps on turning out great food. This company also has a fantastic repair parts department, so you can keep your Weber in top condition for years!
  • Lawn tools – If you have a dad who loves spending time in the yard, no tools are more coveted than power lawn tools. A backpack blower, steel bladed edger, hedge trimmer, (preferably gas-powered or one of the new lithium-ion powered tools) or a replacement mower for that hunk of lead he’s been pushing around the yard for the last 15 years! Again, if you have the bucks, try to stick to the quality companies like Stihl, Husqvarna or Honda; they’ll last longer and have less problems over the long haul.
  • Cameras – as a photographer dad, I couldn’t help but put in one or two of the amazing digital cameras that are on the market now. What better way is there for Dad to record and remember his children (and grandchildren)? This Canon Powershot, the Canon T6i, or the top-of-the-line Canon 5D Mark III are all amazing cameras at different price points. You can’t go wrong with any of them!
  • A Trip to Remember – two of my most cherished gifts I ever received were “over the top” surprise trips. One was to a B and B years ago with my wife. She had secretly cleared my calendar for a three-day weekend, farmed out the kids, loaded the car and was in the parking lot at my workplace one Friday afternoon. It totally blew me away. She had made all the plans and thought through everything, right down to snacks, drinks and music for the trip. We had a wonderful never-to-be-forgotten adventure. The second trip was a joint plan by my wife and son, Nick. They arranged to have Nick take me away for a surprise weekend. They wouldn’t let me know anything about where we were going. Chris and Nick packed my suitcase, so I wouldn’t know what I was bringing. We drove to the mountains of North Carolina and right into the parking lot of a motorcycle dealership. I looked at him in disbelief: they had rented BMW motorcycles for the two of us! For the next two days, we traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway from North Carolina to Virginia and back, stayed at a bed and breakfast, went fishing, ate great food and generally, had the time of our lives motoring through the gorgeous Smokey mountains. Wow – hard to top!

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

Well, Nick and I hope we’ve stimulated your dad’s day thinking cap a little. The most important thing is, think ahead; and no matter whether you’ve gone over the top or created a freebee, your Dad will think fondly of you over and over, all year long. After all, his greatest Father’s Day gift is you!

The Café participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Amazon Associates is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This year Amazon is offering Café readers free ONE day shipping on lots of Father’s Day gifts. There are also some really nice Amazon Father’s Day specials which you are eligible for as Café readers through the 18th of June.

Have a great Father’s Day!

We thought we’d leave you with one of our favorite poems about what it means to be a dad.

Gift Ideas and Thoughts on Father's Day from The Café

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