What does a dad want for Father’s Day? Mostly, dads—including this one—just want to be known, appreciated and loved. And one of the best ways to get there is through just the right gift.
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A Father’s Day gift doesn’t need to be expensive or a big production to make a dad feel loved. To prove it, we’ve put together a list of Father’s Day gift ideas that will help you figure out just the right present for the dad in your life, no matter what kind of father he is. Every section includes:
- Plenty of general ideas to get you started down the right path
- A budget-friendly gift idea
- In idea for giving an experience instead of something tangible
No matter what gift you choose for the dad in your life this Father’s Day, don’t forget to complete the gift with the perfect Father’s Day card. We’ve got tips for what to write in a Father’s Day card, too.
For the guy who’s still getting used to this whole dad thing or who’s experiencing his last Father’s Day without a little one in the house.
- Buy him a book (or a set of books) to read with his kids. It’s something he’ll probably be spending a lot of time doing over the next few years. If you have kids of your own, pick a couple of your favorites that you’ve read with your kids to share with him.
- Anything specifically for him will be meaningful—a gift card to a restaurant, a batch of his favorite cookies, the chance to go hang out with his friends for a couple of hours. In a time where everyone is focused on the baby, having a chance to do something for yourself feels extra special.
- Does he have a favorite beverage (adult or otherwise)? This is a time when the chance to relax and unwind is more valuable than ever and picking up a case or bottle of his favorite drink would be a welcome surprise.
- We’ve got a collection of even more great gift ideas for new dads (and moms) here.
- Budget idea: Put together a photo album, framed picture or collage of photos of him and his little one(s). He’ll smile every time he looks at it.
- Experience idea: A nap. If he’s in the thick of the sleepless night phase with a new baby, a nap is the best gift you could give him. Come hold the baby for a couple of hours (bonus for you, if you don’t normally get to hold the baby) and let him grab some shut-eye. This gift is especially meaningful coming from friends or siblings (in other words, not the other parent of the baby).
For the dad who likes to get active in more ways than just chasing his kids all over the place.
- When’s the last time he got a new pair of shoes for his favorite sport or activity? How about a new pair of shorts? A new shirt? An active dad can always use more equipment.
- Does he like to run, bike or do some other activity where he likes to listen to music? A new pair of headphones could make a great gift (and Bluetooth headphones could be even better).
- Maybe you know he likes to get active, but don’t know much about his preferences. Buy him a gift card to a sporting goods store where he can go and pick something out for himself.
- An active dad is a hungry dad. His favorite food or beverage to recover after he’s done getting his sweat on can make a great gift.
- Budget idea: Socks. We know, we know, socks are a stereotypical dad gift, but if you give him a pair of socks that’s specifically made for his favorite athletic activity, he’ll never stop thanking you.
- Experience idea: Get active with him. Whether his chosen athletic activity is normally a family affair or a solo event, getting the whole family involved in his favorite thing can make for a really fun Father’s Day.
For the dad you go to when something weird that you can’t figure out is happening with your phone.
- Is there a new gadget he’s had his eye on but has been out of budget? Consider putting together a group to buy it for him together or buy it for him and tell him it’s his Father’s Day + Christmas + next birthday gift.
- Smart plugs to insert into your electrical outlets at home are budget-friendly gadgets that will give him power over the electrical devices in your house and make him feel like a wizard.
- Gift cards. If you’ve got a big budget: a gift card to his favorite electronics store. If you’re on a smaller budget: a gift card to a favorite streaming service or online subscription service.
- Is his phone always running out of battery? Wireless chargers can make a great gift, and most modern smartphones are compatible.
- Budget idea: Blue-light-filtering glasses. If he spends a lot of his time staring at a screen, his eyes will be very grateful.
- Experience idea: Have kids, friends and family members record messages telling him why he’s such a great dad. Put them together into one audio file and send it to him so he can store it on his phone and play it whenever he wants.
For the dad whose favorite time is time spent making things.
- What’s his preferred method of creativity—drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, woodworking or something else? Whatever it is, supplies for his favorite creative hobby make a great gift.
- Work in his preferred creative medium with the kids to make something for him. If he likes to draw, have them draw a picture of them together. If he likes to write, have them write a story about him. We’ve got some great art supplies and a project idea to get you started, and our friends at Crayola have some great options, too.
- Buy him a book that makes you think of him. (Or, if nothing comes to mind, buy him a gift card to a local bookstore or an online store where he can buy an eBook.)
- Is there an author, artist or musician he admires and looks up to? If they’ve written a book or offer a class on how they do what they do, buy that for him.
- Budget idea: Buy him supplies for his favorite creative activity—luckily, lots of materials for creative work are budget-friendly.
- Experience idea: Ask him if there’s a place that inspires him in his creative work. Take the family there for a walk, a hike, a picnic, a tour or some other way to spend time together.
For the dad who truly does map the route to his heart straight through his stomach.
- Surprise him with delivery or takeout from his favorite restaurant on Father’s Day. (Or, if you have other plans, a gift card for a future visit is a great idea, too.)
- Is there a new kitchen gadget he’s had his eye on? Or a kitchen task he dislikes that could be made easier by just the right tool? Find it and surprise him with it as a gift.
- If he’s a grill master, new grilling tools or a set of seasonings, sauces or rubs are perfect for Father’s Day (which happens to land right in the middle of grilling season).
- If dad loves food, you know what else he’ll love? Brunch. And we’ve got some great Father’s Day brunch ideas to get you started.
- There are a shocking number of very specific food subscription boxes out there. Find one that he’d love and buy him a subscription for a few months.
- Treats! Any and all treats! We’ve got some good dad-friendly dessert ideas to get you started.
- Budget idea: Make him his favorite food. (Seriously. This is the easiest home-run idea you could possibly hope for.)
- Experience idea: Who’s his favorite chef? Find their most famous recipe and make it together for dinner (or dessert) on Father’s Day.
For the dad who would probably rather be outside right now.
- Is he an avid camper, hiker, hunter or fisherman? Buy him a piece of gear you know he needs for his next expedition—a new pole, a backpack, a pair of shoes. (Or, if you don’t know what he’s missing, buy him a gift card to an outdoor sporting goods store and let him pick for himself.)
- Buy him a nice water bottle or hydration pack to use for his next adventure. Never underestimate the power of good hydration.
- If his favorite place to be outdoors is his own lawn, get him a new tool to make his yardwork easier.
- Give him something to make the next time you’re sitting around the campfire a little more fun—an easy fire-starter, a griddle, a set of nice skewers to use for s’mores or something else he’d love.
- Budget idea: Being outside is hard work. Stock him up with some favorite snacks or energy bars for the next time he gets hungry out in the wilderness.
- Experience idea: Go on a hike with him on his favorite hiking path or take him camping. (Note: This will mean even more to him if you personally hate hiking or camping.)
For the dad whose pets will always be his kids, whether he has human kids or not.
- Make a donation to a local pet shelter in his honor. Dads who are passionate about animals care about all animals, not just the ones who live in their house.
- Find a photo of him and his beloved pet and give it to him as a high-quality framed print or canvas. Or, if they don’t have any great pictures together, set up a photo shoot for the whole family—animals included.
- Here’s a hint: Most pet lovers will love any excuse to talk or brag about their pets and how much they love them. (We’ve got lots of great gift ideas for pet lovers to get you started.)
- Did you know they have DNA tests for dogs? If this pet dad wants to get to know his canine companion even better, order one (performed by a painless cheek swab) for him to learn more about his four-legged best friend.
- Matching gifts for dad and his dog. This could mean matching shirts or bandanas, a water bottle for the dog and matching flask for dad or something else. Does it get any cuter? No. No it does not.
- Put together a dog park survival kit: a bucket filled with pet wet-wipes, treats, a ball or Frisbee to throw, towels for cleaning off after and a car seat cover to make his car more canine-ready.
- Budget idea: Give him a gift from his pet (or pets). A new toy to play with together? Some steak they could all share? Finding a fun way to connect with his furry friends is meaningful for any pet dad.
- Experience idea: For dog dads—everyone to the dog park! For cat dads—spend the day trying to get your cat to express some level of gratitude, or at least acknowledge that it’s Father’s Day.
For the dad who never met a broken thing he couldn’t fix (or at least try).
- A dad who likes tools can never have too many tools. Buy him a new tool he’s had his eye on, replacing one of his that’s seen better days or giving him a gift card to a hardware store where he can pick out his own.
- If you’re buying for a dad who’s got plenty of tools but is short on organization, consider buying a toolbox, or maybe even offer to help set up a garage organizational system for him, if that’s one of your strengths.
- Put together a “we care about you and don’t want you to hurt yourself” gift package: safety glasses, noise-cancelling headphones, work gloves and maybe even a pair of steel-toe boots.
- Budget idea: There are a few budget-friendly basics every handyman needs (and if they already have one, extras never hurt): a tape measure, a hand saw, a hammer, a crowbar and a pair of pliers.
- Experience idea: Do a project with him. Building something where everyone can get involved can make a great Father’s Day activity for a dad who loves to work with his hands.
For the dad who’s always got a song in his head and in his heart.
- If he plays music, find a musical instrument he’s never played and buy it for him. It can even be used. Chances are he’ll love having something new to try.
- Buy him an accessory for his instrument of choice—a new guitar pick, new drumsticks, some new sheet music for the piano.
- Find a vinyl record from his favorite band. (Bonus points if it’s his favorite record of theirs, too.)
- Are you buying for a dad who’s ready to stop just listening to music and step into the spotlight? Two words: karaoke machine.
- Give him a new pair of good quality headphones to enjoy his favorite tunes anywhere he wants.
- Budget idea: Work with his kids (or grandkids) to write him a song about what a great dad (or grandpa) he is and how much he’s loved.
- Experience idea: Tickets to a concert. Or, if that’s not in the cards, create your own concert experience at home—find a good quality recording of his favorite band or performer and watch together at home. (Snacks and drinks not optional.)
For the dads so cool they deserve a fan convention to be held in their honor.
- Does he collect memorabilia from a certain movie or TV show? Find something he doesn’t have and buy it for him to add to his collection.
- Buy him something comfy to wear during his next movie marathon—sweats, slippers, cozy socks…anything that will lead him straight to maximum lounging.
- Literally anything with his favorite character on it. Don’t overthink this one. If he likes Star Wars, buy him something Star Wars. He’ll like it. (You can look up favorite characters on Hallmark.com.)
- Make him an amazing pancake breakfast (or cake for dessert) using these awe-inspiring superhero toppers.
- Is he a gamer? If so, there’s nothing he’ll like more than sitting on the couch and playing video games with the whole family. (Buying him a new video game is a safe bet, too.)
- When it comes to fans, a new itty bitty or a Keepsake Ornament is always a good choice.
- Is he into sports? Buy him a new hat or some new gear from his favorite team. It doesn’t matter if he already has one. When you love a team, you can never have enough.
- Budget idea: Buy him a month’s subscription to his favorite video streaming service so he can binge-watch his favorite shows (or discover new ones).
- Experience idea: At-home movie night! Pick a favorite movie (or one he hasn’t seen yet), buy his favorite snacks and have a movie night at home with the family.