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12 Thoughtful Father’s Day Gifts That Aren’t Ties

Paul Dojcinovic
Jun 10 9 minutes read

There’s something about Father’s Day that gives even the most thoughtful among us a case of “gifter’s block.” Perhaps this is why Father’s Day gifts usually border on the cliche — like a tie bought in a rush, or a random item featuring his favorite sports team’s logo. Instead, make 2019 the year this tradition ends. Here’s a list of gifts dad will actually love to receive, from little luxuries that’ll make his day to trips that’ll create memories that last a lifetime.

Gifts to Improve His Daily Routine

He might not directly say he’s into self-care, but he knows the concept on a physical level. In other words: Your dad needs a break. While he’d never use the word “pampering,” these gifts help recharge his batteries — whether he realizes it or not.

1. NES Classic Edition

A miniaturized version of the 1985 game system, the NES Classic Edition will definitely bring him back to his glory days of gaming. Designed to plug into any TV, the easy-to-set up console comes ready to play with 30 games (including old favorites like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Kirby’s Adventure). Also cool: You can play using different Display Modes, like a CRT filter (which replicates the experience of playing on an old TV) or Pixel-Perfect (each pixel is a perfect square for crystal-clear visuals).

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2. JBL Pulse 3

Bluetooth speakers can be hit-or-miss for quality, but the Pulse 3 proves to be an exception. It delivers a decent audio experience in the form of a portable, waterproof speaker that also comes with a lava lamp-esque light show. When he needs some “dad time,” this is the speaker that can go along wherever that may be, from the basement to the backyard. He can even it toss it in the golf cart to add a soundtrack to his next round of golf.

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3. Yeti Rambler 30-oz Tumbler

He might have the brand’s signature cooler already, or he already knows everything about how they can keep anything at the perfect temperature for days on end. The tumbler does the exact same thing, whether he wants to keep his morning cup of coffee hot all day long or wants to keep his Saturday brew of choice chilled to perfection even after he leaves it in the sun for his afternoon nap. Fun fact: Someone very wise discovered that a pint of ice cream perfectly fits inside this design, carton and all. 

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Pro Tip: Yeti also offers customization options, like logos, monograms, and personalized messages. We’ll leave it up to you whether to go with something sentimental or sarcastic.

4. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

Let’s be honest, your dad looks like a geek in AirPods. And while we’re not saying he’s losing his hearing, these Bose headphones are known to have supreme sound quality. Plus these headphones have noise-cancelling technology. A little peace & quiet might be the perfect gift this year.

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5. A Good Pen

For some reason, many dads appreciate a fine writing instrument the way others would appreciate a work of art. Give him something a little nicer than those $2-for-10 pens with an option from JetPens.

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Pro Tip: The real spirit of this gift is upgrading something he uses every day. If your father isn’t the letter-writing type, maybe opt for a nicer version of grilling accessories, kitchen gear (especially high-quality knives), or his favorite tool (tactical flashlights are another dad-pleaser). 

Experiences He’ll Never Forget

One of the ways traditional gift guides fall short is failing to recognize the one things most Dads want: To spend quality time with his family. Dad may define that as yelling in unison at a sporting event, quietly sitting alongside each other, or sharing a meal as a family. But no matter what, it’s time well spent.

Pro Tip: The real spirit of this gift is upgrading something he uses every day. If your father isn’t the letter-writing type, maybe opt for a nicer version of grilling accessories, kitchen gear (especially high-quality knives), or his favorite tool (tactical flashlights are another dad-pleaser). 

6. A Visit To The Local Brewery or Distillery in town

Why leave town when your beer-loving or whisky drinking dad, could enjoy a weekend trip to the local brewery or distillery that's almost walking distance home. If you want to be closer to home, then check out the other pubs in your area and see what's new on tap and offer to get the first few rounds while enjoying some quality time together.

Burwood Distillery

7. A Trip to Galaxy’s Edge

If your dad has long loved the Star Wars franchise, let him live his dream at Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disney World. Each is a “land” at their respective theme parks, but they’re not just a ride or two with some clever decor. Instead, each offers a completely immersive experience into all things Star Wars — even the bottled water is themed. There, he can pilot the Millennium Falcon, take a seat at Oga’s Cantina, or finally sample the famous Blue Milk.

Disney Land Disney World

Pro Tip: Bring a little extra money - for $199, you can build your very own Lightsaber. 

8. Tesla Test Drive

He doesn’t have to be a big NASCAR fan to understand the thrill of driving at top speeds a car that may intrigue him but here's an opportunity to give your Dad a fun new experience. If he’s a little shy to get behind the wheel, the Ride Along lets him enjoy the experience alongside a professional driver.

Drive a Tesla 

Pro Tip: If they are fully booked for test drives around fathers day then another idea would be going to an arcade/restaurant like The Rec Room where you can enjoy the VRX Car Simulator with your Dad and grab a bite at the same time! 

9. Head to BBQ Heaven

Summertime usually means at least one barbecue festival in your region. Get him and the family tickets, packaged with a gift basket of his favorite sauces, beer, and other grilling must-haves. 

Not so hands on when it comes to BBQ? Fill a gift basket with a family-size order of pulled pork, chicken, ribs or brisket from his favorite take-out spot in the area. Or go big and promise to take him on a trip in October to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchberg, Tennessee. 

BBQ Heaven 

Gifts He Can Eat or Drink

If Dad has everything he could possibly want, is unusually difficult to shop for, or tends to regard physical gifts as clutter (and doesn’t always have time for experiences), consumable gifts are the way to go.

10. Craft a Better Beer Experience

It’s not about buying just his favorite six-pack. Instead, fill the biggest gift basket, cooler or tub with his favorite brews. For a little more variety, pack a few clever beer-lover accessories from Uncommon Goods.

Uncommon Goods

Pro Tip: If you think your dad would like to try some new brews straight from the tap, there’s a cool new way to make it happen (without having to turn the garage into a home brewing laboratory). Meet Hopsy. Part beer-of-the-month club, part Keurig-for-craft-brews, Hopsy is a great way for your dad to try new beers from around the country without hunting them down at the nearest convenience store.

11. It's nice to Meat you

Says the server at probably one of the Best Steak Houses in Calgary, The Cattle Baron. 

Inspired by Wellington's Fine Dining of Calgary, The Cattle Baron Steakhouse and Bar was created and designed as a casual alternative for the upscale steak enthusiast.

Always a Classic

12. Brazillian BBQ Experience

Voted #8 out of 4160 eateries in Calgary on Trip Advisor, Minas Brazilian Steakhouse is a local and tourist favorite that can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner or better yet plan for takeout and go have a picnic of your own. No need to dad to slave around the BBQ this fathers day. Now he can enjoy the BBQ experience sitting down without burning his eyebrows or arm hair!  

Book a Table

Pro Tip: If you think your dad would prefer a variety, try butcherbox.com. They’ve got chicken, pork, steak, and some great looking BBQ options, too.

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