Father’s Day sneaks up on me every year. It’s always the Sunday right after my birthday, so I joke that the more birthday money my parents give me, the better my dad’s gift is!
But seriously, every year I’m constantly trying to keep up the standard I’ve set for myself by giving my dad gifts he loves. And let me tell you something – it’s hard! How do you find something personal, something he doesn’t already have, and something in budget? Read on for my top ideas!
(P.S. I’ve also done a gift guide for mums that combines your interests and hers!)
This is 100% my dad, which is where the issue with budget comes in! I can’t afford to buy him a 100 inch Samsung OLED Curve LED TV or whatever it’s called, so I have to try and find things that are suitably techie without breaking the bank!
My dad’s faves over the years have been:
- ZUS Car Charger: This little thing plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and allows you to charge two things at once, as well as locate your car when you’ve lost it in the supermarket car park by using the app! It also does cool stuff like warn you when your parking ticket is about to run out, measure your mileage and tell you your car battery’s health.
- Wemo Insight Plug: This plug is basically the easiest way to start a smart home set up – it allows you to see electricity usage, turn it off and on from your phone, and a bunch of other stuff. But what do you do with it, you ask? My dad loves to plug the kettle into it and turn it on with his phone from upstairs or round the corner from the house on the way back home so he’s ready to make a coffee the second he steps into the kitchen! He also likes to plug a lamp with an awkwardly positioned switch into it so he can turn it on more easily!
- Pebble Smart Watch: Every tech dad needs a smart watch, and these aren’t actually too expensive anymore! But it was Dad’s first smart watch so he loved it! (He’s since moved on to a Fitbit Blaze, which muggins here bought and then told him he wasn’t getting any gifts for the next 4 gift giving occasions due to the price!)
- A dash cam: Nothing like giving him a little screen which allows him to show us “that nutter on the road earlier”…
- A phone case that charges your phone for you: They’re actually really handy, and there’s one for most phones! He looks so pleased with himself every time he can go: “My phone’s a bit flat – oh, hang on!” *clicks button on case* “Charging!” Like a kid at Christmas, honestly! You can also buy some cool smart phone cases that interact with the phone itself, like these ones.
- A Chromecast: so he can watch YouTube etc. on his TV. Also great for Netflix on a bigger screen if he doesn’t have a smart TV!
- Amazon Echo Dot: He’ll have a great time asking Alexa for the news, the weather, what day it is, when his doctor’s appointment is, why the Earth is round, what the meaning of life is, etc. etc. Mum’s got competition! There’s also the Echo Spot, which is the same size but with a little screen, or the Echo Show, which is like an smart tablet kinda thing. Take a look here.
- VR Headset: Again, these are pretty cheap now, and there’s loads of phone apps for it, so he’ll have a whale of a time!
Basically, any car or phone accessory will go down a treat!
This dad is less about material things, and more about the life experiences! He’d rather go to a theme park with you than get a new pair of socks, and he likes trying new things!
- 4DX films: These are still fairly new, so he might not have been to one yet. 4DX is an immersive cinema experience where the film is in 3D, and there’s light, sounds, smells, and movement which make you feel like you’re in the film! I’ve seen quite a few films like this now, and it’s great fun! Your chair moves as the camera does, you get sprayed with water when characters do, you can smell the flowers when they’re outdoors, etc. etc! They can be quite intense – if you see a Marvel film, for example, you’re bound to get “punched” in the back by your chair, or sprayed with “blood”! (It’s just water, don’t panic! But when you see blood on screen, it doesn’t feel that way!). 4DX is available at lots of Cineworld cinemas. I think it’s called D-BOX at Odeon cinemas, but I haven’t been so I can’t vouch for that!
- Escape rooms: These are so much fun, especially if your dad likes a good puzzle! There’s hundreds of these rooms popping up, and they have some awesome themes, from Harry Potter to roman ampitheatres! The premise of a puzzle room is that you’re locked in a room with your group, and you have to solve a puzzle to get out in time. This could involve finding things hidden in ornaments, cracking clues hidden in a book you had to solve a puzzle to find, performing tasks, and more!
- Experience days: There’s soooo many of these, covering everything from spa breaks to off-roading, falconry, food and more, so there’s bound to be one for your dad! Check out Red Letter Days or Virgin Experience Days to see what you can find.
- Themed afternoon teas: This is a quirky take on the traditional afternoon tea! I know Dearden Tea Rooms do a cool Harry Potter one, and there’s tonnes of Beauty and the Beast ones!
- Gift card for somewhere like Costa: This is just a little gift you could perhaps pop in a card. Whack a fiver on it and it’s a nice way for him to remember you care when he’s out and fancies a coffee!
(Is anyone else now singing that song?!)
Anyway, this dad is as cool as a cucumber, very put-together, and definitely down with the kids (though perhaps not as much as he might think 😉 ). He’ll love stuff like:
- A nice jumper: This is always a thoughtful gift – a nice wool or cashmere one (*cough* in the sale *cough*!)
- Supercar experience day: Needless to say, Daddy Cool feels at home in a Ferrari or a Lamborghini (which he may affectionately dub a “Lambo” as if he has one tucked away in the garage). Buy him one of these and watch how many photos he takes posing with the car afterwards!
- Netflix/Amazon Prime subscription: He’s got to be in-the-know, so this means he can stay on top of all the shows everyone’s raving about!
- Beard stuff: There are three types of Cool Dad. There’s the bearded assortment, the designer stubble variety, and the clean-shaven type. The first two will delight in beard accessories, such as special beard shampoo, beard oil, or a swanky little comb that tells them where to shave!
- Razor Pit: All of the Cool Dads as mentioned above will enjoy this, but the last type especially – this little razor rest allows you to clean your razor blades and sharpen them for longer use with a few easy swipes after use!
- Hydra Smart Bottle: He’ll love this. This bottle will of course hold his drink, but also acts a light for cosy camping or keeping him safe on his bike, a speaker for music or movies on his phone on outdoorsy trips, a speakerphone, and a phone charger! The light setting also has multiple colour options, so he could even use it for mood lighting! I’m pretty sure it also makes ambient sounds like waves on a beach to help you sleep, too.
- A nice coat or a voucher towards one: Go for somewhere like Trespass or Berghaus, or another well-respected outdoorsy brand. I know these two are more affordable than the likes of The North Face, for example! Plus, Trespass aaaaalways has a sale on!
- Some nice skincare products: If he’s outdoors a lot, his skin needs extra TLC! Get him some SPF moisturiser, or moisturiser for chapped hands.
- Clay pigeon shooting: You know he’d love this! Or something quirky and less traditional like a Segway rally!
- Remote control helicopter: Yep, you read that right – you’d be surprised by how quickly grown men turn into 5-year-olds with one of these bad boys! (My dad’s got caught in the wind and blew over the fence and into the ether. He was heartbroken. We had to get him a new one).
This is also my dad – am I successfully painting a picture of a nerdy little boy in an adult’s body? 😉
- Funko Pops of his favourite character: Which, of course, is inevitably from Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, Starship Troopers, Stars in their Eyes – wait, no, that’s not one of them!
- Tickets to Comic Con: I’m not talking the Comic Con, unless you’ve got that kind of money to splash, but usually there’s local ones in towns and cities that are fun!
- 4DX films: Like the Do-All-The-Things Dad, he’d love this! I reckon the new Jurassic Park movie would go down a treat with him, and the 4DX effects would work really well with it!
- Special edition Blu-rays: It’s a win-win – he probably has a DVD collection, so a collector’s edition of his favourite (almost definitely sci-fi) series or film will go down a treat!
- Quiz games: These are always fun, especially if you can get something like a themed Trivial Pursuit! My dad and I are at each other’s necks every Christmas over Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit! (It’s serious business!) There’s also tonnes of themed Monopoly games, from Stranger Things to the Walking Dead, themed Cluedo, and themed Risk! A game show quiz game like The Chase is more generic so everyone can join in too!
- A special edition book: Something like the Star Trek leatherbound anthology from Barnes and Noble, or the Death Note All-in-One edition!
- Cooking experience days: I’ve spotted a lot of “cook with chilli” workshops recently – is it a go-to Dad-ism to like spicy food?! But anyway, you can get cooking classes or experience days, or even subscription gifts which deliver cool recipe cards and ingredients, freshly baked cakes or brownies, or coffee for caffeine connoiseur!
- Meal experience days: If you’d prefer to get him out of the kitchen, you can buy things like a 3 course meal for 2 at certain restaurants that works out a fair amount cheaper than just buying a 3 course meal each on the day! You can find these on the experience days websites I linked in the Do-All-The-Things Dad section!
- Make him a meal: If you want to do something more personal or homely, maybe you could get in the kitchen and cook his favourite meal! Or, if you’re like me and baking is more your thing, you could make a dessert and order the mains from his favourite takeaway!
- Buy some quirky food: Something like a delicacy from another country he hasn’t tried, or one of those novelty chocolate bars flavoured with weird stuff like Marmite! Blue Mountain coffee goes down well, but it’s about two gazillion pounds to buy a normal sized tub of the stuff!