Dads are tough to buy gifts for. They usually have everything they need, and if they do want something, they usually just buy it themselves.
My go-to gift for my dad has always been a nice bottle of wine, but how many years in a row can I get away with that? (Too many, honestly.) And every year I look at those Man Crates (which are basically gift baskets full of “manly” goodies), I conclude my dad is all set on the barbecue sauce and beef jerky front.
The other, normally forgotten gift idea is the experience gift. These are the way to go when you don't want to buy your dad a new tie or something golf-related because it's not going to sit somewhere collecting dust. Another reason experience gifts rock is that you can enjoy with your dad, too.
Here are a couple of no-fail experience-based gift ideas your dad will love this Father's Day:
1. Grab some great seats.
Between concerts, sports, comedy shows and musicals, getting tickets to one of your dad's favorite events is guaranteed to blow last year's lame gift out of the water. Grabbing tickets also gives you price flexibility. You can either go big and nab front row tickets to a show or game, or keep it low-key if your wallet can't handle living large right now.
Comedy shows are always a great option because you can either hit up a smaller local show, or go to one at a big stadium. No matter what seat you have in the house, you're going to have a good time.
2. Taste something new.
What better occasion is there other than Father's Day to hit up a local brewery, vineyard or distillery for an afternoon of snacking and tasting alcoholic beverages? This is a grown-up way to get some quality time with your dad, all while enjoying his favorite drinks.
And if he really enjoys something you end up trying, you have the added bonus of being able to purchase it for him as an additional gift. That way, you won't have to guess whether or not he'll like it either. We can toast to that.
3. Use Father's Day as an excuse for a trip.
Give your dad the gift of getting away for a bit. From a major trip to a new place, to a hike in a local forest or park, coming up with a solid travel plan is an easy way to get that quality time in while taking a break from real life.
Even if your dad isn't an "outdoorsy" guy, you can hop in the car and take a drive to a different city or town to explore. Travel or taking a day trip doesn't need to be expensive.
If you can't stand traveling with your dad, you can always plan something special for him if he has another vacation planned.
4. Teach an old dog a new trick.
What are your dad's hobbies? For example, if your dad is really into cooking, instead of scouring the internet for the newest and most necessary kitchen gadget, send him to a cooking class. You can do it alone or even check it out together. You can literally find classes in anything for your dad, no matter what his hobbies are.
You can easily find classes online. New Yorkers should absolutely consider checking out CourseHorse for classes in just about everything.
5. Dads like getting pampered, too.
Spas are not just for Mother's Day. Dads love massages and getting pampered, too. A fun alternative to traditional spas are Russian or Korean bath houses, which usually offer steam rooms and saunas in addition to massage treatments. Plus, it's a pretty cool experience.
If a spa is off the table, you can also gift your dad premium a haircut and shaving experience. What dad wouldn't be into that?
Finding an experience for your dad (and you) to enjoy will always beat the gift of an object he probably doesn't need or will ever use. It also is a lot easier than trying to make something sentimental.
When it comes to gifts, it's always the thought that counts. Experience-based gifts are much more fun to come up with, and you get the added bonus of possibly creating a nice memory together. No material gift can top that.