Poor ol’ Father’s Day. It can sometimes feel a little like an afterthought, coming on the heels of Mother’s Day—but it doesn’t have to be!This year, surprise him with a gift that he’ll actually use. We rounded a up some of our favorite ideas—all affordable, so you won’t even have to go splitsies with your sibs. Can you say golden child?
For athletic dads
It’s easy to buy for the guy whose favorite holiday is draft day—if you have the cash for courtside tickets or season passes. Another thing any sports buff will appreciate: a gift that helps him stay active daily, so he can shoot hoops or walk all 18 holes well into his golden years.
Yoga mat and towel
If he balks at the thought of stepping onto a yoga mat and getting his ohm on, just remind him that LeBron, Ray Lewis, and the entire New Zealand All Blacks rugby team do yoga on the regular. Grab a cushy mat and plush towel (yoga gets surprisingly sweaty), and gift Dad a month of classes at a nearby studio so he can learn the basics without getting injured. For more yoga cures, have him check out teacher and expert Jen Partridge's quick yoga routines.
OK, it’s a slightly difficult present to wrap. But for any athlete, a good foam roller is worth its weight in gold! If your old man complains of an aching lower back and creaky knees, this gift could be the cure. Play the expert and show him how to roll it out—he’ll be shocked at how amazing his body feels after just a few minutes.
For adventure seekers
Always down to go exploring or try something new, this dude loves to spend time with the people he loves in the great outdoors. A GoPro or drone would certainly be a cool investment if he loves documenting his adventures. A more heartfelt option? Load up a hiking backpack with a few of the basics and pick a new trail to tackle together.
Reusable water bottle
This one-liter bottle keeps H2O icy-cold for up to 24 hours and coffee piping hot for 12—but more importantly, it’s BPA-free. Perfect for staying hydrated on hot summer days!
Natural insect repellent
DEET-based sprays smell awful and are potentially toxic. Not exactly eco-friendly, right? Save dad from getting eaten alive out there with an all-natural bug spray that stays 100-percent effective for up to three hours and doesn’t stink.
Jerky and trail mix
It’s called trail mix for a reason. That sweet-salty combo of nuts and dried fruit stops hunger in its tracks, but is light enough to carry with you over steep hills and through green valleys. Pack a protein-heavy snack, too. Krave jerky hits the spot without delivering a nasty dose of preservative chemicals and flavor additives—this stuff is all-natural, and we couldn’t be more impressed.
Nontoxic sun protection
Remind Dad that sun damage is the number one cause of premature aging—not to mention skin cancer. Slathering on the SPF every day is a non-negotiable, so why not help him stock up with a product with both chemical and physical protection? Studies have shown that these are the safest and most effective formulas available.
For home brewers
Home-brewing kits are always a fun gift. For fathers who dream about quitting their day jobs and opening up a microbrewery, DIY beer-making is an option. But it takes forever (months!), and sometimes the results are less-than-stellar, and definitely not considered healthy.
Broaden Dad’s horizons by introducing him to the wonders of brewing kombucha, which is similar to brewing beer—but with a more “cultured” result. This kit has all the basics he needs to get started. Kombucha is trendy, good-for-the-gut fermented tea (at health food stores, it’ll cost you anywhere from $5 to $10 a bottle), but making your own is both simple and inexpensive.
He’ll be in awe of the SCOBY (you’ll see why...) and impressed by just how good the final product tastes, and how good it makes him feel!
For Chef Boyar-dads
When I was younger, my father’s kitchen skills started and ended with blueberry pancakes. But over the years, he’s grown into a bona fide master chef—he even grilled our Thanksgiving turkey this year. Anyone who loves to grill, cook, bake, or even just eat, would love any of the following picks to up their culinary prowess.
Thrive Market organic spices
Usually restocking the spice rack (which you need to do every year or so, as spices lose their flavor after exposure to light and oxygen) is a tedious and expensive process, but not so when you pick up a fresh set for Dad from Thrive Market! Every one of our organic spices costs just $2.95, and comes in an individual resealable bag which makes it easy to refill spice containers or save room storing them.
Everyone needs a good cooking oil on hand, as fat is the thing that gives food flavor. And when frying or sauteing, it’s really important to use a fat with the right smoke point. Enter duck fat. It’s usually pretty difficult to find, but it has a medium-high smoke point that makes it perfect for cooking crispy, golden french fries. Dad will be super curious to try it out—indulge him, and share this recipe for duck-fat domino potatoes.
There’s nothing like Maldon. The pyramid-shaped sea salt crystals have a delicate crunch and enhance just about every dish—seasoning meats perfectly without overpowering their natural flavors. It’s hard to describe just what exactly makes this salt the stuff of culinary legend, but even Cook’s Illustrated prefers it over other varieties. Buy a box for pop and one for yourself—seriously, it’s that good.
For cool dads
To be fair, not all fathers are great in the kitchen. If yours is less Mario Batali and more Arthur Fonzarelli, toss the Old Spice and hair gel when he’s not looking and replace them with new, luxe products.
This pomade keeps every hair in place (even the Fonz’s pompadour wouldn’t budge!) and washes out easily, unlike some other brands. Plus, it smells amazing, thanks to coconut oil and rosemary essential oil.
It turns out that beards, like the hair on your head, need a bit of conditioning to keep things tame. For brawny dads, this beard oil—made with moisturizing hemp oil, and scented with cedar and bergamot essential oils—is where it’s at.
Instead of throwing pops a Starbucks gift card, give him everything he needs to make all the cold brew his heart desires. It’s really easy—all you need to put together is a mason jar, some cheesecloth, and good-quality coffee grounds for a DIY kit. Walk dad through the process the first time, and voila!—perfect cold brew awaits.
If dad is the type who puts in early mornings, late nights, and even some weekends, that kind of stress can add up over time. Remind him to decompress and show him how much you appreciate his dedication by decking out his workspace with some zen-like accessories.
Yeah, they look cool, but salt lamps can be pretty powerful, too! The pink himalayan salt releases negative ions that attract and neutralize dust, microbes, and electromagnetic fields (or EMFs) generated by electronic devices. The result? Purer air, reduced allergies, better sleep, increased alertness, and even a mood boost.
Essential oils + desk diffuser
An aromatherapy starter kit only sounds hippie-dippy. The benefits of essential oils are scientifically proven—they can improve mood, promote relaxation, and hey, they’ll make dad’s office smell fantastic. Inside is everything he needs: a diffuser and four basic essential oils that can be used on their own or combined to create soothing scents.
No matter what you pick, the best gifts reveal the thought and effort put into them. And hey, almost anything is better than another pair of socks, right?
Photo credit: Alicia Cho