Is it just me, or are dads hard to shop for? Whether Father’s Day or Christmas, whether it’s your dad or the dad of your children, what do you get for the man who has it all and does it all? And if you’re focused on simplifying and minimizing (like I am) what do you get that won’t just turn into clutter? Luckily, I’ve got a few suggestions for clutter-free, thoughtful gifts for dad!
Related Reading: Why Moms Need Minimalism
Disclaimer: I know a lot of these ideas are stereotypical “man” activities, but I did my best to include ideas for a variety of dads. ALSO, I say “dads” because it’s short and simple, but I’m not just referring to dads, I’m talking about dads, friends, grandfathers, uncles, neighbors… whoever that awesome person is that’s in your life.
Thoughtful, Clutter-Free Experiences for Dad: Experiences
When it comes to thoughtful gifts for dad, spending time together or gifting an experience tops the list. Bonus points if it’s something dad is interested in and if you can get all his children to take part. Here are some fun experience ideas for any budget.
So simple and perfect, a movie night is fun and can be done on any budget. Grab one of dad’s favorite films, his favorite candy, and some popcorn. Turn down the lights and watch the show!
Take a Hike
The family that hikes together, stays together… right? If the weather’s right, head out for a local hike. Pack a lunch and drinks and spend some time in nature.
No idea where to go? Check out the website All Trails (there’s also an app for a mobile map!)
If you’ve got a father in your life that likes to fish, make a day of it. Have little ones dig up some worms, order a few subs (grab dad his favorite) and set up a picnic at a local pond.
If we’re talking about a serious fisher here, buy a few tickets for a deep sea charter and head out for a big catch!
Take it a step further and make this fish shirt from one of your catches!
Rent a Boat
If you’re near the water, rent kayaks, a canoe, or a rowboat and make a day of it. Pack some snacks, binoculars, and fishing poles for a fun afternoon on the water.
Want to go bigger? Rent something with a motor (like a motor boat or a jet ski) and kick it into high gear.
If the dad in your life is mechanically inclined, grab some supplies and get building. Whether it’s Lego, a puzzle, or a birdhouse, keep it simple and fun.
Look for a local cooking class and attend together. Maybe dear old dad could learn something new.
Ax throwing is all the rage, and it’s so manly, how could dad resist? Most ax-throwing venues have age restrictions, so look into this before heading out!
If the dad in your life is feeling some stress, book him a massage. It’s probably something he wouldn’t do for himself, but definitely an experience he would enjoy!
Tickets for an Event
What does the dad in your life like? Nascar? Rodeos? Sports? Give it some thought and grab tickets for the crew.
A Weekend Away
There’s something to be said for a weekend away from it all. Whether you accompany the father in your life on his weekend away or send him with a few buddies, the change of scenery will be appreciated.
Take a Tour
Many facilities offer behind-the-scenes tours. Find a local brewery, winery, factory or stadium (what’s the dad in your life into?) and set one up! Tours involving alcohol often include tastings and may have age limits.
Rock Climbing or Ninja Course
Is the dad in your life always up for adventure? Google local rock climbing facilities or indoor ninja courses and go have some fun!
Take a spin class, run a 5k, go on a bike ride. Get into shape and spend time together, if that’s what Dad likes to do!
Head to the driving range with the dad in your life or play a round (if you know how). Spring for the golf cart rental and have some fun!
Thoughtful Gifts for Dad: Services
Another category of thoughtful gifts for dad is providing him with a service. Taking your time and energy and spending it doing something nice for the fathers in your life speaks volumes and won’t go unnoticed.
Make his Favorite Dinner
This might be a given, but most of the dads in my life love a good meal. Splurge on a steak or try making homemade sushi (we did this for Father’s Day last year — it was so fun!)
Don’t forget to add his favorite drink!
Wash & Detail the Car
Who doesn’t like a freshly cleaned car? Work together and get dad’s car sparkling. Make sure you’ve got car washing supplies ahead of time! Polish the glass, wipe the dust off the dash, scrub those tires, and vacuum all those crumbs out of every crack and crevice!
There really is nothing like getting into a sparkling clean car when you’re heading out!
Do Dad’s Chores
Dads tend to do a lot around the house. Give Dad the day off and take on a few of his chores while he sits and relaxes (or micromanages and tells you how to do it properly).
Thoughtful Gifts for Dad: Subscriptions
Subscription boxes are another one of my thoughtful gifts for dad. These days, you can get almost anything in a subscription box, so if none of these fit the bill, just google what the dad in your life loves and I’m sure you’ll find something.
Subscription boxes are quite flexible, you can choose how long you’d like your subscription to run and how often you’d like packages delivered.
To stick with the clutter-free theme, here are some subscription boxes fathers might appreciate:
- A Magazine or E-Magazine (Family Handyman and Bourbon Plus Magazine would all go over well here)
- Audible for listening to audiobooks if there’s a long commute
- A music service, like Spotify
- Coffee of the Month Club, like Atlas, for coffee lovers
- Tea of the Month Club, like Art of Tea, for tea lovers
- Jerky of the Month (I got my husband Jerky Snob for Christmas and he LOVED it) for the meat eaters
- Bourbon Tasting Boxes (my husband got himself Flavia for Christmas) for those who like the hard stuff
- Wine of the Month Club for the wine connoisseur
- Cheese Subscription Boxes— I mean, who doesn’t need a box of cheese?
- Spice Boxes or Sauce Boxes for the adventurous chef
- Candy Subscription Boxes for dads with a sweet tooth
- Dollar Shave Club for those that like to groom
- Puzzles (a little clutter-y, but not too much)
- To Hunt a Killer (for that murder-mystery fan, this can also be an experience gift)
DIY Clutter-Free Gifts for Dad
Going the DIY route for Father’s Day is always a good idea. If you’re looking to get crafty, there are literally a million ideas on Pinterest. Here are a few of my favorites:
You know the ones I’m talking about… helping with a chore, free hug, extra scoop of ice cream. Let kids make them up, I’m sure they’ll think of fun ideas!
BBQ Seasoning Mix
If the dad in your life likes to grill and experiment with new tastes, grab an empty mason jar and make a seasoning mix like this Best Cajun Seasoning Recipe for example.
There’s absolutely nothing we love more on Father’s Day than having kids fill out questionnaires about their dad. They were super cute when the kids were younger and now they’re more funny and thoughtful. These Hungry Kids has a few fun options in the form of a questionnaire and a survey.
Fun tip: Print one for each child, each year, and stick them in a notebook or binder. They’re great fun to look back on!
Thoughtful Gifts for Dad: Gift Cards
Maybe what dad would appreciate more for Father’s Day is… money! Often, parents can feel guilty spending money on themselves when there are other, more pressing, purchases to make. Give the gift of letting them splurge, and if it ends up being a little clutter-y, at least you made the dad in your life happy!
Give gift cards for any of the experiences listed above. iTunes or car detailing are also fun!
is addicted to enjoys shopping on e-bay. While I was tempted to include an e-bay gift card as a thoughtful gift option, I reminded myself we’re still focusing on clutter-free gifts, and e-bay is nothing if not a clutter-keeper’s paradise.
Thoughtful & Clutter-Free Gifts For Dad
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the fathers or father-like people in your lives, but that doesn’t have to mean a lot of intentional spending on things no one wants or needs (I’m looking at you, ties).
Go clutter-free this year, you won’t regret it!