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

Travis Hawryluk

Growing up in Spruce Grove...

Growing up in Spruce Grove...

Jun 10 7 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 activities 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 the Shinola Tactile Turn Titanium Glider Pen. It’s designed with a perfect balance for an effortless writing experience

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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. Take a Tour of Edmonton's Brewery District

If a visit to Dublin isn’t in the cards for your beer-loving dad, then get a first-hand look (and taste) of Edmonton's thriving craft beer scene on one of these guided tours.  Can’t make it there? Take your dad to your nearest local brew-pub for a few rounds on you.

Edmonton Craft Beer Tours

7. For the "above par" Dads

Most dads love a game of golf and what better way to spend quality time together than a couple of hours outdoors with a little friendly competition thrown in. There are plenty of golf courses for all levels to choose from in our area. 

Golf courses near you 

Pro Tip: To really make it a day to remember, you should really let him win!

8. Go Kart Racing

He doesn’t have to be a big NASCAR fan to understand the thrill of driving around the track at top speeds.  We may not have a  NASCAR  track available here, but you can enjoy a few laps around the track on Father's Day at Speeders Indoor ProKarts in Edmonton.

Start your engine! 

9. Porkapalooza BBQ Festival

Take your dad to the Porkapalooza BBQ Festival at Edmonton's Expo Centre this Father's Day weekend. The festival is free for anyone to attend and includes plenty of activities for families and food lovers to enjoy.  

Porkapalooza

10. A day at the races

Celebrate Dad and enjoy a unique day of fun this Father's Day at Century Mile, the new racetrack by Edmonton's International Airport. Book a table and enjoy lunch then place your bets when the thoroughbred races start at 1:45pm.



Pick a winner! 

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.

11. 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).  Canada Craft Club is a great way for your dad to try new beers without hunting them down at the nearest convenience store.

12. Butcher Box

What dad doesn't love a family barbecue on Father's Day? He can enjoy barbecues all summer long with this gift. Select a customized box of your dad's favourite meats and have them delivered to his door. Just make sure you get invited!

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