Maybe we should start with what Dad doesn’t want this year. I think it’s pretty safe to say that a father who loves to be in the woods, at the beach or in the mountains doesn’t want just a greeting card.
Look, the big, sloppy, loveable construction-paper cards from little kids are awesome. Those are the ones worth saving. But as the store-bought variety are approaching $7 a pop, Dad honestly won’t care if you don’t support the $7 to $8 billion greeting-card industry on account of him. He’d rather you save your money for something cool.
So what do dads want for Father’s Day?
Three generations spending time together
This is really the ultimate score for this holiday: for guys to be with their kid and their own father.
Many of our passions are rooted in the pursuits and places our parents introduced us to. Sure, we rebel against it in our teenage years, but by the time we have our own kids, we long to pass on the traditions of the woods or the coast. And if we can do that with Pop Pop, it’s even better.
Maybe it’s a longboard session where we learned to surf in Florida, or a New England lake where we fell in love with camping. This is a tough one to pull off, but it’s amazing when done right.
Gear he wouldn’t buy himself
A lot of dads come from the generation where duct tape was common snowboarding gear. Coming up in an age when action sports were part of the underground and frugality was a virtue, they still hesitate to spend money on quality gear.
If you’re after the best gift, find that bike computer, wooden paddle or sleeping bag he would never drop the money on. How about a gift certificate to the skate shop or lift-ticket vouchers for next season?
Dinner on the grill
Mother’s Day is usually a more formal affair. And if that’s what Mom wants, you’d better put on that collared shirt and be on time for brunch.
But some moms and a lot of dads want nothing more than to cook and eat outside. Doesn’t matter if it’s blackened swordfish with lemon and dill tartar sauce on the backyard barbecue or freeze-dried chili on the camp stove — fire that thing up. It’s a proven fact that anything eaten outside just tastes better.
Somewhere out there is a guy who wants a new tie and a day on the golf course, but not any of the dads I know. Sure, fathers will dig a new pocketknife or a dope cooler that keeps bevvies cold for days, but what’s most important is a day with their kids.
Plan an adventure on the beach, trail, river or mountain with the family. This is literally the most important thing to a dad — to be riding waves, hiking, canoeing or climbing and watching his kids develop a love for it. Hey, Squaw Valley will be open on June 18. That’s a gift in itself.
More GTV tips for treating the dad in your life on Father’s Day