2017 Father’s Day Gift & Activity Ideas




By: Jen M, contributing writer

Father’s Day is Sunday June 18, 2017.

We’ve pulled together a guide full of gift ideas, Father’s Day Factoids and even a list of activities you can do with Dad.  Whether he loves to fish, read or tinker with his car, we have coupons for all types of Father’s Day gifts!



Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd has been credited with the idea of the very first Father’s Day Celebration, after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Sonora’s mother had died in childbirth when she was only 16, leaving her father, Mr. William Jackson Smart, who was a Civil War Veteran, to raise his newborn daughter along with his 5 other children. Apparently he did a good job, because Sonora felt very strongly for fathers due to the amount of love and affection she received from hers.

Taking inspiration from Ms. Anna Jarvis, who was trying to promote Mother’s Day, Sonora Dodd began trying to garner support for Father’s Day. Two of the groups that supported her were the local YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Association. As a result of her perseverance the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Initially the public, and especially men, were hesitant about the idea. But the new holiday slowly gained popularity and it came to be celebrated in different cities across the US.

In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson approved of the idea of Father’s day, primarily due to its increasing popularity. 8 years later, in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s Day to “”establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations”. And, after 4 decades of struggle, in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.

Sonora Smart Dodd was honored for her contribution at the World’s Fair in Spokane in 1974. Mrs. Dodd died in 1978 at age 96.



Part One: Gifts You Can Make And Ways to Save $$$$:


1. Keepsake for New Dads

For new dads a gift from the little one can be cute and creative. Of course, not all dad are into the “cutesy” type of gifts, but we will tackle those dads a bit later in this piece. For now, some ideas can include stamping baby’s hand or foot prints on a piece of paper with a frame, or creating a picture or a card with their prints. Messy, sure, but it can also be cute and fun!


2. The Daddy Survival Kit

While this is geared more for the brand new dad, you can also be creative and make it work for the dad of a teenager, or the dad of kids who are out of the house. It can combine serious and fun. For the brand new daddy essential items can include: diapers, diaper rash cream, bibs, wipes, pacifiers and toys. You can also include goggles for diaper changes (and nose clips or Vicks Vaporub for under the nose), Visine for red eyes from being up all night, ear plugs, a flask,etc. For the daddy of a teenager maybe some Tylenol for the headaches, ear plugs for the music, binoculars to spy on dates, a gift card to a restaurant or store……for the kids out of the house maybe a nice bottle of champagne to celebrate, a gas card to go visit…….the idea is to be creative while making a memorable and special gift.


3. A Picture Gift……Take Your Own

For babies you can take 3 pictures, in 3 different poses, of baby holding the letters D, A and then D and then put them in a frame to sell dad. With multiple kids, each kid could hold a letter. You can take multiple pictures and make a collage. You can pose siblings together, or apart. Or even use old pictures to create a memory board.


4. A Picture Gift……..Make Your Own

Sites like Shutterfly or Walgreens have dozens of options (and often has coupons and promo codes that let you save as much as 50%)  to create photo gifts. Ideas include: photo books, calendars, phone cases, mouse pads, playing cards, t shirts, cutting boards, magnets…..


 5. A Gift Basket

This one has endless possibilities and can be customized for the special dad in your life. Some ideas include: gift cards, wine, beer, tools, electronics, food items, fishing gear, a t shirt, books, movies, etc.  Shari’s Berries has great ones, plus you can add some chocolate covered berries.


6. A Coupon Book

If you are a wife wishing your husband a Happy Father’s day you can include things like a home cooked dinner, breakfast in bed, a spa day……if can be funny, romantic, a bit of both. For kids who want to celebrate their dad they can include things like free yardwork, a car wash, dinner, maybe babysitting younger siblings so mom and dad can have a night out. This can vary by age and relationship but the point is to make it creative and special.


7. Decorate A Mug

We did these for my parents one year and it was a hit! You can buy mugs that are blank and you can decorate or customize them however you like. All you need are white ceramic mugs  and Painter’s Pens (You can buy them on Amazon for $10). This will also work with T shirts or wine glasses.


8. Breakfast in Bed

What dad does not want to sleep in and get waited on by his kids?


9. A Poem

You can write a nice poem and frame it. Handwritten is much more personalized but you can print it if you prefer. You do not have to rhyme, just a heartfelt thank you or I love you can mean more than anything that money can buy.


10. A Daddy Daughter / Son Day

For many dads (and moms, too) getting to spend time with their kids is the most precious present of all. In this day and age everyone is busy so giving and leads such hectic lives that giving the gift of time can be worth its’ weight in gold.  Need some ideas on what to do? We have those for you in our activities section!


Part Two: Gift Suggestions


11. A Tie

Go upscale with a Brioni or Hermes tie, or pick something up at Nordstrom. If your dad is the sentimental type, you can even be a little goofy and get something personalized with a picture.


12. A Watch

Find a watch to match his personality.  Get together with siblings and set him up with a high end watch, or pick out something sporty or techie like an Apple watch.  For a special touch, you can consider getting it engraved. Need ideas? Take a look at The Ultimate Guide to Men’s Watches in 2017.


13. The Hyper Chiller Iced Coffee Maker

It is described as: “Simple yet effective, the HyperChiller is able to chill hot coffee in about a minute — without diluting the beans. If that’s not enough, it’s also able to chill whiskey, wine and any other liquid vice Dad may have. Want one for yourself as well? Buy three and get the fourth free of charge!”


14. Beard  / Grooming Products

A beard trimmer, clippers, a shaving kit, an electric razor……Any of these (or all of them) make a great gift idea for dad.  Consider something nice from The Art of Shaving.


15. An “Of the Month Club”

Variety is the name of the game and dad can have something new sent to him every month (or every other month, or every 3 months. Most of these options are very flexible). Idea include: cigars, whiskey, movies, craft beers, and meat. Other suggestions can be found here: The 12 Best Monthly Deliveries


16. Grill Equipment

Whether it is a new set of barbecue tools or a “Kiss the Cook” apron if dad has a grill than dad will be happy with grill stuff. If your dad is anything like mine nothing stops the grill, not even winter!  My favorite sauce hands down is from Southern Soul, but you can pick out Dad’s favorite.  Check out specials from Lowes and Home Depot.


17. Electronics

And maybe a free lesson on technology……which, if your dad is like mine, could be very useful. My dad is a very smart man but when it comes to anything computer related, well, let’s just say hs is a bit behind the times. But even if your dad is a technological whiz there is always some new gadget that he is sure to need. Some suggestions that are pretty cool for 2017: ZUS Smart Car Charger, iDevices iGrill 2 Thermometer, Golf RelayMio Alpha 2 Fitness Tracker, Kindle Oasis E Reader, Equil Smartpen 2 Digital Pen


18. Sports Equipment & Memorabilia

No matter what sport your dad is into this is one gift that will never go out of style. If he plays maybe he could use a new set of golf clubs.  Or perhaps a sweatshirt from his favorite team.


19. Gift Cards

Not the most personal choice, true, but a gift card allows dad the choice of deciding what he truly wants for Father’s Day.  Whether he secretly likes to be pampered and wants a facial, or there’s some sports equipment he’s been checking out. You can pick up a gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro, Cabelas or see deals from


20. Non traditional Gifts

When people think of Mother’s Day they think of flowers, chocolates, maybe a day at the spa. But when we think of Father’s Day those same options do not come to mind. But why not? Places like Teleflora have options such as Teleflora’s ’48 Ford Pickup Bouquet, From You Flowers offers Father’s Day flowers and gifts and Edible Arrangements has a tasty array of Father’s Day gift ideas. Spas have options for couples as well as for men and many men would enjoy a spa day. So, do not count out the typical “non traditional” gift ideas. You just may be missing out!





1. Humor cards account for about 25 percent of Father’s Day sales.

2. The necktie is consistently the most popular gift.

3. Among seahorses, it’s the male who carries the babies.

4. And, according to NRF’s 2015 Father’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average person will spend $115.57 on gifts. The survey found 75.4 percent of Americans said they plan to celebrate Father’s Day.

5. Father’s Day is the busiest day of the year for collect phone calls.





1. According to Hallmark, Father’s Day is the fourth-largest card-sending occasion with 74 million cards given every year.


2. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., is credited with starting Father’s Day after hearing a sermon on Mother’s Day. The First local Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington.


3. While Mother’s Day was officially established in 1914, Father’s Day did not go into “official effect”  until 1972!


4. Father’s Day is always the third Sunday in June.


5. The U.S Census Bureau estimates there are 70.1 million fathers in the United States in 2008. And that there are 199,000 stay-at-home dads in 2015 taking care of children while a spouse works outside the home.


6. Fifty percent of all Father’s Day cards are purchased for fathers. Almost 20 percent of Father’s Day cards are given to husbands.


7. If you thought Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day was the most connected day of the year, you’re wrong. Father’s Day is the busiest day of the year for collect phone calls.


8. In Germany, Father’s Day is celebrated is an unusual way. Men hike with hand-pulled wagons filled with beer, and often partake heavily of that and the local food. According to Der Spiegel, fueled accidents are three times more likely than usual on this day.


9. Roses are the official flower for Father’s Day. A red rose is worn in the lapel if your father is living, a white rose if he is deceased.


10. Father’s Day cards go farther back than Hallmark. One of the  earliest dates back roughly 4,000 years. Elmesu, a Babylonian youngster,  carved a card out of clay  to “wish his father good health and long life.”





1. Take Me Out to the Ball Game:

Or football, or hockey or basketball. Tickets to the game is never a bad idea.


2. Speaking of Tickets:

Not all dads are into sports and that is fine. Another option is concert tickets. Take dad to see his favorite band. Through in dinner and make a night of it.


3. And More Tickets:

OK, well, if dad does not want to go to a game or a concert there are plenty of other things you can grab tickets to. Maybe a movie, a museum, a festival, a comedy show, a dinner show, a broadway play…..there are all kinds of dads out there and all kinds of different things you can grab tickets to. You know your dad best and you know what he likes.


4. A Trip:

Depending on your budget your getaway may be a few hours, a few days or even a week. Is there someplace you know dad wants to go and has never been? A favorite place he would like to return? Maybe a camping trip, fishing trip, white water rafting? Maybe there are siblings who can pitch in, maybe it is just dad and you, but a trip can be a wonderful gift and a great way to honor that special man in your life.


5. Volunteer Together:

This may not be for everyone, but there are some dads who would appreciate a gift like this. You can spend the day volunteering together at a shelter, or putting together bags for the homeless, or working the line in a soup kitchen. This is also a great option for dads of teenagers, as it is a way to show your kids that giving back is important.


6. Tackle That Thing You Have Been Meaning To Get To:

Is there a project that needs to be done? Something that needs to be built or fixed? This would be a great chance to offer to get it done, together.


7. Take A Class, Learn Something New:

Maybe a father daughter cooking class. An art night. Painting lessons. A drink making class. A foreign language. If you and dad have something special in common, or are just willing to try new things, this is a great opportunity to do so.


8. Something Simple:

It does not have to be complicated or expensive or something new. It can be a simple activity like bowling, paintball, an amusement park, a picnic, a day at the beach, chartering a boat, mini golf, dinner and a movie, skiing, hiking.  It can be a family event or just the two of you. Pick a favorite activity and go and do it.


9. Make Dinner Together:

This can be a fun way to bond and spend time together. Maybe it is a new recipe he has always wanted to try, maybe you want to have a grilling competition, maybe you will burn it all and end up ordering a pizza anyway. As long as you are together and having fun that is all that matters.


10. Cross off a Bucket List Item:

Of course, we do have dads that are adrenaline junkies and adventure lovers who are not satisfied with the simple and ordinary. If your dad is one of those (and you are either the same as him or just brave enough to try) then you may want to try something a little more extreme. You may want to rent luxury cars for the afternoon,go bungee jumping, rent a hot air balloon, take a helicopter ride, drive a race car around the track, white water rafting (this can be simple or extreme). Whatever it is, you know yourself and your dad best, so I am sure you will make a great choice.



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