Here are Ten of the Greatest Thoughtful, Non-Material Fathers Day Gifts

June 4, 2017

Last year I put together some ideas for Father’s Day over material objects and had such a great response that I figured I would expand upon the same sentiment this year. Our space is obviously limited these days and Zack and I have vowed not to take on any more unnecessary clutter through our travels, so while these are all certainly gifts, they are all non-material and in my opinion a little more thoughtful. Zack always goes above and beyond for any holiday and while it’s certainly not a competition, I want him to feel special this father’s day too so I’m getting a head start. I’ve organized these ideas in order of price range from lowest to highest. I’m not sure about you guys, but price is typically where I always start since we usually set a budget for these sort of things so hopefully that’s helpful for you. Zack, if you’re reading, get the heck out of here! Everyone else – let me know what you think and if you have any ideas I didn’t mention here.

1. Curate a new favorites list (free). Do some research and put together five new podcasts, bands and blogs you think he’ll enjoy. Seems simple, but I’m always on the hunt for new content to consume whether it’s business focused, personal or parenthood and I know this is something Zack would genuinely appreciate.

2. Set a day aside just for him (free). Zack and I just had a discussion about how it’s a Father’s Day tradition in Germany for fathers to take the day away from their families. I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be that exact day, but planning a little me time for dad can go a long way. I think all parents can appreciate this.

3. Play tourist in your own town/city (free). We did this all the time in NYC, are obviously doing it in each of our homes throughout our travels and bonus, it’s usually free. I realize it’s a little more of a challenge if you’re in a smaller town or city, but I can guarantee there’s something wherever you are. Maybe it’s just a pretty hike, or a quintessential street, but sometimes shaking up your routine is a treat within its self.

4. Game plan the holiday as a team (cost of groceries). This is something my family has always done for both mother’s day and father’s day, but can absolutely be extended to friends in your area too. Maybe you do a big breakfast at one house and have all the moms each bring one dish and let the dads relax. This can help alleviate stress if you’re feeling overwhelmed and still gives the dads in your life a special treat.

5. Surprise him for after work drinks (cost of two drinks + babysitter)! As parents who we’re in a pretty standard routine before we picked up and left NYC to travel, surprises we’re always appreciated. Finding a pal or babysitter to watch your little ones for just a few hours so you can surprise your guy when he’s off work for a drink is the perfect low key way to say “Hey, I see you. I love you. And you’re not only an amazing dad, but an amazing partner”.

6. Date night in ($5 movie rental + dessert). Make or pick up dessert and rent a movie on iTunes (you’d never otherwise watch) after the kiddos are asleep. You know what kind of movies those are, in our case this would mean fully engaging in an action movie – no phones allowed. As far as desserts go I’d prefer to make him something I know he loves from scratch like pie, but simply picking up a pint of ice cream would absolutely do.

7. Take him somewhere to eat that you’d never usually go to (cost of dinner). There are certain meals Zack eats exclusively when I’m out of town because I tend to be a bit particular about food (something I should probably work on). I know that would mean the world to him to put my silly taste buds and picky eating habits aside to take him to a restaurant I wouldn’t normally choose, that he would love.

8. Book him an Airbnb Experience ($23 to $209). So this is what Zack did for me for mother’s day and I absolutely LOVED it. Unfortunately the Airbnb Experiences haven’t extended to Berlin, but for the cities where they have I highly recommend it. You can do this is your very own city, or in a city you have a vacation planned to. We both agree that this is a solid gift idea for both mom or dad!

9. Schedule a local food tour ($75). Since Airbnb Experiences aren’t available here, I ended up booking Zack a local Berlin food tour and I’m so stoked to share it with him! The one I scheduled is a four hour tour with four different plates, drinks and a full tour of the neighborhood by a local that seems to really know her stuff. Since we’re food lovers over here and are clearly looking to get the most out of our travels I really think this gift will go a long way.

10. Plan a day trip with or without the kids (cost of gas and food). Something Zack and I always enjoyed doing when we lived in Phoenix was packing up the car and heading up north to either Flagstaff, Sedona or Prescott for the day. If you’re on a budget and want to do this as affordable as possible pack a cooler and make a list of the areas you want to visit. If you’re in a city where you don’t have a car take a look at the train/bus schedule and see what your options are. It’s always nice to get away and celebrate!

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