9 Cool Father’s Day Ideas (5 Involve No Money)

Dad gets his special day too! No matter what the commercials say, you don’t have to buy him something – when he says he doesn’t “want anything,” what he really means is that he wants a new sports car, a new job, or a time machine (preferably in a hot tub) to go back a couple decades. You can’t really give him any of these (there is a really funny movie you can watch with him), but there’s lots of cool and realistic ideas he’ll love. So, here are some great ways to tell Dad he’s the greatest this Father’s Day.

  1. Take a load off. Sure, your kids do this for Mom. But what about Dad? Do some of Dad’s regular chores for him. If possible, make this a surprise by fixing the cabinet (if you’re handy), mowing the lawn or taking over his dish washing night while he’s otherwise occupied.
  2. Treat him to a game. If he loves football, soccer or even a rousing tennis match, buy tickets ahead of time. Tell him you’re going out to a Father’s Day breakfast – then casually head for the stadium. He’ll love the surprise as well as the family time and the game.
  3. Let him be a kid at heart. Does he secretly love computer games? Collectible Matchbox cars? The rock band KISS
    ? Whatever desires he typically keeps on the down-low, indulge his inner child by picking up toys or that favorite game and wrapping it in a big bow. Tie a lollipop to the package to make him laugh. But trust us. Toys are still number one in Dad’s book – no matter how much he says he wants “nothin'” for Father’s Day.
  4. Get his car detailed. If his car is his pride and joy (or, for commuters, home away from home), sneak out with the car and get it washed inside and out. If you’re watching your budget, get the kids in on a family car wash for Dad in the driveway instead.
  5. Make him something. Help the kids hand make a card, a World’s Best Father award, or breakfast.
  6. Remind him he isn’t just a dad. Being a father is special, but Mom, he’s the man of your dreams as well. After the kids are in bed, slip into something comfortable (and cute), pour some wine for the both of you and have some grown-up time.
  7. Fire up the ‘cue. If Dad is usually Lord of the Flame, take over this chore (whether he likes it or not!) and barbecue a juicy steak for Father’s Day dinner. Make a party of it; invite friends and family members so the guys can all kick back with a beer, some food, and the families that love them.
  8. Have an adventure. Take Dad backpacking, sailing (rent a boat or a canoe) or for a rousing family round of paintball.
  9. Tell him you love him. Of all the gifts you can give your husband, your dad, your father-in-law or your stepfather this Father’s Day, appreciation is and always will be number one. Write him a letter listing all the ways in which he’s special and thanking him for just being, well, him. He’ll appreciate this gift most of all!