Last-Minute Father’s Day Gifts for All Types of Dads

Hereís the thing about humans: weíre hard-wired to procrastinate. Maybe it stems from Paleolithic times, when conserving energy meant the difference between life and death? Whatever the reason, leaving things to the last minute is baked into our DNA.

Knowing that, Iíve compiled a list of last-minute Father’s Day gift ideas that aren’t socks or underpants.†Because unless you’re four, you should be buying that stuff for yourself.


People have different likes and dislikes, so Iíve come up with gift ideas for all types of dads. Also, because Iím a card-carrying minimalist, my suggestions are experience-focused.

Why? Well, because stuff doesnít make good memories, experiences do. Not to worry, I’ve included a list of ‘stuff alternatives’ for each dad type as well. You’re welcome.

father's day gift ideas

1. The Eco Activist Dad

Buy him tickets to an environmental event. Here in South Africa, for example, we have the†Eden Festival of Action. You get to plant trees, participate in environmental workshops and hang out with like-minded people. Find something similar in your area and treat Dad to some eco-friendly father and son/daughter time.

Stuff alternative: 20 Ethical Gift Ideas for the Person Who Has Everything

2. The Outdoorsy Dad

Buy him a season or annual pass to his favorite outdoor hangout. A lot of nature trails and hikes are free, but there are equally as many that have an entrance fee. If you live in the U.S., this post does a great job of comparing an annual pass versus paying per visit.

Stuff alternative: Fatherís Day Gift Guide for Outdoorsy Dads

3. The Active Dad

Active fathers will enjoy pretty much anything that furthers their desire to move. If your dad is a runner, you could pay his club membership for the year. If heís into yoga, buy him some classes at his favorite studio†or†get him a few sessions with a personal trainer.

Stuff alternative:†21 Awesome Gifts for Active Dads

4. The Book-Loving Dad

The thing about people who love to read is that they can be quite particular about what they read. Rather than buying your dad a book, get him a Kindle†instead. If he already has one, then an Amazon gift voucher will definitely make his day.

Stuff alternative:†Books That Cover All Your Dadís Interests. (I still think itís risky, but you know him better than I do.)

5. The Kitchen-Obsessed Dad

Get the guy a cooking course. Donít insult his kitchen prowess with anything boring or basic though. Do your research and find something that speaks to his creativity. It could be learning how to cook†the perfect Indian curry or honing the art of†chocolate making.

Stuff alternative: 10 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dads Who Love to Cook (and Eat)

If your Dad doesnít fall into one of these categories, think about the type of things he enjoys doing and find an experience to match. The idea is to gift him something he can do and more importantly, enjoy.

Socks and boxers are fine, but heís not going to remember them a month from now, let alone when heís old and gray and looking back on his life. A fun ‘dadventure’†on the other hand, is sure to earn a spot in Dad’s memory hall of fame.

And if you do have your heart set on giving him an actual gift, then go the extra mile and make hime something that’s handmade with love. Most importantly, spend time with him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan H2 days ago


Lara A
Lara A18 days ago

Thank you for sharing

Barbara S
Barbara S22 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

Richard B
Richard B26 days ago

thanks for posting

Ann B
Ann Babout a month ago

Many of us have Dads that have passed--some suggestion on this would have been nice--a plant, a paper card for the head stone...many ideas

Chad Anderson
Chad Andersonabout a month ago

I miss my dad.

JoAnn Paris
JoAnn Parisabout a month ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

Tanya W
Tanya Wabout a month ago

Happy Father's Day to all the dads.

Tanya W
Tanya Wabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing

Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohnabout a month ago

Many thanks to you !