This Father’s Day, while deciding how to show your appreciation and gratitude for Dad, you’ll face a choice — buy him a thing or buy him a memory.
In most cases, the latter is much more likely to last forever.
Experience gifts — a present that gives your dad a thing to do instead of a thing to own — can broaden horizons and strengthen bonds. Also, your options are simply much, much cooler than whatever Amazon is peddling — but that doesn’t mean that you have to blow your entire stimulus check in the process.
You can splurge if you like, but you can also wow Dad with an experience gift of a lifetime without putting too much of a dent in your checking account. June 20 is fast approaching. Here are a half-dozen ideas about how to get Dad out of the house for a new adventure or for a return to something he loves.
Rent a Classic Car
Your dad’s SUV has driver-assist, all-wheel drive and lane-departure warning — and he’s bored stiff driving it every single day. You can cure that this Father’s Day by treating Pops to a day of cruising the highway in style. Sites like Vinty give you your selection of heaven-sent automobiles ranging from classic to contemporary.
From old T-Birds and ’Vettes to Caddies or a Lotus, if you can imagine it, you can probably rent it — as long as you’re willing to pony up. Expect to spend about $100 an hour at the bare minimum, but for the choicest rides, that can quickly soar to $300 per hour and beyond with two-hour minimums being the standard.
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Take In a Tasting
No matter where you live, it’s likely that a brewery, a distillery or a winery is nearby — and if your local spot hasn’t resumed tours and tasting events, it soon will. Depending on your dad’s style, a wine tasting, brewery tour or spirit sampling session could be a Father’s Day gift for the ages.
Tastings are usually affordable and accessible but they can move into triple-digit per-person pricing when you opt for VIP or all-inclusive packages. A lot of cities partner with local businesses to make multi-brewery tours a reality. In Minneapolis, for example, Twin Cities Brewery Tours offers an all-inclusive three-brewery tour for $75.
Visit a National Park
Whether you realize it or not, your dad lives close to a protected natural paradise that you can visit whenever you like. The 2021 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass cost $80 per year — or $80 for a lifetime senior pass if your father is 62 or over.
A gift that lasts a lifetime, it buys your dad access to the entire National Park system for the rest of his life, which means the great outdoors can be your new Father’s Day tradition starting right now.
Take a Boat Trip
You can spend $1 million or more to charter a superyacht that spans a few hundred feet and functions as a private resort for you and your dad — but you don’t have to. Fishing charters, pleasure boating, day sailing, whale watching, river tours and city skyline tours are all within reach of the common daughter or son.
Cost varies depending on all kinds of variables, but expect to spend $150 or so for a day of whale watching or a little more for fishing, but river cruises and skyline tours are easy to find with double-digit price tags.
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Rent a Lake House
If quiet, remote, serene and idyllic is your dad’s idea of a day well spent, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a better Father’s Day gift than a day or a weekend at a lake house. Sites like Vacasa make P2P lake rentals easy, and they’re generally affordable, even when they’re gorgeous. Pricing is similar to hotel rooms. There are decent options for under $100, good options above $100 and you can go all the way up, up, up to hundreds of dollars per night for all the glam you can handle.
If golf is your father’s passion or pastime, you can hit the links for as little or less than any other gift on this list. It’s always pricier to play at private clubs, but public courses are much more accessible. According to the National Golf Foundation, the average cost of a round of golf in the United States is $61, but that price drops to just under $50 when you look at the median cost. The median fee for 18 holes during off-peak hours drops to just $30. That’s $6 an hour for a five-hour round. You can’t beat that on Amazon.
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