If you haven’t finished your Father’s Day shopping yet this year, it’s officially time for you to start thinking about last-minute Father’s Day gifts. But don’t worry, we have plenty of ideas for you, from gifts you can make yourself, to those you can still get shipped, to some you can get at an actual store near you. In fact, after COVID and 2020, we want to support our local small businesses as much as possible.
So in the spirit of supporting dads, both new and not-so-new, here are lots of great ideas for last-minute Father’s Day gifts. Because lack of time doesn’t have to mean lack of thought at all.
1. A DIY gift
Think way, way beyond handprint art, here. (Not that we don’t love an adorable handprint gift, too.) But we have found so many creative, usable DIY Father’s Day gift ideas for you, from hilarious personalized shoe deodorizers at Alpha Mom, to these awesome Shrinky Dink Tie Clips at Hello, Wonderful! Check out the full list of ideas, because there are so many good ones here.
Or you could make your own, like this DIY Father’s Day questionnaire at Daffodil Design. You don’t even need a printable template — just a good typewriter font on your computer, and a kid with a little imagination. A frame is a nice touch and the bunting is just gravy if you’re really pressed for time.
Catch my Party shared the world’s easiest DIY Father’s Day coupon idea, which we featured in our list of 20 DIY gift ideas for Dad. If you’ve got a printer and a glass jar lying around, you’re golden. No staples! No hole punches! She even offers the printable coupons for free.
2. The perfect food or drink gift
In our experience, you can’t go wrong with a Father’s Day food gift, like this DIY ice cream sundae in a box at Family Bites. Be sure to include some of our favorite ice cream brands, including decadent ice creams for vegan dads. And add some old fashioned ice cream bowls, like these we spotted at Target. Maybe even splurge on a heated SVANKi ice cream scoop too?
Or, is ice cream not his thing? No problem. Think about that special treat that dad really loves, then DIY your own box. For inspiration, check our post on DIY food gifts. Would he love a new bottle of hot sauce from a local gourmet store? His favorite flavor of homemade Girl Scout cookies that the kids baked? Whoopie pies with a little DAD flag on top? Artisanal salts for some experimentation around the grill? A box of gourmet soft pretzels to munch on while you watch the Pretzel Day episode of The Office together?
If you’re in NYC, you can get same-day delivery on ready-made foodie gift baskets at Mouth.com, and they also have great wines and liquors, and lots of fun goodies like homemade Pop Tarts. If you live elsewhere, check your local gourmet stores, restaurants, and bakeries for same-day delivery or curbside pickup of Dad’s favorite treats.
If you are an adult kid looking for a more adult gift, you can also hit the liquor store for something a drink that’s a little more special than he might buy for himself. We highly recommend Vermont’s WhistlePig Whiskey. Because, whoa.
Or, check your liquor shop for a nice bottle of sake, and pair it with a lovely, traditional porcelain sake set for a really nice gift. If you can’t find something local, try Umami Mart, where Liz found this Akkeshi Sarorunkamuy Single Malt Japanese Whiskey for her post on 20 fabulous food gifts from AAPI owned businesses.
3. A book that gives him time with the kids
For a sweet last-minute Father’s Day gift idea from the kids, head to your local bookstore and let them choose a book full of activities they can do with their dad. Some suggestions: for crafty inspiration, try Mike Adamick’s Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects or The Maker Dad book (specifically for dads of girls) by Mark Frauenfelder. The Dad Lab is full of science experiments by Sergei Urban. And the hilariously brilliant Lay Down Daddy Games by Jim Manduca is full of games you can play with your kids while lying on the sofa.
4. A book that gives him some time without the kids
Need some ideas? President Obama recommends The Overstory by Richard Powers (this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner). If he likes dark, dystopian novels, try A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet, which Kate describes as Lord of the Flies meets The Road. For social justice advocates, try Clint Smith’s How the Word is Passed, about which Ibram X. Kendi says, “We need this book.”
Include a DIY bookmark made by the kids to go along with it. You can simply cut some of their art to bookmark size or make a photo booth strip, like this one shown here of Liz’s kids. If you have a laminator (Kate’s obsessed with her inexpensive, Amazon Basics laminator that’s survived several years of homeschooling) just seal it, add a hole punch and tie some ribbon at top. Or, just glue the strip onto heavy cardstock trimmed to size.
5. Breakfast in bed
Breakfast in bed isn’t limited to Mother’s Day! We know dads who wouldn’t mind a little homemade burnt toast from the kids — or even something more elaborate — along with his morning coffee in bed. (Or at the table is cool too.) We have lots of ideas for breakfast recipes for Father’s Day like these awesome bacon hearts via The Paper Mama, indulgent pancake hacks, or even a really fun breakfast bar idea. Or, if dad loves the outdoors, you could surprise him with breakfast around a backyard campfire.
You can tie a gift idea to this too, by splurging on a fancy bottle of artisanal Vermont maple syrup from Runamok or the perfect Truff jalapeño hot sauce for his eggs. Or, pair it with a customized coffee subscription or even the perfect coffee maker for the dad who loves his brew.
To make it a little more fun, check out this printable Father’s Day breakfast in bed kit from the Dating Divas. It includes these doorknob hangers, which allow him to place an order the night before. Then, swing by Williams-Sonoma for a fun breakfast tray to serve it his meal on, and grab a copy of the New York Times, letting him know you’ve ordered a print subscription or digital subscription as part of his gift.
6. Gift box subscription
There are so many cool gift subscriptions for men these days, and they’re an easy last-minute gift because you can order anytime. If the first box doesn’t arrive by Father’s Day, you can DIY your own mini-version with items on that theme from a local shop.
Check out our favorite subscription gifts for men, from coffee to fashion to beer to tech. We’ve given our partners subscriptions to Bespoke Post (shown) in the past, and the gifts are luxury quality…and he even gets to choose his theme each month.
7. A gift card, made more fun
If what he would really love is a gift card to iTunes, Lowes, or Starbucks, go for it. Just make the presentation really fun. We love this balloon in a box idea, brought to life by The Gold Jellybean. You essentially fill it with confetti and helium then, tie the string to a gift card and box it up. She has all the details, but we suggest duct taping the balloon string down to the bottom of the box to keep it from completely floating away, then opening this gift outside. Unless you want to be cleaning confetti out of your sofa all day.
This is also a super fun way to give tickets to that concert, game, musical, or other event he’s been missing so much over quarantine.
8. A fabulous keepsake photo
If it’s been a while since you’ve had professional photos taken (we get it, 2020 wasn’t exactly the best), splurge on a professional photographer to take pictures of dad with the kids on Father’s Day. Then, order framed prints at Minted to celebrate the best dad ever.
If a professional session isn’t in the budget, you can still stage a sweet Father’s Day photo shoot. Choose one of these 7 easy Father’s Day photo shoot ideas for you, like this delightful one at Freckle Photo. Don’t miss our tips for those of you who have more — or fewer — than the four kids she has, and ideas for putting multiple shots together into tasteful, modern collages too.
9. A Massage. Not from you.
Oof, we all know how stressful COVID has been. Help dad relax with a gift card to a local spa, which supports an industry that has seriously suffered too. In fact, go ahead and book it as a couples massage and get in on the relaxation too. For a fun surprise, tuck the gift card inside a box of luxury soaps just for him.
Or if you’re ready to travel and want something super, super indulgent? Book a weekend at a reasonably priced spa like Stoweflake in Vermont or a luxury one like Canyon Ranch in Massachusetts, Arizona, or Las Vegas. Canyon Ranch is even offering a Father’s Day special now — order a gift card by June 21 and get a $50 bonus voucher for every $500 you spend. (We did say it was fancy there.) Plus, lots of spas offer discounts for first-time guests.
10. Framed artwork from the kids
Last year we shared lots of fun DIY gifts for dad from the kids, including this favorite, with an easy tutorial you can find at Pink Sugarland. But there’s all kinds of art kids could make, like a portrait of him, a family portrait, an abstract, a nod to his favorite team, a printable to color in — it’s all good. But it’s adding a clean, modern frame which really makes it come across as more thoughtful than last minute. Just make sure it has time to dry.