12 of the BEST Father's Day Gifts That Are NOT a Tie

Dated: June 17 2020

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There’s something about Father’s Day that gives even the most thoughtful among us a case of “gifter’s block.” Perhaps this is why Father’s Day gifts usually border on the cliche — like a tie bought in a rush, or a random item featuring his favorite sports team’s logo. Instead, make 2020 the year this tradition ends. Here’s a list of gifts dad will actually love to receive, from little luxuries that’ll make his day to trips that’ll create memories that last a lifetime.

Gifts to Improve His Daily Routine

He might not directly say he’s into self-care, but he knows the concept on a physical level. In other words: Your dad needs a break. While he’d never use the word “pampering,” these gifts help recharge his batteries — whether he realizes it or not.

1. NES Classic Edition

A miniaturized version of the 1985 game system, the NES Classic Edition will definitely bring him back to his glory days of gaming. Designed to plug into any TV, the easy-to-set-up console comes ready to play with 30 games (including old favorites like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Kirby’s Adventure). Also cool: You can play using different Display Modes, like a CRT filter (which replicates the experience of playing on an old TV) or Pixel-Perfect (each pixel is a perfect square for crystal-clear visuals).

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2. JBL Pulse 3

Bluetooth speakers can be hit-or-miss for quality, but Pulse 3 proves to be an exception. It delivers a decent audio experience in the form of a portable, waterproof speaker that also comes with a lava lamp-esque light show. When he needs some “dad time,” this is the speaker that can go along anywhere, from the basement to the backyard. He can even toss it in the golf cart to add a soundtrack to his next round of golf.

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3. Yeti Rambler 30-oz Tumbler

He might have the brand’s signature cooler already, or he already knows everything about how they can keep anything at the perfect temperature for days on end. The tumbler does the exact same thing, whether he wants to keep his morning cup of coffee hot all day long or wants to keep his Saturday brew of choice chilled to perfection even after he leaves it in the sun for his afternoon nap. Fun fact: Someone very wise discovered that a pint of ice cream perfectly fits inside this design, carton, and all. 

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Pro Tip: Yeti also offers customization options, like logos, monograms, and personalized messages. We’ll leave it up to you whether to go with something sentimental or sarcastic.

4. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

Let’s be honest, your dad looks like a geek in AirPods. And while we’re not saying he’s losing his hearing, these Bose headphones are known to have supreme sound quality. Plus these headphones have noise-canceling technology. A little peace & quiet might be the perfect gift this year.

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5. A Good Pen

For some reason, many dads appreciate a fine writing instrument the way others would appreciate a work of art. Give him something a little nicer than those $2-for-10 pens with the Shinola Tactile Turn Titanium Glider Pen. It’s designed with a perfect balance for an effortless writing experience.

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Pro Tip: The real spirit of this gift is upgrading something he uses every day. If your father isn’t the letter writing type, maybe opt for a nicer version of grilling accessories, kitchen gear (especially high-quality knives), or his favorite tool (tactical flashlights are another dad-pleaser). 

6. Experiences He’ll Never Forget

One of the ways traditional gift guides fall short is failing to recognize the one thing most Dads want: To spend quality time with his family. Dad may define that as yelling in unison at a sporting event, quietly sitting alongside each other, or sharing a meal as a family. But no matter what, it’s time well spent.

Pro Tip: Groupon is a great place to check out if you’re on a budget. They have everything from escape rooms to pilot training courses. 

7. A Visit To Georgetown, TX very own Rentsch Brewery

If a visit to Dublin isn’t in the cards for your beer-loving dad, maybe an afternoon under the shade trees at Rentsch Brewery is more within reach. There, you’ll find the first local brewery to be brewed with 100% renewable energy and inspired by German traditions. High demand for Rentsch beer quickly exceeded their production and lead to an expansion. The addition of a much larger taproom and beer garden is the perfect place to enjoy a locally famous Rentsch (ice cold) beer. Guinness Brewery

7. A Trip to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

If your dad has long loved the Star Wars franchise, let him live his dream at Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disney World. Each is a “land” at their respective theme parks, but they’re not just a ride or two with some clever decor. Instead, each offers a completely immersive experience into all things Star Wars — even the bottled water is themed. There, he can pilot the Millennium Falcon, take a seat at Oga’s Cantina, or finally sample the famous Blue Milk. You may have to post-date that getaway for post quarantine openings but worth the excitement none the less.

Disneyland Disney World

Pro Tip: Bring a little extra money - for $199, you can build your very own Lightsaber. 

8. Race a Stock Car

He doesn’t have to be a big NASCAR fan to crave the thrill of driving around the track at top speeds. The NASCAR Racing Experience can make it happen at a number of speedways around the country. If he’s a little shy to get behind the wheel, the Ride Along lets him enjoy the experience alongside a professional driver.

Race a Stock Car 

Pro Tip: If there isn’t a racetrack near you, consider picking up the new Oculus Quest or other VR tech, where he can drive a racecar from anywhere.

9. BBQ Tour (Within an Hour of Austin)

Courtesy of @WilcoEats, we have created the BEST BBQ Tour ALL within an hour of Austin! We love BBQ, and some of our top area favorites are Brotherton's Black Iron BBQ in Pflugerville, Slab BBQ & Beer in North Austin (You've got to try the Notorious P.I.G or the El Jefe!), Stiles & Switch BBQ in Austin and be sure to try the brisket, you'll thank us later. Stiles and Switch BBQ was awarded Texas Monthly's 50 Best BBQ Joints.

Some of our other area favorites are Mueller's BBQ in Taylor, Bret's BBQ in Rockdale, and John Muellers in Granger. You can't go wrong with Texas BBQ!

Not so hands-on when it comes to BBQ? Fill a gift basket with a family-size order of pulled pork, chicken, ribs, or brisket from his favorite take-out spot in the area.

Gifts He Can Eat or Drink

If Dad has everything he could possibly want, is tough to shop for, tends to regard physical gifts as clutter, or doesn’t have time for an experience, a consumable gift might be the way to go.

10. Hopsy

If you think your dad would like to try some new brews straight from the tap, there’s a cool new way to make it happen (without having to turn the garage into a home brewing laboratory). Part beer-of-the-month club, part Keurig-for-craft-brews, Hopsy is a great way for your dad to try new beers from around the country without hunting them down at the nearest convenience store.

 Meet Hopsy

Pro Tip:  If your dad doesn't have the counter space for a whole new brew system, maybe just upgrade his current situation with some clever beer-lover accessories from Uncommon Goods. This site may actually be the hidden gem of this blog post - like the name suggests, it's got uncommon gift options for people with all kinds of interests.

11. His Favorite Meal He’s Ever Had

Mail-order foodservice Goldbelly specializes in iconic foods from across the country. Basically, they ship everything from New York City bagels to Chicago deep-dish pizza to smoked salmon from Washington, and everything in between. You can order him his favorite meal from his hometown (or favorite vacation spot), or opt for a crowd-pleaser like a 4-pack of cheesesteaks from the famous Pat’s King of Steaks in Philadelphia.

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12. Holy Grail Steaks

Mail-order steaks vary in quality, but the inventory at Holy Grail Steaks promises to deliver the best of the best. In fact, they’re the only online shop that’s certified by the Kobe Marketing Association (though you’ll find way more than Japanese Kobe beef available to order). Don’t know where to start? Order one of their “steak flights” with pre-selected assorted cuts.

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Pro Tip: If you think your dad would prefer a variety, try butcherbox.com. They’ve got chicken, pork, steak, and some great looking BBQ options, too.

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Dave Snowberger

"Service of a Team with Individual Results" Dave Snowberger is a professional REALTORĀ® with 10 years of real estate experience in Central Texas and surrounding areas. Dave studied at Southwest Texa....

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