fathers-day-top-ten_06182009

Father’s Day has a habit of sneaking up on you, never earning the hype of Mother’s Day but always requiring a little more ingenuity in the gift department. We’re here to help. Below are 10 ideas, costly or otherwise, for making your old man happy this Sunday.

Beer of the Month Club

Inevitably, a father is going to be stuck doing manly household chores, like mowing the lawn. And when he’s finished, he’ll probably want a cold beer. Save him the misery of Budweiser and sign him up for the Beer of the Month Club. Packages start at $20.95 per shipment, and for a little more you can mix in some international varieties. [Link]

Leatherman Multitool

What else? You can never go wrong with something that cuts, plies, grips and screws, but a Leatherman is particularly ideal if dad’s growing tired of his wimpy Swiss Army knife. The Skeletool, pictured above, is pretty basic for its size; true handimen may be interestd in the Charge TTi, which packs a whopping 19 tools in one. [Link]

USB Turntable for Old Records to MP3s

ionttUSB

Growing up, did you ever notice a collection of vinyl albums piled up in the basement? Help Dad turn those into usable music with a USB turntable. For $110, Ion Audio’s iTTUSB will rip the audio to Audacity, a software program that can save the audio to MP3 or WAV files. And who knows, maybe your father will have a mid-life crisis and start his DJ career. [Link]

Grill Kits for the Grilling Dad

woodfired

Sure, a grill or related gift is an obvious present; Cooking ingredients or professional tools are easy to find. If you’re feeling a little more creative — and perhaps more financially secure — consider a wood-fired or fireplace grill. For the traveling father, there’s also the boatside grill or a variety of other portables. Dad’ll never be without barbecue again.

Rent a Supercar

Mom might not be happy if her husband’s out impressing the ladies with a Ferrari 360 Spider or Porsche Boxer all day, but luxury car rentals don’t last forever, so he’s bound to come home some time. All it takes is $250 and a good stretch of highway for Dad to spend five hours acting like a millionaire. [Link]

The Ultimate Tool Chest

kobaltchest

A simple tool kit, or a Leatherman for that matter, will suffice for the occasional handyman, but if your dad’s garage looks more like a wood shop, consider Kobalt’s 53-inch tool chest. In addition to the usual drawers — with ball-bearing slides — this 16-drawer chest includes a refrigerator and a Pioneer sound system, plus LED lights in the lid for late-night tinkering. [Link]

Camping Gear

camping-gear

For every great camping trip, there’s always one missing accessory that could have made for a better weekend. Maybe it’s something as simple as a headlamp, or perhaps it’s a bigger, better tend. If Dad’s an outdoorsman, check out Cabela’s camping selections or head to REI for Father’s Day-specific ideas.

Baseball Road Trip

newyankeestadium

Baseball is pretty much the definitive father-son bonding experience, unless you’re one of those newfangled football fans, or you have no soul. The positioning of Father’s Day in June makes the perfect opportunity for a baseball road trip. You can plan it yourself, or have  site like Roadtrips.com do it for you, with packages starting at $1,800 for four games and luxury accommodations. That’s just a little more cash than a Yankee Stadium hot dog. [Link]

The Gift of Cigars

Correction: Smoking cigars with your old man is the definitive bonding experience. It signifies to him that you’ve matured from bumming smokes from your buddies in high school into a more sophisticated individual. Treat Dad to a box of cigars from the Famous Smoke Shop or, if you’re feeling lucky, try importing some Cubans.

The Gift of Beef

steak

If your father’s got a grill, has a cigar ready for smoking, plus a Leatherman for cutting off the tip, with a beer to drink on the side, and hates baseball, already owns a luxury car, owns no vinyl albums and doesn’t care much for handiwork, there’s always beef, because it’s what’s for dinner. Check out instructions on how to buy a side of beef or sign him up for a steak of the month club. Unless he’s a vegetarian, in which case, you’re on your own. [image courtesy: mike johnson]