There are more than 70 million fathers in this country, according to the United States Census Bureau. What the census doesn’t tell us is how many of these dads get generic Father’s Day gifts that sit in a drawer and never get used.
The Hipster Dad
If your dad is a hipster, or even has illusions of being cool, spend the day with him experiencing all that is hipster-hot in your area. Go to a local food market and buy him some organically grown produce and artisanal cheeses. Eat Korean tacos or Cuban sandwiches for lunch off a local food truck. Spend the afternoon at a local art gallery checking out some artists you’ve never heard of. The cost of this kind of day is minimal—usually under $50.
The Techie Dad
If your dad always has to have the latest high-tech gadgets, nothing would make him happier this Father’s Day than a new smartphone. Mashable calls the new Blackberry Q10 "the best keyboard phone you can buy today." It features the very newest smartphone technology, including keyboard shortcuts to all your favorite social media sites, and it even incorporates Balance, a way to segment the memory into work and home portions. The manufacturer’s list price for the Q10 is around $250, but you may find deals around town.
The Nostalgic Dad
If you’re constantly hearing about Dad’s exploits during high school or how great his hometown is, load him up with souvenirs of days gone by. Call or email his alma mater to buy a school T-shirt and travel mug. If you live close, take a quick trip and record his high school, the local hangouts and pictures of his childhood home, and then turn them into a "This is Your Life" DVD. The shirt and mug might run you $40 or so, and the cost of the DVD is only your time.
The Coffee Snob Dad
Your dad might crave the rarity of Jamaican Blue Mountain or Kona, but why not give him the ultimate in coffee flavors and invent his very own personal coffee blend? Do a little research on single-origin coffees and their flavor profiles, then put together two or three of them to make a unique blend. Choose mostly medium roasts, all light roasts, or a variety of darks, but pick them from different parts of the world to give an unusual flavor profile. Any bean blend should run you around $20 to $50, depending how much you buy.
The Foodie Dad
Foodie dads just want to have a tasty experience. Do some research on a number of local restaurants and choose four for a traveling meal for you and your father. Start out with appetizers at one spot, move on to a light entree, choose two or three sides to share at a third and finish the evening with a decadent dessert. Depending on your local area, this meal can run anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars, so craft the meal to your budget.
From Louisiana, Melissa is a jazz singer, ballroom dancer and freelance writer.