14 Father's Day Gifts Guys Really Want
There's an old joke that mothers want to spend Mother's Day with their kids, while fathers want to spend Father's Day away from their kids. For me, the ideal Father's Day includes the opportunity to sleep in a little (in our house, anything after 7:30 counts as a win), a fun family-friendly activity that is mostly hands-off, like a hike or a day at the beach, and a casual dinner from the grill. This year, for the third consecutive year, we'll be loading up the kids and going to the beach (hey, when in Rome, or Southern California, right?). We'll end the day with our famous turkey burgers (recipe forthcoming on the blog) and dinner in the backyard.
My kids are still pretty young, so we haven't entered the era of homemade, handcrafted gifts yet, although I still love the "Best Father Ever" gold medal that Jack made for me in preschool a few years ago (though instead of a circle, the paper cut-out looks more like a map of Australia). If you are looking to pick something up for the father in your life, here are a few ideas (hot tip: many of these can be found on Amazon and shipped via Prime 2-day shipping):
For the sports fan: A vintage-inspired hat from Ebbets Field Flannels, a company that makes reproductions of historic baseball caps and jerseys. Some standouts include the San Francisco Seals, the Army Black Knights, or the Kansas City Katz. I have an "SD" hat that was custom-ordered by Lone Flag, a standout menswear shop in North County San Diego.
For the runner or athlete: New high-tech running gear that wicks away sweat, doesn't stink, and looks as good running around town post-run as it does on the trails. I'm partial to these Nike Dri-Fit tops and Vuori shorts (seriously the most comfortable shorts I have owned), but I would love one of these tops by Tracksmith.
For the chef: Forget grilling tools. A real chef separates himself from the pack with his knife work. Get him a sharp Japanese chef's knife (as Obi-Wan would say, "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age") and a huge block cutting board. I have this Zelite knife (my dad did some serious research before buying), but I'm also partial to these (Hanzo, Augymer). Pair it with a big wood block cutting board.
For the reader: Grab a few books by Haruki Murakami, who is frequently on the short list for (but has yet to receive) the Nobel Prize in Literature. I read 1Q84 (all 944 pages) entirely on my phone, years ago, at night, frequently while rocking Jack to sleep, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I also loved Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, which came out a few years later, and I really want to read his memoir on running, written while he was training for the NYC marathon.
For the aesthete: A slim wallet from Jaqet. Hand dyed and made in Long Beach by a friend-of-a-friend named Jacques, a car designer and lover of vintage cars who started making wallets and belts in his garage. I have had the first iteration of the slim card wallet for years and it still looks great. Fun side note: he and another friend filmed a video for his belts at one of my houses in Los Angeles while we were out of town for the weekend (that's my old 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider and his 1968 Volvo P1800S in the driveway).
For the guy who does projects: With the exception of a miter saw, I'm good on tools, except for a Shop-Vac. I've been asking for years.
For the music lover: A Sonos One two-pack. Best multi-room speaker on the market. Works with every music service (Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and anything else you'd care to use). Works with Alexa and soon to work with Siri and Google Assistant. I have three Sonos speakers, and I still need one to two more.
And finally, what I really want this year: A tent, a basketball hoop, and a bottle of bourbon.
Jack is old enough to camp (we recently camped out at his elementary school with about 75 other classmates and families), and I know that Rose, Clara, and Sadie will soon be asking about tagging along. Right now, I'd love a simple tent by Coleman, but eventually I want to upgrade to something larger, with room dividers and dark-out fabric.
I recently signed up to coach Jack's 1st-2nd grade basketball team, which is both hilarious and way more work than I expected. But I'd love to get a hoop for home for some extra practice (red, white, and blue net optional).
And whether I'm closing out Father's Day in the backyard or in a tent under the stars, I wouldn't mind a few nips of a nice bourbon. I'm partial to Blanton's, Russell's Reserve, and Basil Hayden's, but I'm always up for trying something new.
Hope it's a great one.