My dad dabbles in almost every “dad” hobby you could think of — fishing, firing up the grill, stargazing, brushing up on his World War II knowledge — yet he’s always the trickiest person on my list to shop for. Perhaps it’s because he never hints at wanting anything (or perhaps it’s because I feel the unbearable weight of owing my entire life to him …) Either way, before becoming a seasoned Strategist writer, I would spend weeks trawling for gift ideas for Dad and still come up short.
Knowing others might have suffered this same scenario, I combed through the internet and the Strategist archives to compile a list of birthday gifts sure to delight dads with all sorts of hobbies, interests, and guilty pleasures. From an indoor griddle that makes any month grilling season to a cozy illuminating beanie for dads who love to run at the crack of dawn, here are some gift ideas you might not have thought of. You can find all the options below on Amazon, but plenty are available elsewhere, too, for those who like to shop around.
For the dad who loves eggs
If Dad’s Sunday doesn’t get started until he has wolfed down a Gaston-level amount of sunny-side-ups, he’ll appreciate trying his hand at a new kind of preparation with this handsome Japanese pan. It produces rolled omelets that take a little practice, but what dad doesn’t love a project?
For the dad who experiments in the kitchen
For the dad who keeps it simple
For the dad who prefers home cooking to takeout
If your dad is anything like mine, retirement means trying new cookbooks and recipes on the weekly. With this wok — named our favorite thanks to its maneuverability, longevity, and loop for dangling over the hob — he can sear proteins, wilt down a mountain of veg, and reduce sauces, all in one.
For the dad who’s always complaining about tight muscles
For the dad who puts snack time on his calendar
For the dad who’s just been promoted to granddad
This journal helps keep track of all the special early moments in the new baby’s life, and your dad’s new role as a grandfather.
For the dad who takes care of his cold ones
For the dad who’d rather uncork
For the dad who toss and turns
For the dad who always books a window seat
For the dad who hates checking his bags
For the dad who’s a Starbucks drive-thru regular
For the dad who runs before the sun rises
For the dad who grills all year round
Grill dads need not forlornly hang their aprons in the wetter months as this cast-iron griddle is “the indoor grill that’s closest in spirit to firing up the charcoal,” restaurateur Alon Shaya says.
For the dad who’s the designated cook
For the dad with moves like Jagger
For the dad who didn’t even want the dog in the first place (or so he says)
For the dad with a Goodreads account
For the dad with a regimented packing list
For the dad who likes breakfast in bed
For the dad who still has a full head of hair
For the dad who needs some downtime
We tested and loved the newest Sony noise-canceling headphones, a great gift for the dad who needs some quiet time (even in a bustling house).
For the dad who dreams of business class
For the dad who got Disney+ purely for Nat Geo
If Dad’s enchanted by noticing the little things, let him delight in the really little things with this dinky microscope. It slips right into a pocket and can be used to see rocks, plants, and textures up close.
For the dad with a drawerful of photo albums
For the dad who commutes
For the dad who doesn’t need Google Maps
For the dad with a Brooklyn Museum membership
For the dad who always forgets the pump
For outdoorsy dads, this sleeping pad offers a good night’s sleep without the faff of a foot pump. “The best pad ever: It blows up with just a few breaths and is lightweight and supercomfortable,” says Rob Urry, father of four and a grandfather of 11.
For the dad who prefers to camp in his own backyard
For the dad who’s partial to a grilled cheese
For the dad who’s a couch-snack connoisseur
For the dad who has a study
For the dad with a perpetual knot in his back
For the dad who’s up for an adventure
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.