gifts they might actually want

30 Birthday Gifts for Every Type of Dad

Photo-Illustration: retailers

When it comes to holidays and birthdays, dads are notorious for “not needing anything.” As much as we appreciate the self-effacing sentiment, it doesn’t make them any easier to shop for. Even if your dad has a hobby or recent obsession, be it astronomy or 20th-century history, there are only so many star guides and World War II books you can buy him. To help you find the perfect gift for his next birthday, we’ve gathered 30 items across the useful-to-delightful spectrum (many of which are both useful and delightful) for dads of all kinds. While all of the things on this list are available on Amazon, we’ve found some of them elsewhere, too, for those who like to shop around.

For the dad who’s still waiting to return to the green

In the meantime, he can perfect his putting game on this indoor putting mat that one Strategist contributor (and father of a Strategist editor) says, with a little ingenious planning, “felt almost like the real thing.”

For the dad who’s serious about keeping his brewskis chilled

Whether he wants to enjoy an ice-cold one on the beach or around the camp fire, there’s nothing better than the Yeti (one of our favorite coolers) to keep his beers (or any other beverage of choice) cold for hours.

For the dad with big ideas

Photo: retailer

If, like author Karin Slaughter, your dad is full of ideas and says his best ones always come to him in the shower, give him this waterproof notepad (it comes with a pencil) that Slaughter uses to jot down anything the moment it comes to her, even if that’s mid-shampooing. With it, his great ideas will never escape him — or go down the drain — again.

For the outdoorsy dad who’s a mosquito magnet

This plastic doodad might not look like much, but Strategist writer Lauren Ro swears by it for soothing the itchy and often painful reactions caused by mosquito bites and bee stings. Essentially a syringe, with the push and pull of a handle it removes an insect’s irritation-causing saliva or venom from a bite or sting site by way of suction.

For the dad who misses going to the movies

Anker Nebula Capsule Projector
$300
$300

If he can’t get to his favorite multiplex anytime soon, he can approximate the experience with minimal effort thanks to this ingenious projector the size of a soda can that can display videos at up to 100 inches.

For the dad who uses an alarm clock from the ’90s

Philips Wake-Up Light
$45

Spare your dad the chaotic beeping of his old 1998 digital arm clock by giving him this wake-up light, which comes recommended by sleep experts and works by lighting up slowly for 30 minutes before he’s ready to rise ‘n shine.

For the dad who appreciates an old-fashion shave

This safety razor was a favorite of barbers, including Brian Porteous, owner of Heritage Barbershop in Portland, Oregon, who says the handle is “wide and well-balanced,” and because its on the shorter side, it’s “easier to grip” and more maneuverable.

For the dad who’s getting into fitness

Not only will your dad be able to tell you how many steps he took this week, he’ll also be able to tell you the number of laps he swam and how many miles he biked.

For the dad who loves to sauté

A liter of olive oil that works just as well served with bread as it does for sizzling some garlic.

For the dad who loves fried food (but is trying to be healthy)

Cuisinart AirFryer Toaster Oven
$200
$200

Not only does this tiny oven toast, bake, and broil, it also air fries, significantly cutting down cooking time — and the amount of oil needed to give his favorite foods the perfect crunch. With it, dad can whip up crispy (and healthier) French fries in minutes.