Father’s Day gifts can be hard, especially if your dad is “hard to buy for.” Instead of another Star Wars t-shirt or set of golf clubs, why not give him a unique experience he’ll never forget?
We’ve created a list of one-of-a-kind experiences to surprise your dad with on Father’s Day. There’s at least one for every kind of dad — even yours.
Gift-giving can often put a dent in your wallet — especially if you want to get your dad something special. If you're feeling the financial pinch, here are ways you can earn extra cash when you need it.
Ragnar Relay race
If your dad’s a runner, he’s probably already signed up for the usual 5K and 10K races over the summer. Why not encourage him to take it to the next level by running a Ragnar relay race.
Ragnar lets small teams of runners take on a particular running course, including city streets and roads, single runner sunset challenges, and wilderness trails. Runners spend the night sleeping in tents or vans, and runs are held throughout the U.S. as well as South Africa.
Tap into your dad’s inner Paul Hollywood by sending him (your dad, not Paul) to a serious baking workshop with King Arthur Flour company. No experience is necessary, but he’ll need to be ready for baking theory and a lot of kneading.
Classes are taught by world-class instructors at King Arthur’s Norwich, VT, and Skagit Valley, WA locations or as live online classes from anywhere.
Bicycle races and series
If your dad is always on his bicycle, maybe he wants to do a serious cycling event, whether it’s one day or a weekend event.
There are hundreds of events, from stage races to circuit races from Houston to Minneapolis to St. Louis to Pennsylvania to Reno and all over, listed on the USA Cycling event page. You’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your dad.
If your dad likes his artistic process with a side of high-temperature danger, why not sign him up to blow glass?
The Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art offers week-long master classes in glasswork over the summer. Some classes require blowing experience, but others are good for beginners, and you can focus on form, colorwork, or specific techniques.
If your dad has a special interest in history — especially historical battles — bring him to a historical reenactment. Costumed reenactors act out famous battles of American wars, and your dad can watch — and possibly even participate. Find a reenactment near you.
National Park trips
Maybe your dad likes watching wildlife alone in nature, fishing, or camping with the whole family in the great outdoors.
Whatever your outdoorsy dad’s interest, you can plan the perfect National Park trip for him with the National Park Service. Your dad will be proud of you for booking such a gorgeous vacation at such a bargain.
French-Canadian trader wilderness experience
You and your dad can follow the path of the French fur trappers from the 1700s on the Les Voyageurs family camp by Concordia Language Villages. Camp in tents, canoe from campsite to campsite, and learn or practice French with the rest of the family at this unique summer camp in the north woods of Minnesota.
Hadrian’s Wall walk
Your history buff dad might have just the right amount of outdoor activity and history by walking Hadrian's Wall in England over the summer.
Walking the wall takes about a week, and you can sign him up for a tour that includes sleeping and eating arrangements. All he has to do is walk, observe, and document his adventure on IG. He can also use his walking adventure to raise money for a charity of his choice!
The only thing better than owning a real sword might be making your own. Dragon’s Breath Forge in Wolcott, CT offers day-long swordmaking workshops — including parent-teen workshops — so you can make your own dream sword for fighting dragons. Private classes are also available if you have a group of people who want to make swords.
Pro tip: Use one of the best cashback credit cards to earn cash rewards on purchases for dad. That way you can also get yourself something in return or help offset the cost of the gift.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp has been around for 25 years, and that’s because it’s just plain fun. Whatever your dad’s level of musicianship, he’ll love being part of a band for four days, playing, recording, living the life of a working musician, and meeting famous musicians.
Camps are held in NYC, Hollywood, Florida, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Seattle. The camp fee includes every part of the experience except the hotel and airfare.
Habitat for Humanity homebuilding weekend
If your dad watches a lot of home renovation shows and wants to build or renovate an actual building, he’ll love to sign up for a volunteer weekend building homes with Habitat for Humanity. He’ll be doing something good for other people while he gets the chance to live the DIY renovator fantasy.
Xtreme Supercar Track Xperience
Does your dad feel hampered on a daily basis by traffic and just want to let the throttle out? Let him satisfy his need for speed in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Mustang, or another car of his dreams at a test track with the Xtreme Supercar Track Xperience. Race experiences are available in Detroit, Milwaukee, Tulsa, Seattle, and dozens of other locations.
MLB baseball fantasy camp
Your dad can live out his fantasies of hitting a home run in the finals or pitching a no-hitter at baseball fantasy camp. All skill levels are welcome, so if your dad hasn’t played in 40 years, he’ll still have a great time. Most MLB teams suspended fantasy camps during the pandemic, but the Yankees, Tigers, Braves, and Twins are all running fantasy camps again.
Epic Nerd camp
Your dad can finally release his inner Dungeon Master by nerding out at Epic Nerd Camp. It’s five geek-filled days of tabletop gaming, live-action roleplaying (LARPing), and learning sword fighting and archery along with other fantasy and sci-fi-themed activities.
Epic Nerd Camp is located in Darlington, Maryland, at Ramblewood, a former summer camp location with a pond, campfires, and all the typical summer camp facilities. For the right nerd, this camp sounds like paradise.
Has your dad always wanted to skydive? Have him check his life insurance policy and then sign him up for a skydiving session at a skydiving center near him. First-time tandem jumps with an instructor range in price from $250 to $425, based on the height of the jump.
Depending on the state and local regulations, first-time solo jumps may require Ground School classes first. Those classes, plus the first solo jump, total around $400.
Whether your dad is an experienced woodworker with a shop already set up in the basement or garage or a wannabe who watches a lot of New Yankee Workshop, there’s a woodworking workshop for him. Sam Beauford Woodshop offers weekend woodworking workshops for all skill levels, so there’s sure to be something for your dad.
There are so many unique ways to make this Father’s Day memorable, and these are just a few. There are options to fit any budget, and if you find an experience you can do together, it’ll be a bonding experience that you can’t replace. Increase your budget with these legit ways to earn extra cash.