We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

10 Experiences to Gift Your Dad This Father’s Day

An older man holding a coffee mug in a kitchen.

Can’t decide what to get your dad (or a dad in your life) for Father’s Day? Stop thinking stuff and start thinking experiences!

As COVID-19 forces everyone to stay home, many are abandoning the anti-stuff minimalism of the 2010s. Still, there are plenty of good reasons not to give dad a tangible gift for Father’s Day. Why try to figure out which mug, tool kit, or tie he’ll like when you can give him the gift of an experience he’ll love?

As any committed dad will tell you, doing fun stuff with his kids is one of the best parts of fatherhood. Even if you’re grown up and live far away, you can still get into the spirit with one of these experiential gifts!

A Celebrity Chef Cooking Class

Cooking at home doesn’t have to be a chore. If you know a dad who follows a certain celebrity chef—or simply loves great cuisine—why not gift him a cooking class?

Personality-driven celebrity chefs, like Gordon Ramsay, make digital cooking classes unforgettable. You can find online cooking classes for everything from chic Italian cuisine to Texas-style barbeque.

To make the experience really special, you can take the class together online even if you can’t do so in person. Then, you can share your thoughts on the meals you make.

A Meal Subscription Box

A Hello Fresh delivery box sitting on a front porch.
Daria Nipot/Shutterstock

If dad’s a little more hands-off in the kitchen, but still likes to cook, a fun meal subscription box might be a better choice.

There are many meal subscription services that will send ready-to-cook meals right to his doorstep. With every ingredient on hand, cooking at home is easy.

Plus, he’ll get to try interesting new recipes. Some companies even deliver cooked meals!

Other Subscription Services

If he’s not really a foodie, you have lots of other options! Some of today’s most popular subscription services focus on experiences, not stuff, making them perfect for a memorable Father’s Day.

Whether he loves cocktails, coffee, wine, or beer, there’s a subscription box for it. If he’s into vinyl, there’s one for that, too! Sure, records might count as stuff, but listening to them is an experience. If he loves true-crime shows, there’s even an array of murder mystery subscription boxes that require active participation.

In fact, if you can name it, there’s probably a subscription box for it. The key to making it special is to pick one with an experiential aspect. Then, he’ll get more than just a new trinket each month.

A Nice Consumable

If you don’t have the budget for a subscription box, a single nice consumable also makes a great gift. The “consumable” category keeps things experience-focused, but gives you plenty of options to choose from.

It could be a nice bottle of wine or whiskey, some high-quality coffee beans, or a set of tasty spice rubs. It could be a personal grooming product or even a fancy candle. The point is the gift is consumed and enjoyed, rather than just taking up space forever.

Everyone has at least one thing they like to consume. Whether it’s beer, hot sauce, or fine tea, you really can’t go wrong with a consumable gift.

A National Parks Pass

The U.S. Park Pass website.
U.S. Park Pass

If you have (or know) an outdoorsy dad, an annual pass to the U.S. National Parks might be just the thing. With just one pass, he gets access to over 2,000 parks and recreation sites.

Of course, not every park is open right now due to COVID-19, but some have reopened, with more likely to follow. Check here to see what’s open near your dad.

DJ Lessons

Some consider DJs the rock stars of the 21st century. Even if he’s never played a musical instrument in his life, DJ lessons will give your dad a fun, modern, musical experience.

You can find highly rated DJ courses on sites like Udemy and MasterClass.

A MasterClass All-Access Pass

Not sure whether he’d prefer a cooking or DJing class? You can also gift a year’s worth of MasterClass. This allows him to choose from all kinds of expert-led classes on subjects from sports to business.

A Custom Fragrance

To walk the line between traditional and experiential gifts, you can gift him the chance to create a custom fragrance! It’s perfect for any dad who loves cologne and creativity.

With Waft, you can choose the bottle design and give his fragrance a name that shows how much you care. Then, your dad can customize the scent according to his own preferences.

Outdoor Game Equipment

Bocce balls resting on green grass.
Wirestock Images/Shutterstock

If he has a yard and someone to play with, classic outdoor game equipment is the perfect gift for summer. Badminton, croquet, and bocce ball are just a few of the beloved yard games that make great gifts and experiences.

Something to Look Forward To

If you want him to have an experience outside the house, but aren’t sure when that’ll be safe, you can still gift it! Cloud 9 Living sells experiential gifts of all sorts. You can shop by location, experience, or price. Check out the Gift Ideas section for some inspiration.

From Lamborghini racing to wine-tasting cruises, there’s something for every dad. Some options are even virtual, like the live homebrewing lessons.

Best of all, the gifts come in the form of instant eVouchers that never expire, so they’ll still be good post-pandemic.

With social distancing keeping many families apart, you might not be able to see your dad or the other fathers in your life in person, this year. However, the gift of an experience will show him how much you care. You can even do some together online!

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?