Edit ModuleShow Tags

This Father’s Day: Give Him an Experience, Not Another Shirt


Published:

I—like many people—struggle to come up with unique Father's Day gift ideas. Every year, I try to think outside the box, and every year my dad's gift winds up inside the (retail) box when I buy him clothes.

So much for originality!

My dad is into landscaping, and remodeling projects, and saltwater fish tanks and hunting and fishing and both professional and collegiate-level sports, and I don’t know enough about any of those subjects to come up with the perfect gift.

Don't get me wrong, my dad always likes and wears the clothes I buy for him, but this year I wanted to give him something more. I wanted to thank him for being a fun, smart, kind, loving, and supportive friend as well as a first-rate dad and grandpa. A shirt, somehow, didn't seem like enough.

And yes, he has told me that he doesn’t need a gift, but the truth is, I like buying gifts. I like spending money on loved ones, I like the thrill of the hunt, I like seeing people's reactions as they open their gifts.

And then it came to me in a flash. I should buy him—the ultimate storyteller—an exciting experience that makes him feel alive, the framework of a happy memory, a story that can be told for years to come. (And told again, and again, and again.) I won't tell you what I bought him. I'll save that for a future blog post.

Shirts and ties are always a safe bet, but maybe you’ll find an exciting life experience for your dad on this list, too:

 • Drive a race car at Brainerd International Raceway (one session in Spec Ford Racecar = $325).

Snorkel with the fish or SCUBA dive with the sharks in the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America (snorkeling starts at $90 for non-members, 15 percent off for members; diving starts at $200 for non-members; 15 percent off for members).

Take a beginner's sailing lesson on Lake Minnetonka ($75/two hours).

• Golf with a PGA pro at Prestwick Golf Club ($150/hour).

• Go whitewater rafting on the St. Louis River, 15 miles south of Duluth (near Jay Cooke State Park, $40/person).

• Fly an airplane in Lakeville (rates vary).

Float in a hot air balloon over the St. Croix River (standard flight = $245/person; launches one block from the St. Croix River in Lakeland).

Brew a batch of beer at Vine Park Brewing Company in St. Paul (prices start at $165).

Catch fish with the pros who offer valuable insider tips and access to the hotspots whether fishing for walleye, muskie, northern pike, jumbo perch, crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, or bluegill (Itasca/Cass County area, half-day trip, $300).

• Drive a tank convoy-style through the woods or over cars in Kasota (prices start at $400/driver).

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags