7 Free (Or Almost Free) Father’s Day Gifts

What dad wouldn’t want a Mac Book Air or a Seiko Sumo wristwatch? But you don’t have to break the bank to get dad a present he will love. Here are a couple of cheap (but cool) father’s day gift ideas.

Father playing with daughter

1. Photo Gift

A picture is worth a thousand words and these days you can slap them onto almost anything: mugs, mousepads, t-shirts, laptop bags. A bag may be a bit in-your-face but a good photo of the family would be nice on a key chain or a small frame he could place in the office I reckon.

Got lots of Instagram shots? Turn them into cool gifts like a mini keepsake album ($29.95) or a magnet photo tile he can stick on his desk (for as little as $4). It’s a great way to make use of all those shots you have on your phone.

2. Build a Veggie Garden

Okay this is not really gift but it is a nice thing to do on Father’s Day. Imagine all that Father-Child bonding you can do out there working the earth and soaking up the sun the way our ancestors once did. If you still like gifts, you can get a brand new gardening set just for this. Dads never get tired of opening new tools. Good winter veggies to grow are peas, broad beans, spinach, garlic and onions.

3. Cook Dad a Meal

The old-fashioned favourite. Ditch those packaged buffets and make dad a fabulous meal in your own kitchen. This Whisky-Glazed Flat Iron Steaks and Grilled Potato dish is a lot less expensive than a filet mignon and almost as good. Whisky. Steak. Potatoes. Sure to please any meat-loving male. And the best part is it’s rated easy so anyone can do it.

4. Make a Raw Cake

Since we are on the topic of food, here’s a good time to make a raw, no-bake cake. I’ve always wanted to try one of these and Father’s Day seems like as good a time as any. The cakes get their sweetness from raw, natural ingredients like dates, fruit nectar and natural sweeteners (eg. maple syrup). There’s a lot of blending and food processing involved but it doesn’t take long and your cake can be ready in minutes.

Here’s a good raw chocolate cake recipe. The crust is made from pecan or any nut meal, cocoa and dates. And the cake gets its creaminess from blended cashew nuts, coconut oil and vanilla. (My mouth is already watering.) Top this with as much crushed nuts and chocolate sauce as you like.

5. Go For a Picnic

It’s tempting to hit the malls, especially in this wintry weather. But this might just be a good time to enjoy some fresh outdoor activity. Bring a footy, fly a kite. Take advantage of the cooler weather to get active without working up a sweat.

If you want some Father’s Day fiesta, head down to Rippon Lea in Elsternwick for a Father’s Day Picnic amidst this historic family estate. I haven’t been there but looks a bit like Downton Abbey from the pictures. It’s a popular wedding venue and this 1 September, they’re having special activities just for dad such as sporting activities from bygone eras, a sausage sizzle and boat rides on the lake. Entry is $15 for adults and $9 for children.

6. Add a Home-Made Touch

Home-made gifts are always extra special. And the easiest way to home-make something is to get your kids to do it. Because no matter how bad it looks dad will love it. You can go for the typical socks, tie or t-shirt gift but add a personal touch with hand prints or children’s drawings and it becomes priceless.

7. Father’s Day Off

Now for the number one gift idea: give dad a day off. No lunches, no nappies, no playgrounds. One whole day for dad to do whatever he chooses like doing whether it’s going on a 12-hour cycling trip or having a video game marathon. And if he chooses to spend the day with you and the kids – maybe he deserves that Seiko Sumo after all.