7 Gift Ideas your Dad doesn't want for Father's Day in 2019

Your Dad called and he’s pissed. He wanted us to tell you that after looking after you through everything from dirty diapers to dealing with your middle school drama, a last minute Amazon Prime (from the Gifts for Fathers section on the Amazon homepage, no less) order isn’t going to cut it this year. Sure the “#1 Dad in the World” mug was cute the first time, but after getting another one two years later annnd finding out that his buddy Mark from poker night has the same one, the magic has worn off a bit. Oh yea, he wanted us to mention that the apron you bought him from Target - you know, the “I make a mean steak” one - has never been worn. Who wears an apron to put a couple burgers on the BBQ anyways?

But seriously. There are some really terrible Father’s Day gifts out there. We know, we know, shopping for Dad is hard - he usually either never needs anything, or just goes out and buys whatever he needs himself. That’s why we, at Awesome Maps, have decided to help Dads everywhere by showing you 7 gifts you definitely shouldn’t give your Dad, and giving you 7 great present ideas for Father's Day this year. 

1. World's Best Dad

Let’s start with the obvious - your Dad is sick and tired of those cheesy World’s Best Dad mugs you keep buying him. No, they’re not funny. Mostly because all of his best friends have the exact same one, kind of taking the magic out of it, don’t you think? ‘That’s alright’ you might be thinking, “that golf hat I was looking at getting him from Walmart said “World’s #1 Dad”, not world’s best”. They’re the same damn thing! Don’t. Do. It. He might truly be the best Dad in the world to you, but he’s probably smart enough to know that others are getting the same coffee cup - if he’s seen his exact same mug in the local dollar store, it might diminish the value of the message a little bit.

What to get instead

Want to get something that he’ll appreciate as actually being thoughtful? Consider putting together a small album book instead. Show him, don’t tell him, that he is truly the best Dad you could have growing up. Believe it or not, putting together a small book of some of your favorite pictures together is not hard, and because of the option of doing it all online, it’s not expensive either.

We’ve used photobookamerica.com in the past and it turned out great. On top of being a great, heartfelt gift, we’ve found that PhotobookAmerica regularly runs sales of 40% off or more, either on their site or via Groupon. With that discount, you’re getting a custom book of memories that’ll show your Dad how important he is to you for around $20. Not bad, right? Oh, and if you’re not from the US, no problem. They’ve different versions of their site for countries around the world - everywhere from photobookcanada.com to photobooksyria.com, so you should be covered. So go on, save your Dad the embarrassment of receiving an awfully similar gift to the shirt you got him four years ago and forgot about and get him something special instead. Now that’s what we call a personalised Father's Day gift idea!

2. This Book!

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Look, your Dad doesn’t need this book. He’s the master of not giving a f*ck. Think about it. Someone who can wear crocs out in public? 0 f*ucks to give. A man who feels no guilt or remorse for any and every Dad-joke he’s ever told? Nope, no f*cks to give here! A man who thinks it’s perfectly reasonable to travel wearing a matching sweat suit he bought two years after graduating highschool - despite various paint stains? Definitely not someone who needs this book.

We’re not saying this book isn’t great - at least one person from the team has read it and can attest that it’s got some good ideas and is certainly not a bad gift. Just not for a Dad. This book very much so feels directed at the age 20-35 crowd, and if they have kids, they’re probably too young to be reading this.

What to get instead

Just because this book will be covering the shelves of your bookstore as we approach Father’s Day, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still get him a book - books make great gifts! Does he like history? Find a neat history book (We’d recommend this one). Loves working on cars? How about a coffee table book on the history of neat cars? There's a 100% chance there’s a book out there he’d like. Oh he doesn’t like reading? Well that’s why they made coffee table books; pictures are great. It’s more about showing him that you know him and what he likes enough to get him a book he’d be interested in.

3. Beer or bacon-scented anything


Dad might love beer and besides vegetarians and vegans (and many of them will say they miss it), who doesn’t love bacon? We certainly do. But no matter how much we may love bacon or a tall cold beer, that doesn’t mean we want to shower and smell like the bottom of a pub floor. I mean, who thought that was a good idea? You shower in the morning, use your beer-scented shower gel and smell like a keg house for the rest of the day. Nice.

As for the bacon candles? Neat idea, but if you want to get Dad some candles, get something that smells nice, like lavender. Who the hell doesn’t like lavender? Dad’s certainly more likely to appreciate a nice Hawaiian spray scented candle over the idea of making his house smell like a smoked animal being cooked.

What to get instead

Just because the beer-scented soap  is out, doesn’t mean something beer related isn’t awesome! If your Dad’s more of a bacon guy, no problem, we’ve got it covered.

Get him a beer-making class! Again, we’re going to call on the cheapness/greatness of Groupon here and try and find an “Intro to Beer Making” class. Usually, there are plenty of them available in medium sized-cities and bigger for under $50 (when researching this article, we found classes for $16!).  If you can’t find one on Groupon, just search for a U-Brew in your town/city and give them a ring. They often offer beginner classes and again, are usually pretty reasonably priced. Oh, and if your Dad hates beer - wine and cider U Brews are a thing as well.


Not a man into drinking or still stuck on the bacon thing? We’ve got your back. How about a Make your own bacon kit? Yep it’s a thing! For $23 you get to give your Dad the present of awesomeness that is bacon and the feeling of badassery for making his own. How awesome is that?


4. A BBQ Grilling Apron

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You love your Dad, right? I mean, if you didn’t, you wouldn't be putting this much effort into getting him a great Father's Day gift this year. Which means, if you truly love your Dad, don’t buy him this (or any other) grilling apron.

Look, the idea makes sense. Dad loves to BBQ, sometimes he likes to wear white and every once in a while, he stains that shirt. We can almost promise you that he’d rather just get a stain on his shirt than face the eternal torment handed to him by his buddies after walking out of the house wearing an apron that said “The Man. The Meat. The Legend.” Oh sure, he’d wear it. You’re his child - he has to love you! It also means wearing the dorky apron you bought him whenever you see him grilling. But just know if you buy him this apron, there will always be a small piece of him that will begrudge you.

What to get instead

Stick with us on this one, we promise it’s actually great. So here’s the deal, this one is almost entirely unrelated to grilling. If you insist on getting him something BBQ-related, buy him a Woodchip Smoker Box (just search it on Amazon, there are dozens) and bag of applewood wood chips. Done.

So what is this almost unrelated to grilling awesome Father’s Day gift idea? A really good headlight.

Source: Nick Fisher on Unsplash

Obviously this guy’s a bit daft (who leaves the light on to look at stars?!), but he’s smart enough to have a good headlamp!

Note the words “really good”. Sure, you could go to your nearest chain Outdoor Store or wherever you buy cheap camping supplies and get him that $12 one on sale, but then in that case, you might as well get him the apron. Nope, what your Dad wants is a good one. We recommend the brands Petzl and Black Diamond for good quality ones. They’re not the cheapest (while they do go on sale, they range from $30-$140), but you get what you pay for when it comes to good headlamps and that matters.

What the heck is he going to do with a headlamp? Probably buy another one! Seriously though, once you have one, they become invaluable tools around the house, camping, hiking or ...grilling! Yep, a headlamp is super helpful making sure you’re not overdoing that steak while having one last BBQ before winter hits and the evenings are getting short. So trust us, buy him a good headlamp, he’ll appreciate it.

5. Scotch Rocks

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So this one isn’t a terrible idea actually - we just wanted to give you a heads up that if he drinks scotch, or any other spirit that you take straight, they may (probably) already have them. Seriously, these things are everywhere - in fact, we’re pretty sure you’d find them in your nearest supermarket.

Why? Because while they may have been the hip trendy gift of 2014, they’re, well, not as uncommon. So before you buy this one for him, make sure he doesn’t already have a set and make sure he actually takes his scotch/bourbon/gin on the rocks and not neat (but if he does take it on the rocks and doesn’t have them - they’re a great gift idea!)

What to get instead

We at Awesome Maps have been known to enjoy a good scotch here or there (and we’re not snooty enough to tell you not to enjoy whisky on the rocks - it’s your whisky, have it however you enjoy it the most!) and while the consensus in the office chat is that most people prefer theirs neat (without ice), ice cubes make any drink more refreshing on a hot day; whisky or otherwise.

Which is why we’d recommend instead you look into buying spherical ice cube moulds. Whaaa?! Yea, it’s a thing and they’re awesome! Here’s what they make:

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The reason these things are awesome is that due to the smaller surface area of a sphere (you remember your equation to calculate non-square three-dimensional objects’ surface areas, right?), the cubes melt quite a bit slower - letting your Dad enjoy his cold drink for longer before it starts tasting like gross melted water with a weird alcohol-y aftertaste. These are still for your super great father, right?

While you can find them anywhere (seriously, just google “Spherical Ice Cube Tray/Form”), we’ve found a great set at what we thought was a fair price of $11 from HomeWetBar.com. Trust us, if your Dad has or wants those scotch rocks made from real rocks, he’ll probably love this as well.

6. The Potty Putter


We uh. We don’t even know where to start. Sure - you could get this thing for your Dad. And you know what, it’d be hilarious! Seriously, who even comes up with this sh*t? But the funniness would wear off and you’d be left having been the kid who got their father a mat to go around their toilet and practice putting on.

Alright, we get it. Your Dad loves to golf. Golfing is his life. Golf Golf Golf. Awesome, we respect a man who loves his hobby! Heck, we even enjoy a good round ourselves when the weather is good for it. But this is not getting your father something golf-related for Father's Day. No, this is getting him a mat… that goes around your toilet. A fake grass/carpet mat. Something that could perhaps absorb liquid? Disgusting. But hey, it beats the Foursome Golf Bed!

What to get instead

Honestly, if your Dad loves to golf, and you want to get him something golfing-related for Father’s Day, we’ve got just the thing for you:

Yep, we’d recommend the super awesome Golf Course Map from yours truly. But seriously, beyond this being an obvious plug for our own product, we stand behind the fact that this thing would make a fantastic Father's Day gift for your Dad this year. It’s a hand-drawn world map of all the great golf courses. It’s reasonably priced under $40, it’s a lot bigger than you’d expect (seriously, we get comments all the time...😏) and it’d be a great thing for his bathroom or anywhere he can show it off to his buddies. If he’s not into golf, we’ve got others for a bunch of other awesome sports ( Hello Skiing!) as well

This is a gift that looks great instead of getting the floor all gross.

7. Something Cheap

Source: Photo by Jacub Gomez from Pexels

Whoa whoa whoa! Look at us getting up on our high horse and being all bougie telling you how much you have to spend on your Dad for Father's Day. Nope. We get it. Life’s expensive, and to be expected to drop another $50-$100 for a holiday pushed hard by gift-card makers is kind of silly. So we’re suggesting that instead of stretching your already-thin budget to get Dad something kind of crappy and definitely cheap (the sort of crap you buy in the clearance rack of Walmart on your way to go see him), you don’t.

Wait what?

Seriously. If we get that buying Dad that super awesome Father's Day gift showing him in monetary terms just how much you love him is out of the budget this year, you know who else will understand? Your super awesome Dad, that’s who.

What to get instead

Look, you don’t have to tell your Dad “look Dad, I just couldn’t afford to get you anything this year”. You can and he’ll probably understand more than you know, but you don’t necessarily have to do this. Instead, what we recommend is that you go see him.

Go hang out with your Dad this year. Go do that birdwatching walk he’s been bugging you to do for the last 4 years, or sure, go play a round of golf with him. Or just have a drink together at his favorite bar! Still want to get him something nice? Offer to make dinner for him! Make him some cookies to bring over. Heck, if you can’t see him, send him that box of homemade cookies and spend an hour on the phone getting to know him a bit better.

We promise you that while some of the things on this list are pretty awesome, this is the gift idea he’d appreciate the most.

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